Role of AI in the Fight against COVID-19
The contribution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been explored in this global health crisis. Deep learning tools which are components of AI have shown great results to screen, predict, and manage the COVID-19 cases in order to control the inception and spread of the infection as much as possible. AI algorithms have been found to have a promising potential to be time-saving to critically minimize the severity and spread of the disease.
What AI Can Do?
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic is posing a grave danger to humanity. There have been serious pandemics caused by pathogenic organisms before and COVID-19 is not the last. We should be prepared for any such pandemics in the future. For this purpose, researchers are working hard to collect as much data as possible about the COVID-19. Research institutions across the globe are collaborating with each other to gather data and develop solutions.
In light of this, AI has been significantly meritorious in serving as a tool to perform the following tasks efficiently:
- Identification of high-risk patients
- Screening and diagnosis
- AI-based contact tracing
- AI in patient care
- Better resource management
1. AI and Identification of High-Risk Patients
AI has significant potential in the prediction of the risk of COVID-19 infection and its complications. Researchers are working on developing the machine learning (ML) based initial vulnerability index for identification of high-risk patients. Multiple studies are ongoing on developing advanced AI applications that will hopefully improve the data reliability and quality for infection risk prediction with the passage of time
2. Screening and Diagnosis
Face scans for patient screening
AI has also come out to be helpful in screening people for fever through face scans. Hospitals in Israel and Florida have employed automatic face scans to screen thousands of patients entering the hospital at a glance. Independently, AI might not be very strong and beneficial. However, when millions of people are involved, like in this COVID-19 pandemic, it acts as a very strong tool to help screen and identify high-risk patients.
Use of wearable technology
Apple launched its Apple watch series 6 with the introduction of some tremendous additional features to assist in diagnosing COVID-19 patients. Along with the remote ECG monitoring tool, the most remarkable feature of the Apple watch series 6 is an addition of blood oxygen sensor, which is a cutting-edge addition from Apple due to an immense need in current times. Blood oxygen saturation is in the biggest spot during the COVID-19 pandemic that placed Apple watch series 6 in highlights.
3. AI-based Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is a powerful monitoring component for combating an infectious disease like COVID-19. TraceTogether, Alipay Health Code, Immuni, and CoronApp are examples of AI-based contact tracing apps that are being used widely amidst pandemic. These apps work on three basic steps i.e. contact identification, contact listing, and contact follow-up.
4. AI in Patient Care
Artificial intelligence is also playing a remarkable role in COVID-19 patient care. Biofourmis developed a latest RPM (remote patient monitoring) tool as a component of its hospital-at-home solutions. It has a biosensor and an AI application to speed up the diagnosis and interventions for COVID-19 patients.
5. Better Resource Management
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a shortage of protective gear, ventilators, and medicines. Hospital beds and ICUs are overburdened throughout the world. Hospitals can make use of the forecasting tools driven by AI in order to better manage the resources. For this purpose, Qventus has designed AI-driven software, which aims to support the hospitals during the pandemic. It also forecasts the effects of the pandemic on the capacity of the hospitals such as the availability of beds, ventilators, and ICUs.
AI is a remarkable way to combat the current pandemic. If it is employed efficiently and coupled with the expertise of the healthcare professionals, a lot of money, energy, and time can be saved.