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AI vs. Coronavirus: 6 Ways it Helps Healthcare

The world is shrinking into a crystal ball of technology. Everything is bound by the web of the internet, our homes, schools, workplace, or a restaurant where we love to eat every weekend.

We see new smart tools and intelligent automation technologies nearly every other day — all thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). But, similar to how AI is facilitating us in the comfort of our homes, it is also aiding healthcare workers to do their jobs.

Hospitals and ambulances were equipped with smart devices, and caregivers used intelligent technologies.

Technology Need Peaked With COVID

And then, the pandemic hit us, and it hit us hard. Amid the coronavirus, the need for such technologies peaked. Frontliners must assist patients without compromising social distancing and their health.

So, by default, AI comes to mind as a top choice. However, while AI is utilized to prune better options for the vaccine, IoT, more specifically the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), presents better solutions to treat and aid patients.

To better understand this, we are reviewing the impact of COVID-19, how AI and IoT facilitate the healthcare industry, and what role these technologies can play in a future pandemic.

See Also: AI is Neutral Technology: What May Be Harmful in Social Media Can Help Healthcare

Impact of Coronavirus on us and technology

The coronavirus came as a full-stop in a never-stopping world. Yet, while it took millions of precious lives globally, it somehow also paved the way for new healthcare technologies to come to light.

COVID set a new norm of social distancing, and with this came gadgets that assisted the authorities to monitor it. Corona Virus also brought the controversy of anti-maskers to life.

Every other store argues about the liberty of not wearing a mask between an anti-masker customer and store staff. This sets AI and computer vision to work, creating devices that can stop such customers without an argument. The pandemic limited our direct access to the world, so AI increased our digital access.

COVIDs Broad Reach

Every corner, this novel virus brought out a long-term impact, and impactful technology also emerged. Although indirectly, these technologies helped the healthcare industry fight the coronavirus. However, these technologies are not limited to indirect help only.

The pandemic has opened our minds to the possibility of other such events in the near or far future. Moreover, it set us on a path to utilize technology in the healthcare industry a lot more than before. Hospitals and healthcare workers use AI from testing a disease to administering dosages.

In simple words, technology is impacting COVID-19 — but it is also the other way around.

AI helps fight Coronavirus

From the early stages of COVID-19 till now, AI and IoT proved to be intelligent options to tackle the pandemic.

From introducing new devices to using existing inventions, AI assists the frontliners in fighting coronavirus. In addition, many researchers came up with new solutions specifically targeted to fight COVID.

The healthcare industry utilizes dozens of AI-powered solutions and connected devices to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients, transport aid, empower social distancing, and even for finance purposes.

Among the dozens of applications of AI, here are six describing how these technologies are paving the way for healthcare workers to fight COVID-19:

  • Social Distancing Solutions

Even after the gigantic death toll due to the coronavirus, some people still do not follow social distancing guidelines. It may not seem like a direct issue for healthcare workers, but an increase in new COVID cases is a blessing of disobeyed social distancing laws. Therefore, managing this issue is a significant weapon in the fight against COVID-19.

Some IoTs are devised to help in social distancing through AI and image processing techniques. Frontliners are also equipped with AI-based devices to help patients from a safe distance so that they may protect themselves.

  • Automated Initial Testing

IoT is beneficial to healthcare workers through automation in initial COVID testing. From the early stages of the pandemic, researchers put an extra effort into creating solutions that can speed up the test results. Solutions like predictive pathology and lung scan testing are two of many on the list of automated testing.

These AI solutions help test COVID quickly and eliminate the risk of healthcare workers catching the disease. This allows healthcare industries globally to have a reduced number of cases and quicker results without risking the lives of our lifesavers.

  • Quick Diagnosis & Safer Treatment

As discussed above, the demand for quick diagnosis is high due to the pandemic. Rapid diagnosis means a faster treatment which leads to a speedier recovery. Similarly, having safer treatment options increase productivity against COVID-19.

Solutions to remotely administer dosages, monitor patients, and provide predictive analysis are some of the many IoT and AI-based aids that can help the healthcare industry fight COVID. These solutions are beneficial to both patients and the frontline due to the reduced risk of infection.

  • Automation in Medicine Supply Chain

Another challenge that the healthcare industry faces is managing its supplies manually. Due to COVID-19, the surge in the use of medical equipment caused a shortage. Not only was the medical equipment short globally, but there was also no monitoring of its supply.

Black-market looters also became a challenge. As the need for automation in supply and supply chain management roofed, IoT and AI once again proved to be a top solution. Solutions like Optimizing costs for the healthcare supply chain with predictive analytics provided control over the existing and needed equipment and helped the healthcare industry automate the ordering process.

  • AI for Vaccine Solutions

AI is not limited to automation. It is used for prediction in almost every field. From estimating human behavior to predicting the weather, AI provides pioneer solutions in predictive analysis. Similar to how we use AI to predict a person’s behavior from social media, it can also be used to predict solutions for the coronavirus vaccine.

AI-based predictive analysis can help create and perfect vaccines for not only COVID-19 but for any future pandemic. Although this requires many years of research, a successful solution can set a course for treating a significant number of illnesses.

  • Governing and Predicting Virus Status

Another way AI-based predictions are helping the healthcare industry is governing and predicting COVID-19 status. For example, estimating the evolution of the virus helps create proper dosages in advance. Similarly, governments worldwide impose protective measures according to the predictions these AI models make.

International organizations like World Health Organization (WHO) maintain complete dashboards of AI-generated information for public use. This is beneficial in reducing new COVID cases and helps in saving resources.

Conclusion

COVID-19 took a significant toll on our lives, but it also set us on a path to be ready and proactive in case of similar afflictions in the future. As a result, we shape our tools and technologies to be compatible and flexible to cope with such issues. And just as COVID is impacting technologies, impactful technologies like AI and IoT are helping us fight this pandemic.

The healthcare industry is not the only field that must fight the challenges COVID-19 imposed on us. From businesses to education, everything was affected by the pandemic. And similar to how AI and IoT are helping the healthcare industry, it is also beneficial in every other field.

AI-based solutions are the basis and part of nearly every future technology. Algoscale helps industries to include these AI solutions in their business models. Algoscale has provided AI solutions to startups and enterprises from automation to prediction.

We hope this article proved to be insightful for you. Algoscale tries to bring out knowledge about a vast range of topics to your digital doorstep. So keep reading and enlightening yourself with new information and stay informed. Happy Learning!

Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

AI vs. Coronavirus: 6 Ways it Helps Healthcare was originally published on ReadWrite on January 23, 2022 by Neeraj Agarwal.

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ReadWrite is the leading media platform dedicated to IoT and the Connected World. We work with the industry's top technologies, thinkers, and companies to tell the stories that drive this world forward.

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