How AI Can Improve Healthcare Decision Making on COVID-19

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be effective when the government and healthcare CIOs deploy the technology to improve their healthcare decisions to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Early Detection and Epidemic Analysis

AI is used to analyze and predict the spreading of the virus and learn whether it is increasing or slowing down. Another use case of the technology is for building automated contact tracing apps by analyzing citizen data such as mobile phone locations. This can help in tracking people who encountered the source and notify them.AI is also effective for epidemic forecasting and monitoring the development of herd immunity.

Behavior analytics can account for the dynamics of human behavior and individual thinking. Predictive analytics can also be used to answer questions around social distancing compliance, and law enforcement can predict where and when people are not adhering to stay-at-home orders.

Diagnosis

AI-enabled self-triage has already been incorporated as a popular telehealth practice, including virtual health assistants. Some important AI capabilities also include augmented medical diagnosis and triage. In the case of diagnoses of complex cases across various diseases, AI showed improved accuracy when it was coupled with human judgment. Using prognostic modeling and predicting how the disease will likely develop in patients can help in improving treatment recommendations. Clearly, AI can have a key role to play in assessing patient risk and prognosis, especially when there is a possible shortage of medical professionals. The biggest and the best example is IBM’s Watson, which has supported oncologists with even more accurate prognosis and diagnosis than the doctors themselves, in some cases.

Remote patient monitoring with the use of AI also allows them to maintain social distance and lowers the burden on hospitals. This helps in a better understanding of how symptoms develop over time.

Vaccine Research & Development (R&D)

Medical researchers can leverage AI graphs and natural language processing (NLP) to look through numerous relevant reports to draw connections. Moreover, augmented vaccine R&D can help in identifying COVID-19 countermeasures that have already been tested on humans.

It is important for healthcare CIOs to explore avenues of AI to fight COVID-19 using an ongoing and systematic process of AI application identification and prioritization. Now is the time to prioritize AI use cases to create and actively advertise an open marketplace that shares AI applications and data transparently.

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