The COVID-19 pandemic that is spreading globally like fire, demands strong prediction tools and means to containing its spread, till the sure measures to kill this malicious coronavirus surface. Yet again, another machine learning tool gathers all its valour for serving humankind from the indomitable outburst.
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Georgia Tech, and Boston Medical Center tied up together to develop a new Artificial intelligence-based system that detects potential COVID-19 outbreaks in individual US counties. The tool was tested recently and found to be very accurate and beneficial.
AI to check COVID-19 at your place! Sounds amazing.
This machine learning-induced tool frames its assessments on the basis of reported COVID-19 deaths and positive cases. Other factors that are considered for computation of the estimation are rates of active cases, social distancing norms, face mask policies, etc. The variation in changes in the tests is also taken into account by the tool.
These statistics are gathered by the AI tool to organize its learning. The machine then calculates the number of days the local area might take to double the cases. Based on the reports thus gathered, the tool analyses the speed of the spread of the virus.
Alongside, the prediction on the curable statistics is also drawn subject to Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index. Based on the factors like population density and ratio of poverty, this AI-based tool assesses how the communities are prepared to tackle the hazards of the spread of disease.
All the county’s prognosis, assimilated by the AI, is then displayed on an interactive heat map that reflects each county’s multiplying rate. The interactive heat map also presents the area’s population, active cases, death counts, and average daily cases, all of which are updated two-to-three times per week.
The earlier mitigation responses hugely focused on state-level control measures that incorporated the lockdown of that place. In case of any local outbreak detection, taking containing actions in that particular county would suffice the purpose. The scenario then was able to predict the outbreaks in a matter of days. The restaurants and other socially crowded places were then subject to closure in the specified place of containment.
However, as you all know it, now, that the societies have started living with it and released all the lockdown norms, the spread is predictably high and subject to increase even further.
According to Lydia Bourouiba, an associate professor directing the Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory at MIT, “This virus is going to stay with us for a while — and certainly data suggest that it is not going to suddenly disappear when the weather changes,” she says. “There’s a fine and important balance between safety, precautions, and action that is important to strike to enable and dramatically accelerate research to be done now so we can be better prepared and informed for actions in the weeks and months to come when the worst of the pandemic will unfold.”
The AI tool was tested, last week and it reported an outbreak in Johnson County Iowa. As predicted by the system, an outbreak that was linked to a surge in cases at the University of Iowa did spring up. The tool also reported several other counties including Harrisonburg County in Virginia, Wheeler County in Georgia, Monroe County in Indiana, and Whitman County in Washington, where potential outbreaks could be happening now. We need to wait and gather information on the same.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has estimated that it will take at least 12 to 18 months to fully test any potential Covid-19 vaccine for safety and effectiveness.
While we wait for the assassination of this Novel Coronavirus altogether, let us try out this detection tool and find out how our county is doing in regards to the spread of COVID-19 with this efficient detection tool.