How can AI and IoT help in the Fight Against The COVID19 Pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic is still spreading around the world. Researchers are exploring the possible use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) based tools for forecasting the spread of coronavirus, diagnostics, treatment, and the pandemic’s impact on the economy. Technology is already being used for handling and managing the crisis. Let’s take a look at how AI and IoT-based projects are helping address challenges. 

An AI-Powered System That Uses X-Rays for Detecting COVID-19 Infection 

Several hospitals around the world do not have sufficient coronavirus testing kits and staff for testing patients using swabs. As an alternative option, they use chest X-rays which help in detecting the presence of coronavirus pneumonia.

A Canada based Medtech startup, DarwinAI, has come up with a solution that expedites the X-ray analysis procedure. It has been designed in association with researchers from the University of Waterloo. The startup’s CEO Sheldon Fernandez recently interacted with journalists and shared details concerning their open-source system, tentatively known as COVID-Net. 

Researchers from India, Turkey, Indonesia, and other countries contributed thousands of x-ray images for training the AI-driven system. It is like allowing hundreds of virtual eyes to scan the images for signs of infections.

The startup is set to turn COVID-Net into a system that can be easily used by healthcare workers from around the world. Researchers are further enhancing the software so that it can assist in risk-stratifying patients. 

Continuous Monitoring With Connected Thermometers 

Perhaps, almost every country has failed when it comes to maintaining an appropriate number of doctors and support staff at hospitals. Unfortunately, this is leading to an increased number of deaths in developed as well as developing countries. Solutions like connected thermometers are playing a crucial role by helping the medical staff in monitoring body temperatures of multiple patients at one point. 

California-based health startup, VivaLNK’s, has developed connected thermometers (temperature sensors). Several hospitals in China, including the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, have deployed the same. 

The system uses the IoT Access Controller by Cassia for extracting and transmitting patient temperature data received from sensors and sending it to the nurse’s station. Medical staff can easily monitor changes in the body temperature of various patients and give attention as well as change the treatment accordingly. The system provides long-range connectivity essential for hospitals with multiple rooms. As many as 40 Bluetooth low energy devices can be connected to the network simultaneously. 

Smart Wearables For Monitoring Vital Signs of Patients

When it comes to using smart wearables for patient monitoring, Hong Kong happens to be the first country to explore the potential of these devices in the fight against COVID19. 

In March, the authorities in Hong Kong made two weeks quarantine period mandatory for all the passengers arriving from abroad. They asked all the individuals under self-quarantine to wear a smart wristband issued by the government as a part of the medical surveillance plan. The wristband remains connected with the mobile app and helps authorities to track the user-location for ensuring the person stays at home during the concerned period. The IoT devices in the areas near the quarantine center or residence can capture the data from the wearables used by the potentially infected persons and issue alerts to health personnel in case if he or she has breached quarantine.

Even China is not far behind. Beijing-based tech firm called CloudMinds has developed AI-platforms that work with smart bracelets and rings for monitoring the patient’s blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and body temperature. Even doctors and nurses use the same for detecting early signs of infection in them. The project was initially launched at Wuhan Wuchang Hospital in March before introducing it to other medical facilities.

Firms that provide IoT development services & IoT application development services can help local and state governments in deploying smart wearables.  

Using AI-driven Text Analysis For Monitoring The Impact of COVID19 on Mental Health 

Stanford University’s Department of Psychology’s Assistant Professor Johannes Eichstaedt used AI-driven text analysis solutions for analyzing tweets. The software analyzed as many as two million tweets hashtagged with words related to COVID19 to understand the pandemic’s impact on the mental health and lives of individuals at various geographical locations. 

Eichstaedt focused on tweets from February and March. The result of this analysis pointed out that chats of people from urban areas focused on ways to prevent the spread of infection and ways of adapting to living with the same. On the other hand, chats of people from rural areas focused less on living with the pandemic, perhaps, due to lesser exposure to the disease.   

As pointed out by tech-giants, there are several AI and IoT components that can prove crucial in the fight against coronavirus. But, they remain fragmented and not yet integrated. If you are searching for an IoT Development Company that can help in deploying AI and IoT solutions in the fight against COVID19, you should surely discuss your project with experts at Smart Sight Innovations.

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