The use of Artificial Intelligence in response to the rapidly growing COVID-19 is a growing area of discussion. According to a WHO (World Health Organisation) report, AI and big data played an important role in China’s contend with the outbreak.
Application of technology and AI can largely be implemented to emergency medical response services. Algorithms for predicting the spread of COVID-19, continuous patient monitoring and complex department operations are primary areas of focus. Other areas also include methods to classify and cluster information, track health records, analyze images and deploy robotics for medical tasks that might be dangerous for doctors to perform by themselves.
To help people who want to track their own health, Google’s life-science research arm Verily is developing a small body-worn temperature patch that transmits data to a phone app.
Facebook is already working with researchers at Harvard University’s School of Public Health and the National Tsing Hua University, in Taiwan, collecting and sharing data pertaining to high population areas, people’s movements, infected and nearby areas prone to infection among others which help them forecast the spread of the virus.
Social networking is also helping partners understand how people are talking about the issue online, via tools such as Crowdtangle and Hootsuite, which aggregate social-media posts. In the past, Google search data has been used to track infectious diseases.
It is likely that on platforms like Facebook and Google, a substantial amount of miscommunication regarding the outbreak prevails. Incorrect data, irrelevant methods of cure and unsuitable precautionary measures are flooding the internet. It is, therefore, necessary for these platforms to ensure the correctness of the information it provides. Google said in a statement that its team was “working round the clock to safeguard users from phishing, conspiracy theories, malware and misinformation”.
A simple search for coronavirus or COVID-19 results in an SOS Alert alongside links to help and provide information about the virus. Meanwhile, YouTube is using its homepage to link users to the World Health Organization and other groups, for education and information, and at the same time is working towards removing misleading videos.
Scientists opine that data management platforms and artificial intelligence methods together can help in the required analysis procedure which can also be used to support government decisions in combating COVID-19. Several companies and organisations have taken upon themselves this task. Yet, it still remains a challenge since global data standards are still developing.