Artificial Intelligence: Our Next Weapon Against COVID-19

The Spread of Coronavirus

What caused this massive outbreak?

We had no idea about SARS, we had no idea about MERS, we had no idea about Zika and now this COVID19. We have no idea what’s going to pop up next, but we have systems in place that can help us see where it pops up first.
So that we get us a little bit of time to prepare if we don’t happen to be unlucky enough to be in the city where it first appeared.

From a couple of people sniffling to a global pandemic, there are more than a single reason for this massive outbreak.

A novel strain of coronavirus — SARS-CoV-2 — was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province with a population of 11 million, after an outbreak of pneumonia without an obvious cause.

The infection has now spread to more than 200 nations and regions over the globe and was portrayed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.

Moreover, the scenario of this outbreak in many regions has completely changed over the past few weeks. There is a spike in the number of COVID positive cases as well as deaths due to it.

PMC authorities said after a portion of the controls were loose, more cases are presently being accounted for from outside the containment zones than from inside the zones.

This is unlike anything we have seen before. WHO officials have said that,

“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,”

I’ve seen many blogs and articles saying the artificial intelligence (AI) will save the humankind from the coronavirus pandemic. But let me clear this out for you, AI will not kill the virus or reduce its impact. However, it can potentially help in flattening the curve.

We all now know that this virus cannot be contained, we can only slow down the spread.

We have to learn to live with the virus, as the Modi government addressed the country that “we have to learn to live with the virus”.
But that doesn’t mean we should lose hope.

We severely need to hinder the pace of the infection spread in every single faction to give nearby medical clinics time to manage both the contaminated patients and the ability to deal with the increasing heaps of patients.

How AI is helping in the fight against Covid19?

At this time Machine learning is helping leaders make more informed decisions in the face of COVID-19.

AI is now being prevalently used in various Health Care applications and has proven to be beneficial.

AI is helping in vaccination development including clinical trials and commercialization. It is used to find the right vaccinations faster by analyzing prior ones based on similarity measures of protein structures.

Also, it helps to unravel the disease and answer some critical questions related to it. Also, AI is helping in post-treatment which includes post-care and insurance payments. Image recognition can be used to detect the virus by using chest x-ray scanning systems.

Researchers are working on a way to transfer immunity, helping people fight the virus before they even get infected. Physicians believe, decisions must be guided by science and data, and for that, we must understand data in context.

‘Software-based diagnostic tools can serve as a valuable, virtual second opinion for medical professionals, especially in parts of the world where medical teams are short-staffed,’

-Barath Narayanan, a scientist at the University of Dayton Research Institute.

There is a huge amount of information about people talking about cases, reporting on events. If we can start to mine that information with new AI tools we can actually get important signals of things happening in populations that would be important from a response perspective.

That information in itself can be incredibly valuable for the WHO, for public health agencies like the CDC as they really try to get a grip on how this outbreak is evolving. There is a whole world of information that we can get from mining these sorts of unconventional sources.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Twitter data, Facebook information, online blogs, and chat rooms, etc can be a viable resource of information. Even while interacting with each other people leave some traces that are health-related and can help us get insights into important disease events like emerging infectious diseases.

As the effect of the Coronavirus is being felt across almost all businesses and specialties, it’s pivotal to deal with our data cleanliness. With social distancing strategies set up, virtual correspondence has become a significant wellspring of both data and deception.
This needs to be taken under serious consideration, as the spread of phony news and bogus information about the disease can drastically affect the psychological wellness of thousands of individuals remaining under severe home lockdown for quite a long time now.

So, I in coordination with a few of my college cliques had previously developed a dashboard that could analyze the sentiment regarding any keyword you input.
During this situation, we realized that our project could be beneficial in addressing many major decisions in the Coronavirus context.
This project can be used to track misinformation about the Coronavirus on Twitter. The dashboard adds visibility into Twitter posts and discussions around the pandemic by verifying the quality of information being shared.

We can collect streaming data through the Twitter API and provide an analysis of topic clusters and social sentiments related to hashtags such as #socialdistancing and #workfromhome.

By tracking emerging hashtags over time and doing time-sensitive analysis of sentiments, the project provides a method for the detection of fake, misleading, or clickbait content from Twitter information cascades.

During the past, Google search data is said to have used trackers that helped tracked infectious disease.

If interested, you can reach me out through mail for project details.


Artificial Intelligence is an upcoming and useful tool and has many potential applications in the healthcare sector. In the future, AI will play a vital role in providing more predictive and preventive healthcare.

Stay home, stay safe.

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