Slowing the spread of COVID-19, a global pandemic that has the entire world in its spate right now remains a pressing concern for governments and medical institutions. Even as a majority of the nations have imposed lockdowns to prevent the spread of infection from spiralling out of control, experts are turning to technology for a way out of this problem. A combination of tech tools such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotics, imaging technologies and machine vision are being leveraged to effectively control the virus transmission and treat the affected.
Let’s take a closer look at the role of AI and other technologies in combatting COVID-19:
Machine Learning for Vaccine Development
Everyone’s hopes are pinned on the development of a vaccine that can bolster our immune systems to fight this highly contagious viral disease. However, the process of vaccine development is often long-drawn and tedious, involving laboratory experiments, clinical trials and drug approval before mass production can begin.
Machine learning is being tapped into to help scientists analyse suitable materials for vaccines creation to help speed along the process. ML and deep learning models are being used to examine different protein structures and the impact they can have on the coronavirus strain. This can help quickly zero-in on the right substance for vaccine development by eliminating the non-productive alternatives.
Machine Vision Systems for Maintaining Hygiene
Hygiene and social distancing practices have been our strongest allies in the face of this pandemic. That’s why machine vision systems are being used to enforce norms such as avoiding contact, wearing masks and practising good hand hygiene. These vision system can also be used to prevent massive community outbreaks by detecting areas where people are at most risk of getting exposed. This, coupled with thermal sensors to evaluate the health parameters of people travelling to or from such areas, can prove vital for mitigating the pandemic. To learn more about how machine vision systems work, click here.
AI for Predicting Risks and Survival Rates
AI is being used to analyse the data available on COVID-19 and make predictions about people’s survival rates and the risk of developing severe complications from the virus infection. AI algorithms can be trained to ascertain the likelihood of a person needing intensive care or dying from COVID-19.
Factors such as medical history, co-morbidities, household composition, living conditions and so on are being taken into account to make these predictions. For instance, a healthy young patient who appears to be typically ‘low risk’ may be classified as ‘high risk’, if they cohabitate with the infirm or old, who are at a high risk of getting infected. This way, AI facilitates more pointed, accurate and customised prediction on risks and survival rate.
Robots for Contactless Testing
Doctors and other medical practitioners are exposed to an elevated risk of contracting the infection. Tending to multiple corona positive patients every day makes them more vulnerable. To protect the medical community, AI-powered robots are being deployed to take over contact-based procedures such as testing, taking temperatures and so on. Besides, robots are also being used to disinfect the area in medical centres and hospitals that see a high footfall. This helps rein in the risk of infection spread.
These interventions on the micro and macro levels can go a long way in breaking the chain of transmission and turning the tide of corona-positive cases.
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