Introduction to Technology is Fighting Against Covid-19
Before we start how technology is fighting against COVID-19, let me tell you that I am amazed by the sacrifice of the doctors worldwide to fight against Covid-19. I must salute to all the Doctors and Medical professionals for their heroic jobs. I know that we even don’t know all the heroes. All heroes do not necessarily wear a cap. But we must not forget other professionals who are also joining hands with doctors and medical professionals to fight against coronavirus.
The AI-powered research has been started after the Zika virus attack during 2015. Those models are actually retrained with a new set of parameters of COVID-19.
This post will tell you the efforts and innovations of technical people. This is how technology is fighting against COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected all of the modern countries with a very high rate of infection. The COVID-19 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2(SARS-COV-2) causes the treatment tough.
This virus also has two distinct carriers-
When visible carriers need to be in complete isolation and mostly in Intensive Care. The silent carrier is tough to detect. Persons who go to close contact with these patients have a greater risk to be infected.
So it is important for health workers and normal people to identify the COVID-19 patients on a person exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
COVID-19- A note
SARS-COV-2 virus(corona) spreads when an infected people talks, sneezes, coughs. During these activities, the droplets released by the patient are full of viruses.
The significant risk involved in surfaces of public toilets, social gathering especially in the cinema hall, religious places, markets, offices, air travelling, Mall. It is seen enclosed location is an accelerator for this virus.
As per the Stanford Lin lab estimation technique, 50% of infected individuals are asymptomatic.
Safety measure against COVID-19
- Keep 6 feet distance while talking with another person.
- Clean the dresses with foam-based soap.
- Do not use public toilets.
- Wear mask always.
- Wash your hand with soap or sanitizer properly.
- Try wearing hand gloves.
How Technology is fighting against COVID-19?
Technology like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, smart gadgets, Smartphones, touchless thermometers, Camera, Geolocation identifications etc is the main weapon against COVID-19.
In the below section I will try to showcase a few inventions that the technical people have come up with that helps us to fight against corona – COVID-19 for sure.
Different stages of COVID-19 pandemic
- Post Recovery.
|Detecting abnormal conditions.|
WHO Early warning system
AI and ML medical images (x-rays) symptom data(cough,sneeze (C.T scan)
|Calculating the probability of infection among the mass.|
|Monitor and track the mass-|
|Contactless,Person less transportation(Drone,robot)|
|Deploying robotic /virtual assistance like a chatbot|
|Use of satellite, GPS and social media to track economic recovery data.|
Vaccine alert and another medical alert. eg:- Callender app
Role of Artificial Intelligence in the fight against COVID-19
Artificial Intelligence can be applied to various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. and it plays a vital role for the researchers to understand the virus better. More data related to the virus, help to accelerate the drug preparation faster.
Artificial Intelligence can also tell the evaluation of the virus. It helps in preventing from COVID-19 if not cure at this point at least stop spreading through surveillance. More sophisticated algorithms can actually help in contact tracing responds to the patients through alerts. Most importantly it can monitor the recovery.
Data analysis and a deep drive to deep learning help to identify components of existing several drugs as treatments which may treat COVID-19.
Portable Device to Secure persons from COVID-19
Students in the United States and Delhi jointly developed and Infrared sensor-based device to battle against COVID-19. The device is powered by artificial intelligence Technology can detect COVID-19 symptoms of the nearby persons and alerts the users.
The COVID-19 symptoms include high body temperature. While this device helps to main social distancing. It is having some drawbacks too. They are as follows:
- This device only works on nearby persons. Not indicates if the virus is nearby.
- you need to carry the device all the time.
- The range is 6 feet.
This device provides alarm and triggers notifications to the mobile device of the user.
The working principle is as follows:
Smart tools to maintain a safe distance
The University of Hyderabad designed a smart tool that helps to maintain a distance of a minimum of 6 feet. This tool is termed as an efficient social distancing monitor tool.
This tool is capable of analyzing real-time video streaming from different cameras(CCTV, normal cameras, etc) and can measure physical social distance violation. This tool is powered by Artificial Intelligence(AI) algorithm.
This tool can also track a person by facial recognition and can detect the passport number, Aadhar details if linked. This tool can also be used in a contact lens facial recognition mechanism to allow/ disallow selective entry to a restricted area.
This tool can help airports, large organizations, and mass gathering areas.
CSAIL’S Emerald helps to monitor infected patients from a long distance. Emerald can measure-breathing of the patient, sleeping pattern, walking speed pattern, movements.
The data then can be transmitted over a Wi-Fi network. The data is feed to an artificial intelligence algorithm to create patterns out of it. The Box radiates minimal radiation when compared to mobile phones.
This is a great tool for retirement homes, nursing homes, and assisted living homes, as most elderly people stay here. Emerald can reduce contact risk along with the risk of infection. It can monitor a huge mass at a time.
AI-based Voice distortion tool to detect if a person can be infected
The University of Rome has invented an artificial intelligence-based tool that can test COVID-19 infection through voice-based diagnosis by just using a smartphone.
The AI-powered software is backed by a large database of samples of healthy and affected samples. Once the person talks over the phone’s microphone, the software can break the voice module into several parameters like frequency, noise distortion, etc. Then these parameters are compared with the Stored value.
In case a match found, it can determine the patient is COVID positive or COVID negative.
On a similar note Indian Institute of Science(IIS), Bangalore is also working on a tool that can determine COVID-19 by the analysis of cough and respiratory sound.
Now both teams can complement each other by becoming an oracle by providing an analysis database. They can access the database by an API to fetch the data.
As per Saggio-” each human voice 6300 parameters apart from a few units(less than 12) is identified by human but AI can detect The other large segments. So AI is capable of detecting if a person has a problem in his/her heart/ lungs by hearing the voice only.”
Of course, this tool can reduce dependency on the physical medical test and reduce the cost of COVID-19 detection. This tool can also help the government to identify the hotspots region bye location tracking system.
Interestingly, this tool can detect a COVID-19 patient within a minute. The patient can be given audio/ video mode prescription to process further steps without going near to the patient.
Carnegie Mellon’s researchers came up with COVID voice detector that can analyse and detect an infected COVID-19 patient.
Suki is an interesting voice assistant that helps to record and autocomplete clinical notes for doctors. It can also activate its artificial intelligence and tell of the patient is having COVID-19 symptoms. Suki stores and sends patients data in an encrypted manner.
DERMALOG, a Germany based company has come up with facial biometrics integrated temperature detection technique to control the workspace.
Saykare is another voice assistant product and can record and autocomplete clinical notes. It is popularly known as’ Alexa for doctors’. Saykare can provide several charts and graphs to determine COVID-19 positive cases. It can be connected to remote daily health option.
EKO is AI-powered stethoscope that can determine a normal and abnormal patient(COVID-19) by identifying blood flow.
Cough for cure
Cough for cure is another startup that can also detect a positive COVID patient. Cough for cure is powered by AI and has sounds for the normal and COVID-19 patient in the database.
Heroic Faith Medical Science
Heroic faith medical science has also come up with smart monitoring device based and IoT and AI to detect the abnormal sound of the lungs.
AI-powered x-ray tool to detect COVID-19 patients
Oxford is a data visualization company-Zagami has come up with a just chest x-ray based machine learning-powered tool that can help to predict the outcome of a Coronavirus(Covid-19) patient.
The machine learning can check the X-rays and diagnose the coronavirus very quickly while scanning through the image. Most interestingly, this tool can also detect the differences between infection due to coronavirus and other lung problems due to bacteria, pneumonia.
However as it is a machine learning-based tool, the tool needs training with a huge set of X-rays from COVID-19 patients.
XRays and Computer Tomography(C.T) scans reports once stored in the database can effectively detect COVID-19 positive patients.
The Dutch University of Delft has created a CAD4COVID model backed by AI can diagnose COVID-19 positive patients from chest X rays.
Caoogle’s DeepMind is helping researchers to identify the structure of the virus and its protein base. This is helping biochemists to create drugs.
Israel government has approved cyber monitoring and Russia has created an app and QR system to tackle COVID-19 positive(infected) people and control their movements.
An AI-powered symptom-based tool to detect COVID-19 affected
King’s College London, Massachusetts General Hospital, and ZOE have developed an artificial intelligence model tool that fetches data from the COVID symptoms study app and can detect a user if the user has COVID-19 infection.
This tool depends on around 4 million people across the world. Individuals need to download the app and feed the app by providing data health status.
The artificial intelligence and research analysts then analyze the data and train the machine by using machine learning techniques.
The Intelligence-based tool then figures out which symptom can be more likely to be a COVID-19 infection. The researchers also created a mathematical model that can also predict 80% of the cases currently for COVID-19 positive infection.
This tool also needs external parties(Oracles) to provide data, so that the machine can be trained better.
Intel’s Smart device and platform
To help the hospital, government, private medical farms, Intel the chip maker has also come up with end-to-end systems that can power multiple applications, testing the devices, data collection, analysis.APIs, artificial intelligence, and machine learning model based platform.
This platform can help the scientists to create the necessary vaccine very quickly maybe within 2 to 4 years(optimistically, in general, the trend is 7 to 10 years).
Intel-based application diagnosis, drug and vaccine discovery with higher predictability, speed, and accuracy. The tool and platform use open application programming interfaces(APIs) hosted locally and on the cloud. This tool preserves the privacy of the patients too.
Amazon’s Smart move via Alexa
Amazon recently announced that Alexa now will be able to assist users to determine COVID-19 infection by asking the questions about travel history, exposures, etc and analysing the response. Interestingly Alexa can remind the users to wash their hands for 20 seconds with a song.
Testing kit powered by Artificial Intelligence
This is another excellent innovation by IIT Hyderabad, who has developed a kit.
IIT-Hyderabad researchers developed an Artificial Intelligence-based COVID-19 test kit at an affordable cost(600 Rs INR Mass production – 350 Rs INR). This kit can determine COVID-19 patients within 20 minutes.
It can cover both symptomatic and asymptomatic candidates. This kit does not depend on traditional RT-PCR(Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction)
This another masterpiece from the University of Massachusetts. This is a portable artificial intelligence-powered device that can detect coughing and crowd size. The data captured by the device then feed to the server which is having a database for a detect flu-like disease like COVID-19.
Flusense can be installed in hospitals, nursing home, hospitals waiting room or even public spaces like the mall, market etc. The data can also help the timing for flu vaccine campaigns, travel restrictions, medical supplies. This data can help to predict the flu in a more correct manner.
Flusense is having cheap microphone away. Thermal imaging data with a Raspberry PT, along with a computing engine. This is an excellent predictive model.
Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology in combat with COVID-19
Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology is also providing support by creating a lot more educational videos on how to combat COVID-19. Example- Flatten the curve -A week in social distancing.
AR/VR platforms like- XR health created VR telehealth support group that brings COVID-19 positive patients with doctors.
Care.ai suite is a complete video package that is dependent on cameras and several computer visioning tools(facial recognition, emotion detector, intention detector etc). Care.ai can continuously monitor patients status, patients conversation etc and can detect a COVID-19 positive patient.Care.ai is also having thermal scanning for its first line of diagnosis.
iWEECARE has launched World’s smallest personal smart thermometer.
National University Health System(NUHS) and BotMD
Singapore has created a unique workspace for the National University Health System(NUHS) and BotMD that is powered up artificial intelligence. This chatbot can provide quick answers to all queries like-Hospital staff information, their protocols, directives, drug dosage etc to on-call rosters.
Yonghe Cardinal Tien Hospital of Taiwan
Yonghe Cardinal Tien Hospital of Taiwan has partnered artificial intelligence, IoT and cloud to keep 24*7 surveillance of the patients entering into the hospital. This initiative keeps the other patients and Hospital staffs safe. This technology-driven hospital can detect if patients are wearing a mask. They have also an infrared technology to detect abnormal body temperature of the patients. This two in one device surely reduce the burden of front desk guards. Two in one device is based on Microsoft Azure Technology.
Google and Facebook vs COVID-19
Google, Facebook and other platforms aggressively using artificial intelligence against false news moderating the contents. This will surely help the spread of wrong news about Corona.
SAMPARC of DRDO
DRDO’s artificial intelligence-based app SAMPARC can track COVID-19 patients by its geofencing capabilities. SAMPARC app can also leverage like face recognition technology to keep track of a patient.
The University of Granada is creating an application that can diagnose COVID-19 patient in less than a second using chart X-rays. Of course a greater number of images needed to make the learning model more robust.
VIVALNK has also come up with a smart contactless continuous temperature sensor to monitor the covid-19 patient. This temperature monitoring is continuous and real-time. On any temperature deviation, the device sends a wireless signal to the Nursing Home main centre.
Behold.ai has created a unique deep learning solution(RedDot to train CxrS to identify the anomalies. Microsoft chatbot ( based on Azure)- Clara can report anomalies and uneven too. Curai launched a conversation-based engine that helps the patient to understand the symptom and provide medical support
Future of AI with Fighting with COVID-19
The great AI/ML/IoT application
- Internet-oriented hospitals
- Alert system is automatic for effective response.
- Transparent COVID-19 treatment
- Automatic treatment process using RPA(robotic process automation)
- Wireless consultation
- Smart infected patient tracking
- Smart infection spread management
- Rapid screening
- Innovative solution
- Accurate forecasting
Where these tools are lacking? And how to solve the issue?
These tools help doctors to identify the problem better by providing the trend and progress report of the patients. However, this tool needs more data and visuals of existing or already expired people to work perfectly.
Currently, the AI systems have too little data with respect to the population of the world. As per Jha:-” AI is playing an unparalleled role in helping companies and researchers address the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic”.
The data should include the following:
- New persistent cough
- Loss of taste
- Loss of smell
- The voice data
- Audiotapes of patients and normal persons
- Text from person
- Chatbot’s interaction data.
- Data captured by sensors.
Hospitals, government, Nursing Home should join hands with the common people to provide necessary data to this tool. Hospitals, governments can be the oracle to provide required data to help train the model for more accurate COVID-19 detection.
The tools need to set up a data hub in GitHub and people/organization/ government can actually upload documents to GitHub directly.
How to handle Data Privacy issue
Scanning faces with contactless thermometers to check the temperature is the starting point to gather the data.
While government and other medical facilities should share the COVID-19 related pieces of information to artificial intelligence tools, the tool makes needs to respect the patient’s privacy( in some cases the human rights too).
Need further encouragements
Countries need to take more initiative ideas, open-source collaboration and hackathons to create research on the solution of COVID-19 pandemic. Like UK’s corona hack(AI vs COVID-19).
The artificial intelligence-based apps can work better when they are connected. Governments, nursing homes, doctors, other medical facilities should share all data with these when needed.
The fight against Corona via data analysis and data mining can happen flawlessly when smart interconnected City can be implemented.
Artificial Intelligence-based data is slowly becoming the first lines of defence to tackle the pandemic. Along with the doctors, software engineers, other medical professionals, are working days and night to fight against Corona.
The app data push-pull cannot happen seamlessly without 4G, 5G implementations even to the rural. Even network engineers are working hard so that the apps can be alive and active.
Urban people and poor people steel do not follow lockdowns strictly as lockdowns directly impact their socio-economic status. Their safety is still majorly on papers, journals, not much practice on the fields.
AI can reduce the presence of health care workers near minimally infected people. They can devote move time to severely affected people. COVID-19 is a challenge and a potential threat to humankind technology should join doctors and scientists to defeat this pandemic.
I hope these apps and researches will help to fight against Corona jointly without socio-economical behaviour.