COVID-19 has changed lives globally and put a massive weight on healthcare. Artificial intelligence could help to lessen the burden and mitigate the spread. The technology that we have access to has changed the way we approach pandemics, for the better.

Here’s how artificial intelligence (AI) is combating the coronavirus.

Artificial intelligence for detection

There’s no easy medical solution to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. With limited manpower, AI allows us to dedicate resources to detecting and finding a cure.

Artificial intelligence can help to identify treatments for other illnesses that could ameliorate the effects of COVID-19. There has already been research into using an arthritis drug to help quell the immune response that damages the lungs as a result of COVID-19.

There are many hospitals, including the Royal Bolton Hospital, that have turned towards artificial intelligence to manage the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on their resources. In late 2019, Rizwan Malik proposed an AI-based tool that provides an initial reading of x-rays to reduce the waiting time for a specialist.

Because, in most severe COVID-19 cases, distinct lung abnormalities were displayed associated with viral pneumonia, there was the potential for this technology to then be used on COVID patients. The tool can now detect COVID-induced pneumonia in severely ill patients.

Intelligent vaccine creation and testing

Creating vaccines is a process that takes years. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, laboratories have been forced to adhere to a faster timeline. In many cases, artificial intelligence can do testing that would otherwise need to be done on humans. Researchers have used computer models to test new proteins on 3D atomic-scale models of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

AI allows us to access forecasting and analytics on a massively efficient basis. It can also take information from previous vaccines and visualise their potential usefulness in the case of COVID-19.

While AI alone isn’t going to help us come up with a vaccine, it can massively streamline the process. AI has significant potential for fighting COVID-19.

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