COVID 19 is a major public threat that has engulfed the whole world. From a novel deadly virus that stemmed in the Wuhan province of China, it has now become a major global public health challenge. There’s no country on the face of the planet that has not faced COVID19’s wrath. As of now, it has claimed more than 200,000 lives. From its arrival in China, the world has been frantically trying to stop the pandemic from spreading, but until now, they have remained unsuccessful.
The big pharma around the world is trying their best to be the first to come up with a cure.
Yet, they have failed to produce a vaccine that can destroy the virus and save human lives.
With the number of tests and trials a vaccine needs before it gets approval of the WHO, we don’t see any sunlight on the horizons as of yet that will ensure this pandemic will finally be at rest.
You know how they say, “Prevention is better than cure” it’s what the world is at work here.
Many countries, such as China, are leveraging the power of next-generation information technologies to ensure that their lives can be saved from this global threat through prevention.
Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing, and 5G has helped improve the efficiency of these countries to combat the Coronavirus by performing various activities successfully.
Are you interested in exploring how some of these facets are making a difference? Go ahead, read on.
When the first signs of the novel Coronavirus appeared in the Wuhan province of China, it started claiming many lives. And as the pandemic grew and claimed many lives, people got worried and started searching a lot about this strange illness. A lot of information started circulating on the tight-knit networks of China and a lot of data was seamlessly collected by machine learning algorithms working at the back-end. This data was well utilized by a company called Qihoo 360, a leading Internet company in China who released a “Big Data Migration Map” early on in February. The map became quite handy in predicting how the epidemic situation is migrating from one province to another nationwide and allowed China to tap into which areas must be sealed off easily.
Similar technology can also be adopted by UAE as well, where they can tap into the location data of millions of users using the Internet and mobile phone and identify which areas are most vulnerable to the COVID 19. Once identified, they can then seal off those areas and allowing business as usual in the least susceptible regions.
They can do it by studying the patterns in people’s movement and how much the spread is affecting them. By studying their behaviour, it can help the UAE to understand which areas require more attention. Such areas can raise the red flag beforehand so the pandemic can be controlled in them.
When the outbreak occurred, one of the things that we learned from China was that it leveraged the power of AI to control the virus spread. Several organizations made their algorithms publicly available during the outbreak, which focused on improving the efficiency of supporting the testing and research. For example, Baidu, a popularly recognized AI R&D open-sourced software algorithm called LinearFold which became effective in multiple medical facilities such as gene testing institutions, epidemic prevention centers, research institutions and other global healthcare facilities.
The algorithm is quite interesting as it minimizes the time required to predict & study coronavirus infection in people. A simple test that could take hours to complete will only take just a few seconds.
Something similar can also complement and speed up the process of treatments in UAE. Recently, a team of scientists at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center was able to create a treatment method that helps regenerate infected lung cells in the human body. Also, the treatment prevents the immune system from overworking, which is the prime reason why many individuals infected with Coronavirus are dying. The ADSSC has created a mist that, when inhaled by an infected patient, can help treat the Coronavirus effectively.
Also, AI-powered technologies from Ali Baba are also making significant contributions to the genetic analysis of those who are infected. Usually, the process would take several hours, but with a new AI algorithm developed by Alibaba Damo Academy, the research can shorten the process to a half hour.
It can accurately detect virus mutation in infected individuals.
Imagine the impact of such technologies getting coupled with the new treatment methods introduced by the ADSCC? It can have some astounding benefits and can help detect and resolve the virus better.
As the pandemic grew, we saw that countries went into a lockdown and the sudden surge of patients overwhelmed the existing healthcare infrastructure. In many such facilities, the need for a robust system to secure and protect all potential information became necessary and as a result, cloud computing became quite the flagship technology that came into use.
In China, Alibaba made its powerful AI computing technology available for medical institutions initially, which they later made available for the entire world. Today, UAE can benefit from its fast-paced AI computing technology and cover more grounds in the healthcare industry with the treatment development for this novel virus. Another company called Didi came up with their GPU cloud solutions to provide excellent technical support for rescue platforms and research institutions.
In areas where lockdown is strictly in effect, video conferencing is helping people to interact with each other domestically and professionally. We are seeing the usage of apps like Zoom becoming quite common and we know that it is making significant contributions in establishing the perfect communication. In fact, many of the big firms in UAE have come to a resolution to provide work from home opportunities just because there exists an app like Zoom to contribute for the people.
More than 80% of the UAE now has 5G technology working actively in different parts of the country. But here’s the big question: how exactly can 5G help create an impact in dealing with the novel coronavirus?
With strict social distancing in place and small congregations allowed, access to doctors across the region can be a difficult task. With 5G patients, with COVID19 or otherwise, can consult doctors via virtual OPD clinics and telemedicine.
With the high-definition video quality results that 5G delivers, China was able to connect doctors and scientists across the country with hospitals in Wuhan, the birthplace of the disease. This reduced the need for on-site doctors in Wuhan and thereby freeing them to focus on patients in the other regions.
The same formula can be applied in the UAE to ensure doctors across the UAE can collaborate by sharing critical information such as treatment methods, health imagery data before a viable cure is found.
Also, tracking and keeping a close eye on people in highly susceptible regions via their smartphones and fitness bands can ensure authorities can stop the spread of the infection in other regions.
These are challenging times. With the novel, Coronavirus spreading like fire and no available vaccine put out this fire, combating the pandemic has become much more grave than ever. But that certainly does not mean that we can’t make use of the solutions that we already have in hand.
Technology is one area that can help us to effectively deal with this devastating pandemic and make sure that we can go about our lives just as normal. It’s time we should harness the tools at our expense and minimize the damage by bringing back life to as much normalcy as possible. I hope our readers will continue to follow the health advisory, give support and hope to each other in these turbulent times.
Do you have any suggestions? Please feel free to share them with us.