Providing Innovative Tools To Help Curb COVID19 Transmissions

Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Providing Innovative Tools To Help Curb COVID19 Transmissions

Can more advanced technology offer emergency medical healthcare workers the tools and knowledge they need to assess which cases are the most critical? Corti.AI has begun to explore how it can aid emergency departments worldwide and assist emergency medical professionals in spotting underlying trends in acute situations.

The fast-spreading coronavirus has begun to show considerable signs of world-changing impacts on our healthcare systems. The World Health Organization (WHO) and public health officials have advised those with moderate flu-like symptoms to stay home for at least 14 days, and have recommended that only those with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, should seek professional medical assistance. Despite this, emergency services have been flooded with calls that do not fit the criteria set out by public health officials. This is critical since it has both the potential to dramatically change the prioritisation of calls and prevent patients in acute situations from receiving the treatment they deserve, and the potential to cloud the judgement of the medical professionals that interview hundreds of patients a day. Having advanced guidelines can augment emergency departments in being efficient when sending out ambulances, suggesting personal protective equipment (PPE), and advising if the patient should go to a hospital.

There is no denying that the employees of the healthcare industry have truly become our fundamental heroes, and we owe them the opportunity to operate with the best tools possible. Motivated by the current circumstances, Corti is exploring the ways in which AI technology can aid our medical heroes in fighting the transmission of COVID-19.

Currently, there is an overwhelming amount of information circulating on COVID-19, and it can be argued that we as humans, whether patients or medical professionals, might act outside of our normal behavioural patterns. During crises, we often turn away from advised protocols and do everything imaginable to keep ourselves and one another safe. It has already been reported that a large number of patients with moderate flu-like symptoms call emergency departments to ask for recommendations, despite being advised not to. And unfortunately, not all medical professionals at emergency departments have the bandwidth to determine which calls should be prioritized at each time, allowing for an unoptimal working environment.

By taking advantage of the incredible amount of data we are receiving during this outbreak in comparison to others in the past, Corti can assist in providing emergency medical professionals with the appropriate guidelines needed to react accordingly and prioritize severe cases. By trying to find underlying trends that can help quality assurance managers and medical researchers plan actions to avoid these trends. Machine learning can, in this case, make sure that all medical professionals are enabled to react as efficiently and accurately as possible. If not, the virus has a large risk of becoming a different kind of threat, where deaths are not caused due to the viral infection itself, but due to the fear and stress that the virus imposes on our societies.

From the Black Death and Ebola to the current coronavirus pandemic, we often see a common theme connecting all outbreaks: namely that fear and panic have a potential to magnify the harm done by the virus. Knowledge and information sharing continues to be extremely important during outbreaks, but often we witness a great number of false statements circulating society, enabling us to become even more anxious than before. When patients stray away from the recommendations of public health institutions and call emergency services to seek advice on flu-like symptoms, a system that is already under immense pressure and suffering from scarce resources, faces even more constraints.

After the Ebola outbreaks, public health officials were urged to handle future outbreak responses in a different manner. Now, we have the knowledge and information solutions to provide medical professionals with first-rate tools to take care of not only us as patients but also themselves as employees of the healthcare industry. During a disease outbreak, anxiety and fear are reasonable reactions, and it’s important to take necessary precautions to reduce the spread of disease, such as washing hands and staying home if symptoms appear. And if we want to make sure that all precautions have the highest possible impact, we must provide our front-line heroes with the appropriate tools to be able to respond to the high volume of human reactions and concerns.