We are facing one of the worst pandemics the world has suffered in recent decades, and yet we have never been better prepared to stop an illness. And not only because we have the best doctors or brilliant scientists on our side, but because for the first time technology is going to become a fundamental ally. The fact is something called “Artificial Intelligence” and that it has already been shown to work is one of our best weapons. But how can AI help us deal with a virus? Here are some hints.
The better we are at identifying and following the “movements” of the virus, the better we will be at fighting it. By analyzing news sources, content published on social networks or publications made by different governments, we will first learn to detect new outbreaks of the disease, before we can act. One of the most advanced companies in this field is the startup BlueDot, whose AI algorithms were in fact able to detect the presence of the virus in Wuhan several days before it was confirmed by Chinese authorities.
Another key to stopping the virus is being able to carry out early tests, so that the first symptoms can be directly related to those of the disease. Companies like Infervision are working in this field with the Chinese giant Alibaba.
Thanks to the use of Big Data, the patient’s history, the community in which he is, the initial symptoms he presents, etc. can be determined with a success rate greater than 90% if that person has already been infected or is willing to have it, so treatment procedures can be started even before obtaining the results from medical laboratories.
It is perhaps the most controversial use of this technology, but it works and it is very useful. This solution aims to develop or adapt facial recognition systems to be able to identify on the street or in closed spaces (a shopping center for example), if a person shows external signs of being able to suffer from this disease. By crossing this facial recognition as the person’s background and all available information about the area in which they live, a reasonable probability estimate can be made.
A similar technology is the one included in the “smart helmets” worn by policemen in Sichuan province and that allows them to identify people with fever; or the already famous smart code that has been assigned to each citizen of the affected provinces in the Asian country and that thanks to the use of Big Data identifies the potential risk of suffering the disease based on the person’s travel history.
Asian discipline and its conviction for digital technology have led big data to be the ideal weapon to beat COVID-19. The Asian giant, China, has put its entire technological arsenal at the service of health. With more than 1,300 million inhabitants, the penetration of smartphones among its population is high. The easiest way to control citizens is through an application.
In it, citizens must fill in some personal data, explain if they have any symptoms or if they have been somewhere affected by the epidemic for the last fourteen days.
The system generates a QR code according to the level of risk you have of contracting the infection. In addition, it also records the location of the users, so that the authorities can know at any time if someone infected is moving freely around the city.
Another country that has used the technology to combat the coronavirus has been South Korea. Since the outbreak began in China, South Korea immediately implemented the application that detects by means of a QR code whether a person is infected or not. In this way they can monitor people the 14 days of quarantine daily.
At airports, authorities made people download the app immediately, before leaving the scene.
Despite being the main focus of those affected outside China, in South Korea the virus has advanced more slowly, and its mortality is very low compared to other countries. Its success is due in large part to such application and accounts for how the technology paid off against the coronavirus.
Using this application, which allowed them to monitor visitors from dangerous areas, was so useful that the government used it to manage the quarantine of more than 30,000 people spread across the country.
Being able to control patients, through this application, at all times during the day and without mobilizing medical personnel was very helpful. In addition, the GPS location ensures that people do not leave the assigned place of isolation.
Along with municipal and other government authorities in the central region of Argentina, we are already contributing our AI capabilities by developing algorithms and applications in order to mitigate the impact and progress of this disease, helping these institutions with data analysis and predictions to assist in decision-making and execute them before possible overflows of public infrastructure. This prediction will help create field hospitals in a timely manner; and with the necessary dimensions on what is predicted. In addition, it allows planning the affected health personnel based on these results.
In these solutions, we use time series forecasting algorithms for the prediction in timelines “take the current cases of: suspects, positives, close contacts, deceased and recovered” and generate a prediction for the next 12 days.
In addition, we are working on other specific software solutions such as the development of mobile applications to combat Coronavirus, similar to those successfully implemented in South Korea (previously mentioned), in order to track infected patients and prevent spread in the region.
DiviDev offers you end-to-end solutions or complete and extended teams that can be easily integrated and work hand in hand with you to offer highly valuable features of your product.
We have certified experts who can help you explore the best artificial intelligence opportunities to combat COVID-19 or help companies in their transformations caused by this change in habits and routines revolutionized by this pandemic. Likewise, it can help capture new markets, increase revenue, improve profitability, and expand brand reach. As an end-to-end software development provider, we recognize the promise of this intelligent game-changing platform integration, designed to maximize internal efficiency, analyze data effectively, and improve customer experience.
DiviDev is ready to serve clients interested in taking advantage of this technology.