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Top 10 AI applications in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Apr 22

March 18th 2020




The COVID -19 pandemic is impacting everyone and every business. Around the world, researchers, academics, scientists, entrepreneurs, startups are working on solutions around the clock. We have selected 10 top Artificial Intelligence applications in fighting the pandemic, from prevention, diagnosing, to treating, tracking and forecasting. I believe great challenges unite us all. We are human, we are ONE.


A big thank you to everyone who is on the forefront fighting the virus to protect us all.


1.Prevention

Toronto-based AI platform BlueDot‘s software-as-a-service for infectious disease tracking first noticed a number of “unusual pneumonia” cases near a market in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 30, 9 days before the World Health Organization issued its first statement about the virus as a threat. BlueDot's predictive ability comes from data it collects outside official health care sources; the worldwide movements of more than four billion travelers on commercial flights every year; human, animal and insect population data; climate data from satellites; and local information from journalists and healthcare workers, pouring through 100,000 online articles each day spanning 65 languages.

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Medical Home Network (MHN), an organization serving patients in the Chicago area, is using artificial intelligence to identify individuals who have a heightened vulnerability to severe complications from COVID-19. MHN is leveraging an AI-based predictive analytics model to prioritize care management outreach to patients most at risk from the virus with a special focus on “socially isolated” people without nearby friends or family in an effort to proactively educate and offer assistance to people in regards to COVID-19.

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MicroMultiCopter Aero Technology, a Chinese high-tech enterprise specializing multi-rotor drones’  AI-assisted drones are being used in China to spray disinfectant in public places and sense each person in a crowd through high-accuracy infrared for temperature assessment. It also enables identification of those who doesn't wear masks in public places - found and dispersed by the commanders through onboard megaphones. This has been widely used in crowded areas to assist in “onsite management” and prevention of further spread of the virus

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2. Diagnosis

China's Alibaba claims that its algorithm trained on CT Scans uses sample data from more than 5,000 confirmed cases to diagnose corona virus differences in CT scans through computed tomography scans of the chest, tapping into deep learning to study patterns of infection with an accuracy of up to 96% in only 20 seconds - faster than the 20 minutes it might normally take a doctor. The AI was developed by Alibaba’s research & innovation institute;  Damo Academy.

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Software created by Beijing startup Infervision was used in over 34 hospitals during the first outbreak in China on more than 32,000 potential cases to expedite diagnosis. Infervision’s AI software looks at lung CT scans to quickly detect lesions, and measure their volume, shape, and density to help doctors refer potential positive patients for diagnosis of the disease. The software also learns, with more scans helping the algorithm improves accuracy.

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Biofourmis, a developer of digital therapeutics aimed at personalized care, says its technology is being used in a remote-monitoring and disease-surveillance program in Hong Kong involving patients with diagnosed or suspected novel corona virus disease. The program is administered by the University of Hong Kong. Patients with COVID-19 deterioration commonly exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, all of which can be closely monitored through related physiological parameters via Biofourmis’s biosensor Everion, which is being worn on the arm by patients quarantined in their homes or clinical settings.

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3.Treatment

Insilico Medicine is a company focused on disease prevention through artificial intelligence. Insilico Medicine is developing and applying next-generation artificial intelligence and deep learning approaches to every step of the drug discovery and drug development process. It is currently developing a technology that will inform doctors about molecules that can fight the corona virus. After recently analyzing molecules, the system of Insilico Medicine, is able to provide feedback on those that are suitable to fight the coronavirus. The start-up is currently developing a database of information in vaccine development projects.

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Beijing based Baidu has shared its Linearfold algorithm – which can predict the COVID-19’s secondary RNA structure – to medical and scientific groups that are analyzing the virus and working on a vaccine. The algorithm used by Baidu’s AI scientists reduces the overall analysis from 55 minutes to to 27 seconds, a 120 times faster!

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4.Tracking

Healthmap, a Harvard Medical School-developed artificial intelligence technology that tracks infectious diseases, scrapes information about new outbreaks from online news reports, chatrooms and more. Healthmap then organizes that previously disparate data, generating visualizations that show how and where communicable diseases like the coronavirus are spreading. Healthmap is now being used as a data source in the Early Alerting and Reporting project that aims to quickly detect biological threats around the world and also used in the WHO’s Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources initiative, which is intended to rapidly pick up on possible public health threats.

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5.Recovery

Startups, such as WeBank in China, have taken AI even further and are using it for predicting the upcoming recovery of the Chinese economy from the crisis caused by COVID-19. Researchers on WeBank’s AI Moonshot Team have taken a deep learning system developed to detect solar panel installations from satellite imagery and repurposed it to track China’s economic recovery from the novel coronavirus outbreak. WeBank is a private Chinese online banking company founded by Tencent.

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Published by Lin Gong-Deutschmann

Co-Founder at Artificial Intelligence Academy (AI Academy)

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