Leveraging AI to combat COVID-19
Healthcare Radius|August 2020
How AI is being harnessed for diagnostics as well as drug discovery and re-positioning

While the number of Coronavirus cases in India and around the world has been growing exponentially, researchers are attempting to learn more about SARS-CoV-2, develop a vaccine as well as improve on the medication and augment the testing process, making it faster and more accurate. Artificial intelligence (AI), which was often dubbed as a much-hyped tool, is being harnessed like never before in this endevaour, be it for monitoring, screening of patients to drug discovery and repositioning.

Said, Ashwin Mittal, CEO, Course5 Intelligence, “The global fight against COVID-19 has found powerful tools in the form AI, Machine Learning, Big Data and IoT technologies that both separately and in combination with each other have enabled real-time collection and analysis and transmission of data. The data, along with the devices themselves, create the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), which when coupled with other digital technologies, establishes a highly interconnected digital ecosystem that collects real-time data to be used by AI to comprehend healthcare trends, design innovative new drugs and predict treatment outcomes.

A. AI for diagnosis

AI-driven diagnostic solutions are helping in the fight against COVID-19 by reducing screening time and enabling more testing capacity. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has tied up with IBM to bolster rapid response to India’s frontline testing facilities on COVID-19. The government agencies are leveraging IBM’s AI-enabled Watson Assistant on its portal. The bot responds to specific queries of front line staff and data entry operators from various testing and diagnostic facilities across the country on COVID-19.

Pink Tech Design, an IT innovation company, has recently developed an AI algorithm to classify X-Rays of patients as being COVID-19 positive. With the development of” being successful, it can pre-screen patients who need COVID-19 confirmatory tests. The usage of chest X-rays has been recommended by the American College of Radiology, the Royal College of Radiology, and the Canadian Association of Radiologists to screen for COVID-19.

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