AI Helps Fight Against COVID-19

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SEATTLE, Washington — The fight against COVID-19 has not been an easy one, especially for those in developing countries. The virus has overrun the world, developing and developed countries alike. However, developed countries typically have access to medical facilities, technologies and training that developing nations do not. To fill gaps in healthcare access and quality, technological developers have created various methods to slow or stop the spread of the virus in developing nations. One of the most valuable so far is Artificial Intelligence (AI).

How AI Fights COVID-19

Medical technicians have utilized AI, which imitates human intelligence, in medical science for many years. The software can also interface with various other technological devices. One such piece of technology is the mobile phone. Since digital and telecommunications infrastructure are more essential now than ever due to social distancing, mobile phones have been extensively integrated with AI data collection. As a result, officials can use data collected by the AI in viral models to identify the infection’s origin and the rate of spread.

The software uses network patterns and creates valuable awareness while taking privacy into account. It does this by eliminating information related to the customer and clustering the processed data over set time intervals. With prevalent population density statistics, governments may determine the correct time to enforce social distancing policies, allowing governments to plan careful reopening. Beyond that, telemedicine and telehealth have become precious tools for healthcare professions to run diagnostics and provide treatment advice from a distance.

The network is split up into three sections.

  1. The first is the network’s status and layout, which would be the quantity of traffic traveling through cell towers in a given area.
  2. The second is consumer connection administrative data, consisting of age and gender categories, displaying the types of services a customer might need.
  3. The third is event data, which is recorded information from network devices such as SMS and phone calls.

Implementing AI Data Analysis

The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) has collaborated with various entrepreneurs and organizations to fight against COVID-19 through AI data collection. Firstly, showing the capacity of calls to emergency services allows for better network traffic monitoring. This can work as a substitute for public attitude statistics and may also help officials evaluate health services’ stress levels. Secondly, governments can identify contagious areas and develop lockdown strategies with population maps that give up-to-date demographics for various regions. Thirdly, the origin-destination models display the proportion of movement between areas, creating network models designed to foresee spreads of infection. Fourthly, the mobility estimate gives the standard amount of maneuverability in given regions. These estimates help detect the impact of movement limitations and when to loosen them, providing governments with the means to make educated decisions on what to do in the fight against COVID-19.

Aside from demographic analysis, just before the start of the pandemic, AI had already discovered a new form of pneumonia in China. Soon after, the virus causing that pneumonia spread across the globe. The software has improved diagnostic time through the Beijing-based medical data analysis company LinkingMed. A CT scan, with the help of AI analysis, can now diagnose those with pneumonia in under a minute. The results are 92% accurate and have a 97% recall rate.

Integrating AI into Developing Countries

Impoverished nations with limited diagnostic testing abilities struggle to efficiently test COVID-19 patients. This can cause a rise in illnesses if medical officials cannot quickly quarantine and treat the infected. Therefore, AI-based clinical decision supports (CDS) can provide identification and assist in the treatment of the virus. The structure of CDS consists of data that is created every minute, strengthened by authentic data infrastructure.

Many developing nations, unfortunately, suffer from a phenomenon known as “brain drain.” This means they have few medically trained professionals since many have left for better pay in developed countries. This issue had plagued impoverished nations for decades before the pandemic, crippling healthcare systems and stymying domestic medical innovation. Now with COVID-19, however, developing countries’ healthcare systems are beyond overwhelmed. Therefore, further implementation of AI-assisted medical technology would assist in more efficient and accurate COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment for those who lack extensive medical training.

Utilizing AI data collection would allow developing nations’ local governments to monitor high-transmission times throughout days, weeks and months and plan restrictions accordingly. As much as AI has already helped the world in the fight against COVID-19, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with regard to the software’s potential.

Shalman Ahmed
Photo: Unsplash

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