As the COVID-19 pandemic gained momentum across the world, countries started to look towards their scientists for a solution. The solution needs both precision and timely results. Artificial intelligence (AI) creates this scope for scientists. It creates simulations, predictive models, and implements other moves to make sure scientists get data to start with and then execute plans for favorable outcomes.
Containing the spread of the virus and finding a cure are both essential in the fight against COVID-19. The number of patients has already reached millions. A further increase will pose difficulties for the containment. Even with a proper cure, reaching out to millions in time is difficult.
How Is the AI Influencing Healthcare Sector?
AI’s scope in the healthcare sector is multifaceted. Finding the right drug is one, but it also charts how the outbreak will impact countries. It covers the mapping of changes in cell structures, spotting signs of the disease in various healthcare images, and gauging mental health during the pandemic attack of people.
- In search of drugs for COVID-19, scientists are using AI in different ways.
- One attempt is trying to find existing drugs that can contain the spread. BenevolentAI has this method as the driving force
- It incorporates scientific literature and biomedical researches in the process
- This is to look for links between the disease and drugs
- AI helps in processing the massive amount of research data
- The method revealed Baricitinib, a drug for rheumatoid arthritis, with the potential to reduce the spread of the virus
- Knowing the structure of COVID-19 in detail will make the fight easier. This will give a better peek into the protein structure and how the virus functions. The knowledge will create a platform that will generate better hypothetical structures.
- DeepMind, a wing of the Alphabet, came up with AlphaFold to study genomes
- This will simplify the understanding of the protein structures of the organism
- It will make the process of disrupting the cell functions easier
- Mapping of the infected cells is essential. This will lead to the discovery of better therapies.
- Coronaviruses use “spike proteins” to invade cells
- The process results in different shapes
- This understanding of these shapes of SARS-Cov-2 has promises of yielding better therapies
- Researchers from the University of Washington made 3D atomic-scale models of the proteins found earlier in the University of Texas Austin. They intend to find a new model to neutralize coronavirus
- One important information that helps countries to prepare better is the knowledge of spreading patterns. Since its outbreak in Wuhan, China, tracking it and predicting its path has helped scientists a lot.
- HealthMap that works with the Boston Children’s Hospital is one of the first major companies to pick up the trail of this disease
- COVID-19 was then just an unrecognized form of pneumonia
- Its further predictions helped in engaging virologists
- It also helped in finding containment measures
- One problem that persists across the world is the test of COVID-19. Shortages of kits are haunting countries as well. Some are even faulty in their diagnosis. This led to the finding of an alternative measure to detect coronavirus infection.
- Canada’s DarwinAI has done a fine job by taking help from artificial intelligence
- The process helps in reading medical images like the X-Ray report of the chest to identify COVID-19 symptoms
- Hospitals with limited staff and kits can use this method to treat people
- They also launched an open-source system COVID-net to provide people assistance
- The pandemic has led to lockdowns in several countries and that, too, for months. This is bound to impact the mental condition of people.
- Researchers from Stanford University have developed a tool where they will gauge the demographic challenges
- They will also look into the economic impact and how young and old are reacting to the crisis
- As a containment measure, social distancing has evolved as an effective process. Startups like Bright.md and others used AI as a part of their structure to provide telemedicine. This is to put a rein on the disease.
The fight against COVID-19 requires the optimal use of all the resources. The effective use of artificial intelligence increased the potentials of both human and latest tools. A lot now depends on timing and how quick governments make decisions.