Can data analysis help during a coronavirus pandemic?

The coronavirus topic has recently dominated world media. No wonder - the WHO last announced the state of the pandemic in 2009. Are new technologies together with data analysis helpful in such situations?

Coronavirus – what do we know about it?

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, whose source is located in China, causes a disease known as COVID-19. It has already spread over 100 countries around the world.

This is not the first time in history that the virus has caused a global threat.  However, the rate of its spread and the lack of effective treatment methods bring many concerns. New technologies – artificial intelligence and advanced data analysis systems – can help to combat COVID-19. Thanks to them, we can:

Forecast trends with artificial intelligence

The better we can track the virus, the faster we can fight it.  By analysing information reports, social media platforms, or government publications, artificial intelligence can learn how to detect an epidemic. As it turns out, AI BlueDot warned of the threat a few days before public warnings were issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization.

Track down the epidemic with Power BI

As crucial as detecting negative phenomena is tracking them. Data analysis and systems such as Power BI help to better monitor the situation. For example, an interactive map developed by EBIS presents not only the places where COVID-19 infections were detected but also data on the number of illnesses, deaths, and recoveries. All information presented in the report is updated automatically based on data provided by GitHub. Thanks to that, it is possible to analyse thoroughly how the disease spreads in the following countries and to anticipate downward trends.

Additionally, the data can be presented in the form of an interactive map or charts. What is essential, all the data is available in one place, together with the percentage analysis of the disease scale. So, anyone who wants to be up to date with the latest COVID-19 infection status can check the data in the report.

Diagnose using artificial intelligence

Infervision, a company dealing with artificial intelligence, has launched a dedicated solution that helps first-line healthcare workers to detect and monitor coronavirus effectively. Imaging departments in healthcare facilities have recently been particularly affected by the increased workload caused by the virus. This solution increases the speed of CT diagnosis. In turn, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has created an artificial intelligence-powered diagnostic system that claims to diagnose COVID-19 with 96% accuracy in seconds.

These are not all examples of using new technologies to fight the pandemic. The Chinese company Terra Drone uses its drones to transport medical samples or patrol public spaces and control quarantined people. The drones have also proved to be a rescue in the face of medical staff shortages. SenseTime’s non-contact temperature measurement software has been implemented in metro stations, schools, and community centers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Cloud computing resources and supercomputers of several major technology companies, such as Tencent, DiDi, and Huawei, are used by researchers to develop a drug or vaccine for coronavirus quickly. The speed with which these systems work is much faster than standard spreadsheet processing.

So, as you can see from the above examples, in a pandemic such as COVID-19, advanced technologies based on artificial intelligence and data analysis are very helpful. Let’s hope that by joining global forces, we will soon be able to count on significant improvements.