AI in pandemic management

Artificial Intelligence: A boon in pandemic management

There’s no doubt that the current global pandemic Covid19 declared a big challenge for the world health care system along with it’s disturbing impacts on global economy. While health systems worldwide are collapsing due to accelerated demand for care of COVID-19 patients, it is critical to maintain curative and preventive services, especially for the most vulnerable populations, such as older persons, children, minorities and people living with disabilities and people living with chronic health conditions.

Soon after the current global pandemic was declared, the World Health Organization signaled that artificial intelligence could be an important technology to manage the major crisis caused by the rapid spreading virus.

Artificial Intelligence – A core technology of the fourth industrial revolution is an important non-medical intervention to build next-generation epidemic preparedness and overcome the current global health crisis and to move towards a resilient recovery.

Unprecedented momentum of efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic situation is leveraged by artificial intelligence and big data world wide. Applications of Artificial Intelligence that are accumulating a lot of hope and interest in the fight against COVID-19 are as follows:

AI in tracking and predicting

AI can be harnessed developing warning systems and forecasting the spread of virus by extracting relevant information from calls, news sites and social media platforms and provide useful  information for prediction of morbidity and mortality and about the vulnerable regions.

AI in strict monitoring of COVID-19 cases AI can be used for predicting the chances of recovery in COVID-19 and to provide daily updates and charting the course of treatment. They are applied for prediction of course of treatment and monitoring patients in clinical settings. Based on the data derived from clinical parameters and vital statistics, AI may provide critical information for decision-making by prioritizing the need of respiratory supports in the Intensive Care Unit and ventilators.

AI: The burden reducers of healthcare staff and medical practitioners

Even in severe cases happening globally, AI-based triage systems can help in reducing the work burden of healthcare workers and medical staffs by the automation of several processes such as determination of treatment mode, imparting training to practitioners, digitalization of patient’s reports and also by serving solutions that minimize their patient contact.

AI in protein structure prediction AI can play a crucial role in the prediction of structure of important proteins crucial for virus entry and provide useful insight for drug development in short span of time. Deep Tracer, an artificial program based on customized deep convolutional neural network, played a major role in deriving protein complex structure of SARSCoV-2 using amino acid sequence and high-resolution cry electron microscopy density maps.

AI in evolution of therapeutics

AI techniques can complement traditional technologies and boost traditional technologies by managing and reducing the time required in bringing a drug from bench to bed by virtual screening, speeding up lead discovery and processes validation by a huge margin. AI successfully identified candidates against COVID-19.

Even though there’s no silver bullet to cure the virus, we need to exploit and utilize the available knowledge of Artificial Intelligence to hasten in all the fronts ranging from monitoring and surveillance to treatment and prevention as AI when used at it full potentiality in the current pandemic situation can be one of the greatest achievements of mankind in history.


The author is Tanisha Gupta.


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