How Artificial Intelligence is Helping to Fight against Coronavirus in India?

by August 5, 2020

Artificial Intelligence

With the number of COVID-19 cases crossing 18 million mark, the healthcare system across the globe has suffered a major blow against the management of COVID-19. In India, COVID-19 has proved challenging initially for identifying the COVID patients and diagnosing the disease. However, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) over the past few years, has rendered the Healthline workers and the government for solutions, to stall this roadblock. 


Artificial Intelligence uses the technology of powerful algorithms which then processes the data, thus identifying patterns. Thus, for any Artificial Intelligence to be successful, big data is necessary.


COVID 19 and X-rays:

 Across the globe, as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is expensive and time-consuming, Chest X-rays are now used as a standardized procedure for the diagnosis of COVID-19. However, a simple chest X-ray cannot distinguish the disease and the extent of infection affecting the lungs.


Artificial Intelligence, in collaboration with Chest X-rays, helps in identifying the abnormal findings, thus diagnosing the ground glass opacities in the lungs, which is a classic feature of the COVID-19 disease. Many companies such as, a Mumbai based start-up, and Tata consultancy services have used AI in a chest X-ray for the diagnosis of COVID-19. The AI developed by also helps in identifying the extent of infection affecting the lungs. This is usually valuable for patients who remain in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). 


Contact tracing through AI: 

In April, Apple and Google, the two big tech giants, colluded for developing a contact-based app to trace COVID-19 patients. The app works on Bluetooth and has been mostly used in western countries. In India, the government ruled out a similar strategy by developing the Aarogya Setu app.


In June, India told the UN, that drones and contact tracing apps have helped India in managing COVID cases. The app employs Bluetooth and location data to let the user know of any suspected COVID-19 patients nearby. This app is developed in 12 languages and has a user database of more than 10 million people. 


Other mobile applications such as “GoCoronaGo” and “Sampark-o-meter” have also been developed for contact tracing by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and IIT’s. 


In Odisha, the state health department co-operated with the IT industry for developing drones which were proven helpful in checking infringement of rules in containment zones. 


Identifying Mask Violators through AI:

 Apart from using the Aarogya Setu app, for contact tracing, many states have exercised AI to identify people who are mask violators with the help of AI cameras.


In Telangana, due to a surge in the COVID cases, the police department has come up with installing a software tool in the CCTV cameras to identify the mask violators. After identifying it sends a notification to the police headquarters, which in turn sends the update to the patrolling police team. 


This model is similar to the AI model developed by China for tracking mask violators. This kind of AI technology is initially installed in Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda. 


Treatment through AI:

 During the progression of the coronavirus, AI has facilitated manual repurposing of drugs to treat COVID-19. Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) has developed an AI model that can repurpose medicines according to the highest success probability against the disease, instead of going through the entire process manually. 


Tata Consultancy Services is also using AI technology to crunch down the large molecule of drugs into highly effective molecules against the disease, thus reducing the time duration of the process.  


Besides this, AI has proven effective in providing Tele-medicines and Tele-consultation, online consultation with health experts concerning a particular disease. In many states, like Chhattisgarh, AI is proven as a success by online training of the medics for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. 


In Kerala, Robots are used for delivering hand sanitizers and delivering public health messages at the entrance of the office buildings and in isolation wards, to combat COVID-19. 


The IIT and Stanford Alumni have also come up with a solution for disinfecting public spaces. They have developed a machine called “Robo Sapien”, which controls the spread of the virus by ionizing the corona discharge. 


Many start-ups are now using AI to come with solutions against the spread of COVID-19.