Use Of Artificial Intelligence To Curb COVID - 19
Written by: Tarini Gupta, Student, Vivekananda Institute Of Professional Studies
AI systems are software designed by humans, which deal with collecting and elaborating data to facilitate decisions on best actions so that the intended goal can be achieved. AI system involves the processing of a huge amount of data. These sources are afterwards combined with complex algorithms that recognize images, monitor risks, and identify trends.
In this global pandemic, the medical industry is looking for new technology to monitor and control the spread of COVID-19. As the world struggles with COVID-19, every speck of technological innovation and innovation harnessed to fight this pandemic brings us one step closer to overcome it. AI is a technology that can be used in this pandemic to track the spread of this virus, identify high-risk patients, and help curb the infection. Even when the world was unaware of the threat posed by COVID - 19, it was the artificial intelligence that had detected the outbreak of an undisclosed disease in China. Now the outbreak has become a global pandemic, number of governments, scientists and technologists have been discovering how artificial intelligence can be used to combat the spread of corona virus, Artificial Intelligence should be engaged to brace the efforts of the policymakers, the medical section and the society at large to manage every phase of the crisis. The mortality rate can be predicted using the previous data of patients. Population screening, medical help, notification, and suggestions can be given through AI. The technology can help the government in improving planning, treatment, and outcomes of the patients . In countries like India, China, Israel, Singapore, and throughout Europe, governments have availed themselves of emergency measures to collect data from various sources such as CCTV cameras, mobile and credit card transactions to track infected patients as well as their encounters. We aim to review the role of AI as a conclusive technology to analyse, prevent, and fight against corona virus.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE USES OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AGAINST COVID-19
· Enhancing research capabilities to understand and treat corona virus -
AI tools enable the medical community to understand the COVID-19 and rapidly analyse large volume of research data. It can help in determining the history, transmission and diagnostics of the virus. It can provide the lessons from previous epidemics. It provides access to datasets in epidemiology, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling. For instance, COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge provides 29,000 research articles on COVID-19.
· Prediction of cases and mortality -
This technology enables to track and forecast the nature of virus from the given data, social media, and other platforms and thereby an estimate can be drawn about the risk of the infection and its likely spread. Further, it can foresee the number of positive cases and death due to the virus.
· Development of vaccine -
A study of deep learning model can help to prognosticate drugs or treatments which might treat COVID-19. AI has been used by various institutions to identify treatments and develop the vaccine. This technology is used to speed up the drug testing, while the standard testing is a time- consuming process and thereby accelerating the process.
· Primary detection and diagnosis of the infection -
AI quickly analyses irregular symptoms and primary care of the forbearing, thereby alarming the patient as well as the healthcare authorities. It enables the patient to make a quick decision which is cost effective as well. For instance, a questionnaire should be made, which should be dually filled by the citizens and analysed by AI, this will reduce the workload of the health care system.
· Lessening the workload of health workers -
There is a tremendous increase in the number of patients during COVID-19, this has resulted in a heavy workload over the health workers. AI is used to lessen this workload, as it helps in primary diagnosis and provides treatment at an early stage by using all digital methods. It also provides better training on the new disease to the students and doctors. AI also impacts the prospective patient care and address more potential challenge which diminishes the workload of the doctors.
· Monitoring patients -
AI can be used to track patients and vulnerable, high risk people. Citizen's localization data can be used to assess if a person is affected and warn them. For instance, A Chicago based non- profit "Medical Home Network" has implemented an AI platform that identifies Medicaid patients which are at high risk from COVID-19 based on the risk of respiratory complications and social isolation.
· Dealing with fake news -
During the pandemic, the biggest hindrance faced by the Indian government was fake news. This problem can be tackled using AI. For instance, Whatsapp has begun to start a pilot project called Facta, which keeps a watch on the news and provides an analysis if it found to be fake.
· Deployment of robots and drones
Robots and Drones have been deployed to respond to the instant requirements in hospitals such as delivering food, medicines, ensuring cleanliness and sterilisation, assist doctors and nurses, and also perform delivery of equipments required.
· Sharing expertise internationally
The dedicated platforms facilitate the sharing of multidisciplinary expertise on AI internationally. For instance, the US government has invoked a dialogue with international government science leaders that encompass the use of AI to accelerate analysis of corona virus.
To fight against the global pandemic one of the AI development is Clevy.io, which is a French start-up. They have launched a chatbot to facilitate people to find official government communication regarding COVID-19. It provides information from the French Government and the World Health Organisation. The chatbot appraises known symptoms and answers questions about government policies. The chatbot has been successful in answering questions on everything starting from the symptoms to the evaluation of COVID-19 risks. Various French cities have been using this chatbot and have found the information provided to be accurate and verified.
Another such AI development is COVID- AI suite of solutions. This has been developed and announced by Nagarro which is a global leader in digital engineering and technology solutions. The new development will help the organizations to kick-start their work and life amid the COVID-19 crisis. These solutions provide powerful workplace interference quickly and effectively and have a prospective to change how we work and interact by ensuring greater health and safety of the employees and visitors. This model can be run on low cost edge devices and can be deployed at a scale in a matter of weeks, with very little overhead. A mechanism is inbuilt which ensures social distancing behaviour, encourage PPE practices such as wearing a mask and also monitors high risk scenarios. It provides video analytics that can help nudge and encourage social distancing behavior. Touch fewer security systems have also been developed to identify, allow and track authorised personnel.
Some of the key recommendations are as follows-
· The National and International data exchange should be encouraged by the AI community, medical community, and developers as this will help them to plan out the problem, identify relevant data, and open datasets.
· AI should not be recognised as a silver bullet. The outputs given by the AI are only as a good as the training data, there are circumstances when diagnostic claims have been asked and some chatbots have given different feedback to questions on symptoms.
· The AI systems should be deployed responsibly and also comply with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) AI Principles as there are concerns regarding the purpose specification with a fear that this data can be re-used in various ways which could contravene privacy and other rights.
· AI-powered monitoring tools should be developed in a way that enables research without sacrificing privacy.
· Harvard Business Review has suggested to use an interactive voice response system and chatbots for patient self-screening.
· Public areas and transportation should be monitored through AI to detect circumstances where people are not complying with the guidelines.
Notwithstanding the tough time we are going through and the enormous sacrifices that people are making, it is possible to say that we have been given a chance to execute useful changes. It is rightly said that "There's always an opportunity with the crisis." With the technology continuously improving our lives, we now need a society that decides whether we want to be scared or be brave. AI is playing a vital role in better understanding as well as addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Artificial Intelligence is an imminent and useful tool to identify early infections due to corona virus and helps in monitoring the patients. It can help the medical community by improving treatment consistency and decision making. Artificial Intelligence, during the pandemic, not only helps the infected people but also ensures proper health monitoring. It also plays a major role in developing proper treatment regimens, policies, drug, and vaccine development. Capabilities of AI are continuously improving and the application will also expand accordingly. The AI has proven to be successful in the office environment as well as the manufacturing facilities.
OECD (2020), OECD AI Observatory, website, https://www.oecd.ai/.
Latest COVID-19 developments in your country with real-time AI-powered news and data at www.oecd.ai/covid
OECD (2020), “OECD monitor of science and innovation policy responses to the Covid-19 crisis”, OECD, Paris, https://stip.oecd.org/Covid.html.
OECD (2020), “ Tracking and tracing COVID : Protecting privacy and data while using apps and biometrics ”, https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/view/?ref=129_129655-7db0lu7dto&title=Tracking-and-Tracing-COVID-Protecting-privacy-and-data-while-using.
OECD (2019), Artificial Intelligence in Society, OECD Publishing Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/eedfee77-en.
OECD (2020), “Tracking and tracing COVID: Protecting privacy and data while using apps and biometrics”,Paris, https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/view/?ref=129_129655-7db0lu7dto&title=Tracking-and-Tracing-COVID-Protecting-privacy-and-data-while-using.
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