Healthcare AI is Coming to the Rescue

Category: AI Insights

Published date: 25.03.2020

Read time: 5 min

The Coronavirus outbreak has caused widespread panic and fear among the public at large. A lot of people are worried about whether they have COVID-19 and are afraid to leave their homes in fear of catching the Coronavirus. All of this has prompted governments to implement strict quarantine measures until the virus stops spreading.

While researchers are working hard to develop a cure, the recent investment in AI technology is paying big dividends, especially in hard-hit areas such as the Wuhan province of China. The EU is also following suit by offering €164 million in funding to startups working on finding a cure for the virus. Since technology is playing such a key in containing and diagnosing the Coronavirus, let’s take a look at some of the latest developments in healthcare that are helping us weather the storm of COVID-19.

Healthcare AI

Chinese Companies are Leading the Way

We mentioned earlier that China was hit hard by the Coronavirus, but their investment in AI, turned out to be a game changer. Back in 2017, the Chinese government announced its first-ever national AI champions, which was a company called Tencent Holdings. This company was placed in charge of developing computer vision for medical diagnostic purposes and not too long after their victory. Tencent launched a medical imaging platform that can be used to detect all kinds of diseases. Today it is used by doctors to detect and diagnose the Coronavirus faster.

A similar product by another Chinese company, Yitu Technology, helps doctors analyze CT scans faster and there are all kinds of other state-of-the-art devices coming out of China today. Such computer vision technology is made possible by human doctors annotating thousands and thousands of medical images which are then used to train the machine learning algorithms. This process is very time consuming and expensive, which is why a lot of companies choose to outsource it to a reliable service provider.

Mindy Support has extensive experience in actualizing medical data annotation projects and we are able to find doctors of various skill levels and experience depending on the needs of your project. In fact, Ukraine in general is a great place for implementing such projects because there are 64 medical schools, 47 medical colleges, 2 nursing institutes, and 12 medical universities in the country which translates to a wide talent pool to choose from.

Using AI to Find a Cure

While AI is helping to identify and diagnose Coronavirus, it can be just as useful for finding a cure. Recently, three industry giants: Microsoft Research, the National Library of Medicine and the Allen Institute for AI collected more than 29,000 research papers that have already been published about the Coronavirus and processed them into the computers so that the machine learning algorithms can try to find an answer to key questions surrounding what the risk factors are, genetic properties of the virus and many other questions that we are trying to find the answer to.

Interestingly enough, this also requires annotation work, but of a different kind. Here, researchers need text annotation, which is also done by humans who label specific phrases that the computer must be able to recognize. The United States is heavily investing in such technology and is calling on other governments to open up their scientific publishings for researchers.

Artificial intelligence is already being implemented  to predict, detect and respond to Coronavirus outbreaks, but it can also be applied to assist with the recovery. Researchers can use AI to simulate various outcomes to test and validate policies.

Governments Must Invest in AI to Speed Up Recovery

While we only mentioned the technology used by US and Chinese governments to combat the Coronavirus, the fact of the matter is that all of the other affected countries will have to do the same. The benefits offered by AI cannot be ignored and can be of particular use to countries facing a shortage of medical professionals. Not only can AI take some of the burden off doctors, but the public at large can feel safe knowing that the virus is being kept under control while the search for a cure continues.

Mindy Support is ready to come to the assistance of companies working on AI solutions to help find a cure for the Coronavirus. Even if the matter is urgent, we have the necessary resources to respond to your request and assist with any data annotation needs companies may have.

Posted by Il’ya Dudkin


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