COVID-19: Utilizing Artificial Intelligence in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic
The novel Coronavirus has brought the world to its knees. As the number of positive cases and deaths keep rising, and mankind awaits an FDA-approved drug, frontline workers in the fields of healthcare and technology are constantly striving to come up with effective solutions.
Artificial Intelligence is providing strong support to the healthcare ecosystem!
E-commerce behemoth Alibaba has come up with an AI platform to fight this global pandemic. This is a diagnosis system with 96% accuracy, they claim.
According to the company’s cloud-based business unit, the platform can help frontline medical workers diagnose the virus in seconds.
Developing drugs is a tedious process and easier said than done during a pandemic. The time to market for an effective drug is about a decade with a failure rate more than 90%.
Thankfully, Artificial Intelligence can help in accelerating this process and make drug development quicker, cheaper and more successful.
Google’s DeepMind is leveraging the potential offered by AI to understand the protein structure of the novel Coronavirus.
Similarly, South Korea-based Deargen is using MT-DTI, a deep learning model that makes use of simple chemical sequences instead of 2D and 3D molecular structure of the protein to figure out it’s binding affinity to a target protein.
Delivery of Medical Supply
To reduce human to human interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic and still deliver medical supplies on time, AI-powered intelligent drones are being put to use.
Companies such as Terra Drone are using these tech marvels to carry medicines, samples and quarantine materials and even to patrol public spaces with the help of thermal imaging.
Robots are being used to supply medicines, deliver food, clean, sterilize and perform other hospital chores. This is a welcome change when the need for social distancing is highly warranted, but reducing human to human interaction is kind of difficult inside hospital premises.
Companies such as Blue Ocean Robotics are supplying UVD robots that use UV rays to kill germs. Others such as those from Pudu Technology are being deployed to cater food. Overall, it’s a collective effort.
Another company called Ant Financial is offering a blockchain platform that speeds up processing of healthcare claims to minimize the interaction between hospital staff and patients.
Content Moderation on Social Media
This is a bigger challenge than we can imagine. Content moderation is needed to maintain calm and peace during a pandemic. Social networks need to be policed regarding sharing of sensitive, fake and unwanted news related to COVID-19.
Recently, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn jointly announced that they are going to work closely on COVID-19 response efforts. The idea is to promote trusted content and remove any kind of misinformation.
Accessing the right information about the novel Coronavirus is of utmost importance. This is where AI-powered chatbots can be used. They have the potential to offer day and night 2 way communication tirelessly to keep people updated with the latest, specific and required information on the Coronavirus pandemic.
At Gravitas AI, we are using conversational AI to facilitate information provision through trusted sources. This is our humble contribution to this battle against the virus through our highly advanced algorithms. We currently have 3 versions of the bot : a) for global audiences using advisory from the World Health Organisation b) for UK citizens, using advisory from NHS UK and EU and c) for Indian citizens using advisory from the World Health Organisation and Government of India. We have developed our product as a not for profit initiative with an aim to provide accurate information to the subscribers. We are not charging for our efforts or intellectual property. Instead we are offering this product to the organisations for a minimal fee to cover the cloud and platform costs.
Get your Facts Right!
Here’s what the World Health Organization (WHO) says about COVID-19:
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus (CoV) is a collective family of viruses causing a range of illnesses including the less severe common cold and other severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
All Coronaviruses are zoonotic. They can jump species and are transmitted from animals to humans. For instance, SARS-CoV has been found to spread to humans from civet cats while MERS-CoV from Arabian camels.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019, aka COVID-19 is the newest strain belonging to the Coronavirus family that was discovered in 2019. This is a novel strain that has not been identified in humans earlier. Its source is not yet known.
How does the COVID-19 Infection Spread?
The COVID-19 virus spreads mainly via respiratory droplets. These droplets carrying the virus can be transferred from an infected person’s mouth or nose to a healthy person nearby. Alternatively, the virus can also spread via contact with contaminated surfaces
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 Infection?
Common symptoms of a COVID-19 infection include the following:
· Shortness of breath
· Difficulty in breathing
Symptoms such as pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death are possible in severe cases of the infection.
Is there any Treatment for COVID-19 Infection?
Currently, there’s no known vaccine or treatment available to treat a COVID-19 infection. Supportive care is however available for those who are infected.
How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Infection?
Since, there is no cure at present this is the most important part. The spread of COVID-19 infection can be prevented by following the below mentioned recommended hygiene practices:
· Regular washing of hands with soap or liquid hand wash.
· Frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer
· Covering your nose and mouth with your bent elbow while coughing and sneezing
· Using tissues when coughing and sneezing and disposing it of safely
· Avoiding contact with people showing symptoms of the disease
· Maintaining social distancing and a distance of 1 meter (3 feet) from people
· Avoiding large social gathering altogether
· Consuming thoroughly cooked meat and eggs
· Not touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth
· Staying home if you are unwell
· Self quarantining if you’ve travelled to places hit by the Coronavirus outbreak.
· Self quarantining if you believe you could be infected
Wise men say self-help is the best help. If everyone does their bit in following the aforementioned practices, they can contribute to the safety of others.
Researchers and workers in the field of healthcare and technology are doing their utmost to beat the novel Coronavirus. All you need to do is make sure you stay aware, take a step back and save mankind.
Mukesh Kumar Sinha, CCO & Co-Founder, Gravitas AI
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