Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Corona Virus and AI: Can Artificial Intelligence help Healthcare to find a cure for Corona Virus?
The #coronavirus outbreak, that was first noticed briefly in Dec 2019 and officially in January 2020, is now fast turning into the world “Pandemic”, affecting over 90,000 as of today in several countries. Coronavirus, or the COVID-19 virus, has traveled to many countries, resulting in further spreading of the pneumonia-like disease. Scientists are now called to find a cure to fight this virus as soon as possible. However, the drug discovery and production process are usually one that needs a significant amount of time. In this case, Artificial Intelligence might be the key to the acceleration of the process that will enable scientists to develop the cure faster.
Analyze the Coronavirus
In order to find a cure in the shortest amount of time, scientists in China have already shared with the scientific community the complete genome of the COVID-19 virus. Many Artificial Intelligence companies have answered the call, in order to discover a way to fight it. Those companies use their machine learning algorithms to analyze the compounds of the virus, as well as various drug compounds that could be used.
The first approach that Artificial Intelligence companies have taken is to find which medicine could be re-purposed to fight the coronavirus. Scientists have found that medicine used to cure different illnesses might do the trick. So far they have tested drugs the help cure rheumatoid arthritis, anti-HIV, as well as various influenza drugs.
The second approach that Artificial Intelligence can help in the discovery of a cure is to analyze various compounds that can help the immune system. A company claims that it has discovered 6 new molecules that might inhibit the spread of the COVID-19 virus inside the body.
Coronavirus is a new scientific direction and that makes the process of fighting it slower than usual. The Artificial Intelligence companies working on that are all sharing every new discovery so that everyone can take part in the research, in the hope of a speedy reaction.
Accelerate the Drug Discovery
In case some of the aforementioned approaches are starting to show results in the labs, the companies can move on to test them on real coronavirus patients. Only then they can be sure that they are on the right track and they can begin planning the production of a vaccine. Scientists believe that with the help of machine learning they can achieve the production of the cure within 18 to 24 months. This is indeed a much faster process than the one already used for the rest of the drugs.
It is true to say that in this outbreak the cure might not be ready in time. However, it will certainly be ready for the next one.
Artificial Intelligence to Help in Coronavirus Prevention
Artificial Intelligence also brings hope for the further prevention of the coronavirus. What might help the governments of the countries affected is consulting with an AI expert in order to find various preventive ways. Drones and robots can play a huge role in this. Drones can be used for the disinfection of public places, while robots can be used for the tending of patients.
The coronavirus a serious global issue and scientists from all over the world are focusing on its solution. With the advancements of AI systems, there is hope that a cure will soon be found