Would you allow a machine to treat you for coronavirus or check whether you stick to lockdown restrictions? Not sure? Impressively, AI occurs to be an effective tool in the fight against the novel coronavirus. You may ask how this cutting-edge tech helps healthcare professionals and public officials prevent the spread of the disease. We have an answer to your question!
We have heard a lot about COVID-19 these days: its symptomatic, its progression, and its effect on the global economy, but the agenda is also focused on the means that can help combat the virus including innovative technologies such as AI.
So, as a non-traditional tool, AI helps fight the pandemic. But since this technology is brand-new, we need some time to check its efficiency. Now, let’s see how it works.
AI Outbreak Prevents Virus Spreading
Cameras Equipped with AI
Security cameras equipped with AI-based software allow monitoring and detecting if citizens comply with restriction measures. As we know, there are three mandatory regulations for public safety:
- social distancing: no less than six feet between individuals is allowed;
- face mask: it is prohibited to visit public places and even go out without a face mask;
- normal body temperature: if the body temperature is higher than 98°F, you have to stay home and limit social interactions.
AI comes as an effective tool to stop the spread of the disease and ensure citizens comply with the regulations. Therefore, to keep pandemic under control, governments use a number of automated tools, including AI-based security cameras.
Security cameras are connected to CCTV networks that make real-time surveillance possible. They immediately transmits the data to governmental representatives. In their turn, they can immediately act to prevent cases of misconduct. For instance, China successfully utilizes facial recognition cameras for tracking people who do not adhere to confinement and send them to self-quarantine.
AI-enabled software detects non-compliances through the video feed measuring the distance between people, and if it is less than 1 meter, the software automatically raises the alarm. Artificial intelligence acts the same way as it works to detect people without face masks, and those whose temperature is higher than 99°F (thermal cameras help screen people’s temperature).
AI For Healthcare Professionals
Test Kits Equipped with AI
Let’s do some math. Express test provides results in 10-15 minutes, but in some cases they might be inaccurate. The method of Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) gives results in 5-7 hours. Meanwhile, innovative aid kits are a way to get results within 4 hours. The winner is obvious.
Though the duration difference between innovative kits and PCR is insignificant, the test kits allow accelerating the progress in the war against COVID-19. Since AI is an integral part of them, it makes the process of the kits' distribution easier and helps elaborate samples gathered by the kits faster.
South Korean biotech companies named SolGent and Seegene have designed the test kits that require only two steps to receive timely and accurate results:
- Healthcare workers take samples by swabbing the patient's nose and throat.
- Medical workers send samples to a lab to apply PCR.
And within 4 hours, the results are in your hands.
PCR aims to amplify a specific genetic sequence from COVID-19 to generate copies of genetic segments. Still, the most important here is that AI assists in designing these test kits. SolGent and Seegene used automated test development systems to be able to distribute kits to all the affected regions.
Besides, an AI-based software called Axial quickly decrypts the data obtained by the test kits; 10 seconds is all it needs. The AI software is connected to CT (computed tomography) scans, which allows elaborating the stored scan images and comparing them with new ones. The aim of this AI is to detect whether you have the virus in your organism.
AI Detects COVID-19 X-Rays
Radiography Equipped with AI
Enthusiastic radiologists, who are also interested in applications of AI in healthcare, came up with an idea of how to apply software in hospitals. Currently, the healthcare industry experiences staff shortages and overwhelming patient loads. It becomes more and more challenging to see a vast number of patients every day. Usually, patients wait about 6 hours or even more to get results on their x-rays. AI in healthcare has the potential to make the jobs of radiologists easier.
AI-enabled software is up to interpret images and diagnose you with a disease almost accurately. Just have a look at a neural-network application CheXNet. You just need to open the CheXNet app, take a picture of your x-ray, and voila, within a few seconds, the app outputs all diseases that you possibly have. Importantly, they are sorted by the order from the most likely to least likely, so you know what specialist to address.
Another x-ray system called qXR has originally detected the varieties of lung abnormalities. But after the outburst of coronavirus, this AI technology has taught itself to identify the symptoms of pneumonia caused by this deadly virus. As a result, qXR distinguishes between COVID and non-COVID x-ray samples with an impressive accuracy of 95%.
With the help of deep learning, AI has trained itself to recognize patterns and identify diseases in new x-rays. So, normally done by doctors, x-ray analysis can now be successfully managed by machines.
AI Helps Design a Vaccine
AI Prediction Platforms
As we know, drug discovery is a freakishly complex and expensive process that, in addition, is time-consuming. The coronavirus crisis hovers around the corner, which means we should act quickly and confidently. The pandemic pushes bright minds to dive into the tedious process of seeking this elixir of life - aka vaccine. Currently, scientific teams around the globe including China, US, and UK are developing 70 vaccines, and only 3 of them have been tested on people. To get the potent vaccine, it takes about 10-15 years, but scientists expect to have it ready at least in 1 year. Here is where AI will come in handy.
After the outburst of COVID-19 in Wuhan, Chinese scientists analyzed the data they had and uploaded the virus’ genetic sequence to a public database. This noble act has helped scientists throughout the world to start designing a vaccine. In this chase for a vaccine, AI is a receipt for taking shortcuts.
With the help of the coronavirus’ sequence database, AI prediction platforms analyze thousands of sequences within a short timespan and choose the most life-sustaining.
Then, instead of an actual sample of the virus, injections send so-called instructions to cells in the human body. They encourage these cells to produce antigen proteins, which aims to defeat the virus. The instructions are transmitted in the form of RNA (or DNA), which are molecules that contain the code of building proteins. This high-tech approach is time-saving since scientists do not have to grow the whole virus.
Moderna, a start-up based in the US, aims to reduce the time for vaccine development with the help of bioinformatics. This approach involves the implementation of AI technology to analyze vast volumes of data and distinguishing particular patterns of the coronavirus segment to find the effective vaccine.
Are you still doubting the efficiency of AI in the fight against COVID-19?
We bet you lost most of your qualms after reading this article. And now, you may be mulling over the possibility of implementing AI in your business. It is high time for you to adopt AI and make a positive impact on public health. AI outbreak is an ambitious means on the “battlefield” created by coronavirus.
So, stay safe, promote social distancing, and don’t forget about new technologies that might make your life significantly easier. Contact LITSLINK, a top software development company, and let us help you to develop a unique AI-based product that will successfully be implemented in the healthcare field.