In the age of big data, quantum computing and evergrowing AI technology we no longer fight viruses with iodized ointment and prevention pamphlets. We use actual data science and Artificial Intelligence in order to predict future virus outbreaks, locate the most contaminated areas and even determine possible infected using natural language processing. 

So let’s look into how to fight the latest and the scariest of all infections – coronavirus (COVID-19) – using Artificial Intelligence and data science. Since the coronavirus outbreak, the brightest minds of the planet have been working together in order to put an end to this deadly disease. 

Let’s find out what they have developed.  

Using AI and Data Science to Fight the Coronavirus Outbreak

Artificial Intelligence Virus Alert

In an article dedicated to how to fight coronavirus using data science and AI technology, it’s important to mention a largely unknown fact – it was AI who first discovered a coronavirus epidemic. 

Right before the new year has begun, on December 30, BlueDot, a Canadian automated Infectious disease surveillance platform, has sent the first notification to its customers about the then only emerging coronavirus disease. Unlike other AI-based platforms, BlueDot does not analyze social media posts calling them “messy”, but uses its Artificial intelligence power to assess a ton of data sources, amounting to roughly 100,000 news reports in over 65 languages every day. 

BlueDot algorithm not only recognized first “unexplained pneumonia” in Wuhan as a threat, but also used the access to global airline ticketing data in order to accurately predict its spread to Bangkok, Seoul, and Taipei. Utilizing big data analytics presented in this case is crucial in taming any new epidemic – embedding Artificial Intelligence in healthcare alarmed people about the danger 10 days before the World Health Organization (WHO) did.

Artificial Intelligence Risk Profiling

Malaysian firm with the long name of “MYeg Services Berhad” has recently developed an Artificial Intelligence solution that maps risk for Chinese visitors. If you are brave enough to visit China at this time, this data analytics tool will analyze historical geolocation and perform anomaly tracking for you.

Although this algorithm might not be in demand for the lack of those willing to explore China given the current state of events, it is highly important for those currently residing in it. This solution uses information on public transport, locations with infections incidences and other data in order to alert travellers and citizens of the possible danger zones beforehand. 

It also monitors heart rate and blood pressure of its users, signalling to healthcare authorities of any abnormalities and enabling the execution of necessary measures immediately. 

Artificial Intelligence and Search Engines

The University of Southampton in England, which resides among the top 100 universities globally, also participates in fighting against the coronavirus outbreak. The institution is using Artificial Intelligence to analyze data from the search engines and outline the epidemic. 

Researchers at Southampton University report this AI-based data analytics program allows them to study the coronavirus (COVID-19) moving pattern from its birth in Wuhan and to its spread to the outside world. 

Their work will greatly assist authorities in charge of preparation for the next spike of the said virus. It will also help to deeply understand and therefore combat coronavirus more efficiently before it spreads to the currently untouched by the virus areas.

Coronavirus and Natural Language Processing 

The widely famous Harvard Medical School (HMS) is using big data analytics in an attempt to fight the deadly virus, or at least prevent coronavirus from rapidly spreading further. HMS is using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning techniques to locate the current area of a coronavirus outbreak.

Scientists from Harvard Medical School are collecting data from patient records, social media posts and public health institutions and feeding it to their AI solution. As a result, researchers have access to real-time information concerning coronavirus and are able to make precise conclusions based on it.

For example, collecting all web-wide information on coronavirus and analyzing it using natural language processing allows scientists to differentiate between those simply discussing the disease but not infected, and those possessing the first coronavirus symptoms and needing urgent medical treatment. 

Employing natural language processing to determine potential coronavirus victims is a great step forward in preventing further coronavirus outbreak, which would have not been possible without data science and Artificial Intelligence technologies. By the way, here’s a great article on which AI technologies you can start using to enhance your business – 5 Types of Artificial Intelligence for Your Business Benefits.

Artificial Intelligence-based Coronavirus Cure

Every given healthcare professional will tell you that a new cure takes years to develop, test and get approved before it can get on the shelves of your local drugstore. But in times of deadly virus outbreak, we do not possess such ultimate luxury. 

So in order to help find coronavirus treatment, British scientists brought Artificial Intelligence into healthcare. Researchers at the Artificial Intelligence startup called Benevolent AI are using their data analytics program not to develop a new coronavirus cure, but to find it among existing ones.

Benevolent AI is looking for a drug that has already been approved and can block the coronavirus infection process. In order to do that, researchers took the coronaviruses properties as the blueprints, while feeding their AI healthcare solution with all medical data, drug descriptions and scientific literature available and relevant to the coronavirus case. 

Conclusion

The ultimate drug to fight coronavirus is yet to be found. But by looking at the examples above it is easy to assume when it arises it will likely be not without help from data science and Artificial Intelligence.

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