With the coronavirus pandemic in full swing, efforts are on to understand the virus and stop its spread for good. And more and more research teams from all over the world are collecting data and using the latest technologies like AI and machine learning to discover a cure.
To fight COVID-19 with machine learningresearchers are advancing systematically. There are certain fundamental steps they are following in their efforts to discover an effective cure for the coronavirus infection. These steps include –
Identifying individuals who are most susceptible
Machine learning ishelping them in predicting risks in many areas. When it comes to determining medical risks, Machine learning works by answering questions such as:
- Risk percentage of an individual or group of contracting COVID-19.
- Risk percentage of an individual or a group developing serious symptoms that requires hospitalization.
- Risk percentage of an individual not responding to the treatment method.
Machine learning can give us detailed answers to these research questions by considering certain factors, like age, social habits, hygiene habits, etc.
Testing to diagnose COVID-19
When a new pandemic strikes, diagnosing the affected out of million others is severely challenging. Waiting to get everyone tested is impractical. So instead of waiting for the blood test results, we can make the most of other methods of testing which would be cheaper and faster. The screening tests can be somewhat like these –
- Identifying fever symptoms with the help of face scans.
- Screening patients based on self-reported symptoms by employing machine learning chatbots.
Although these types of screening tests might not be completely accurate, they can give us a head-start to detect symptomatic patients among the masses quickly and easily.
To cure the world of this pandemic, it is crucial to discover the vaccine and this drug discovery needs to take place pretty fast. The current methods involve plenty of trials and errors, but time is also speeding by.
With the help of machine learning, scientists expect toexpedite this drug innovation without compromising the potency of the drug.
Identifying existing drugs that are effective
Drug companies have to invest in mammoth funds and efforts to invent new drugs which would be effective and would not cause any side-effects. Although this process is necessary, it does not help us much during the pandemic and therefore we can try to find repurpose drugs that have already gone through human trials and succeeded.
But since there are thousands of existing drug candidates, we have to screen them based on their interactions with viral proteins and assessing their effectiveness.
Using social media to track infections
Although the government officials are trying their best to update us about the new infections and their demographics, often there exists a time and space gap. By analyzing social interactions with the help of Artificial Intelligencescientistsaim to bridge this gap. Their goal is to also predict the number of interactions in real-time and forecast any future pandemics.
Finding out more about the virus
Scientists are trying to find out the various ways in which the virus protein interacts with our bodies and makes us fall sick. Interpreting how the coronavirus functions, is extremely difficult, but machine learning can provide breakthroughs by helping predict the virus and host protein interactions, folding of the protein, and various complex procedures.
Finding ways to attack the virus
Machine learning has accelerated the process of identifying the correct epitopes, which are chemical compounds present on the over the surface of the virus and help in spreading contagion to the human bodies. A quicker understanding of epitopes will yield a quicker result in identifying ways to attack and kill the virus and control its spread.
Machine learning has proved to be an immensely effective tool in fighting this COVID-19 pandemic right from day one. And if we take necessary initiatives to leverage the power of machine learning, we can be successful in saving millions of lives.
Author Bio: Ms. Aanchal Iyer works as a Digital Marketing Manager. Also, she is a Content Strategist at Aretove Technologies Pvt.Ltd. She has experience of 11+ years as a content consultant. Aanchal is actively involved in writing about the advancement of technologies such as AI , Data Science & in our everyday life.