AI – Empowering Healthcare amid COVID-19 crisis

The swift increase in the outbreak of coronavirus across every nation is pressing its capabilities in medical care and a reminder to us that health transcends all borders.  Countries recently started slow adoption of artificial intelligence in their healthcare industries but with this pandemic, they are accelerating this adoption curve because the number of casualties is greater than the number of medical resources available. Due to these scarce resources governments of various countries are calling for a nationwide lockdown to limit the number of the virus spread. Countries like Iran, Pakistan, Italy, Poland, Africa and others currently in the developing stage, are facing multiple healthcare challenges in this fight against coronavirus.

Medical data collected is too huge for human intelligence to handle this is where AI plays a pivotal role. AI is trained to identify and understand patterns from big data and acts as a trump card in saving the entire humanity from this crisis.  With the help of AI, medical facilities can effectively use their limited essential supplies & medical staff to contain a situation like COVID-19. AI can predict the sudden increase in demand on healthcare services which will help them know what services are required to treat the infected patients.

Artificial intelligence is a key resource in healthcare as it can reap actionable insights from huge amounts of medical data, predict the trends, patterns of the virus spread and can make important decisions that can save millions of human lives in different parts of the world.

Hospitals are using AI to screen and classify infected patients and also identify the ones who are most likely to develop coronavirus symptoms. AI-powered cameras and drones are being used by the medical staff to scan the faces to check the temperature by maintaining a social distancing because of the virus’s ability to communicate through physical contact. In today’s world, the majority of the tech-savvy people are using gadgets like fitness tracking watches or apps related to physical monitor. AI can track these data, learn about the person’s health from the data and help identify potential people that can easily get affected or are already infected from the virus based on their health score. Medicals, as well as health tech companies, are predominantly using AI in their regions to identify infected people, people came in contact with infected people and also tracking the medical supply chain to stay alert about the usage & reduction in the health supplies in coming time.

AI applications in healthcare are not limited only to the patient’s health conditions but also for the health workers who are fighting their day and night to treat the patients to end this pandemic. Researchers in the San Francisco’s University of California are using Oura’s wearable rings designed using AI to track COVID-19 symptoms in the health of the healthcare workers. It captures the early symptoms of the illness especially for the healthcare workers who are high at risk of contracting the virus.  The AI algorithm in the ring measures primarily two signs that include elevated heart rate & temperature above 99.1 degrees Fahrenheit so that hospitals can isolate those workers for the operations & provide them with proper medical care.

Healthcare professionals around various nations are now switching on to AI capabilities to find a cure against this deadly virus. While the global pandemic outbreak is increasing the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths across nations, many biotech firms are creating drugs to target the virus; thanks to AI, AI is helping firms and scientists find a vaccine. Vaccines imitate an infection, causing the production of defensive white blood cells and antigens.  AI is not only suggesting components of a vaccine by understanding protein structures, but it is also useful in the development of subunit and nucleic acid vaccines.

Data scientists are using machine learning to screen for antibodies that can kill coronavirus with the highest success probability score. Unlike the traditional way of discovering antibodies in the labs that take years of experiments and trials before finding the right one, machine learning algorithms can identify antibodies that can beat the virus in a matter of weeks reducing the time and cost associated with it.  AI is accelerating the development of antibodies and vaccines with the help of ML that can scan through various existing drugs to see if any of the molecular compounds in those drugs can be reused with a mix n match with other drug compounds and develop a drug to fight the current as well as the future outbreaks. Nine potential drugs have been identified by an AI-platform out of which six are already approved in many countries are being used by doctors to treat the infected patients helping to recover fast.

Conversational AI is being used by some of the healthcare companies to provide quick information about COVID to the public hence making the work of a doctor much easier in delivering the severities of contracting the disease. The information is gathered from several websites and social media channels. The conversational AI engine is trained using information collected from authorized sources to give accurate results. Deep learning is used to study information available in an unorganized/unstructured format. Here conversational AI isn’t a replacement for a doctor but it aids them to stay updated about COVID developments. Conversational AI can learn quickly and pick up buzzwords related to the objective more briskly than any other technologies & also it provides real-time information that helps the public to stay up-to-date about the outbreak news.

AI is integrated into various healthcare systems, machines & devices to empower it with the automation with a maximum level of accuracy. If AI is engineered and trained with more quality healthcare data including MRI & CT scan images, it would be easier to predict & combat such deadly diseases in the future.

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