The Artificial Intelligence sector was booming much before the pandemic. About nine out of ten companies were investing in futuristic technology to increase automation and improve decision-making. Even 77% of consumers were interacting regularly with AI-integrated systems in 2019. More than 65% of Smartphone users used voice assistants of some form, and 27% of business owners were planning to integrate the technology into their cybersecurity strategies. Digital assistants to chatbots, AI was propelling digitization at a fast pace. What the pandemic did is increase the speed of development in this sector further.
The last year has indeed witnessed massive job losses and widespread unemployment. But on the brighter side, we have also experienced immense growth in certain sectors, concerning digitization and AI. In 2019, the market value of AI was $27.23 billion, but it is expected to reach beyond $266 billion in the next six years, experiencing about a tenfold increase within so short a span. Not only business owners but also about 62% of customers are keener to improve their experience through AI-integrated systems. The need for direct communication with businesses is integral in the interactive market of today. According to the market researchers, more than 15% of customer interactions will be handled by AI chatbots and assistants by the end of 2021, 400 times more than that of 2017.
Hence, there is little doubt that AI is all set to become one of the biggest technology drivers of the economy in the following days. And it has proved its mettle during the pandemic. When the world is reeling from the pains of the pandemic, Ai-integrated systems are being employed to offer some relief. As it is the first-ever global health crisis in the 21st century, both the technology and healthcare sectors have joined hands to fight it. They have employed systems that make the most of AI and Machine Learning to enhance operations. The move is already showing success in the field of online mobility, cybersecurity, banking, finance, education, and of course, healthcare. AI-integrated advanced systems are being used to screen people in public places without violating the social distancing norm. Tele healthcare services are making the most of AI and Machine Learning to personalize the experience for various groups of patients. By analyzing big data, AI systems are improving hospital management and customizing medical care.
Let us shed some light on these areas to give you a complete overview of how AI is battling the pandemic.
Early detection and easy diagnoses
At the beginning of the pandemic, detection and diagnoses of COVID-19 cases were slow without adequate tools or resources. An AI-integrated healthcare sector soon found numerous ways to speed up the diagnoses of millions across the world. The industry invested a great deal in the technology to improve accuracy in CT diagnoses. It also helped them turn the odds in their favor by identifying and treating infections at a faster rate. AI-solutions aided the frontline workers in tracking the infection graph with higher efficiency, thus improving protective measures at a rapid rate.
Further, big data analytics helped global medical researchers offer authentic information about the virus to get a better insight into treatment procedures and protective measures. The data from the infected population aided health organizations around the world take better-informed and timely decisions. No wonder data science witnesses such rapid growth last year! Calculating, streamlining, and storing such mounds of data is impossible through manual processes, so AI and Machine Learning came to the rescue. Information was made available to each nook and corner of the country so that people may stay informed and alert at all times.
Development of medicine and protective equipment
In normal circumstances, a new drug takes about 12 years to reach the market from the research labs. Further, it costs any drug development company more than $350 million to launch a new drug. However, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has almost forced global researchers, and scientists to use AI systems and reduce the period for drug development. AI is also helping in drug repurposing or repositioning for the COVID-19 infection. Repurposing a drug means identifying more advanced applications of an existing drug to combat a new disease. It involves expanding the drug’s therapeutic value and increases its reach to neutralize similar infections. Developing a medicine from scratch is quite time-consuming, not to mention the various stages of trials that it has to go through. Drug repurposing is way effective in the current situation, where we lack the time and resources. Hence, pharmaceutical companies are using AI-integrated systems to repurpose various drugs and turn them effective against the COVID-19 virus.
Besides drug development, AI is being used to manufacture facial-recognition masks to eliminate the need to remove the protective face covering for ID checks. As airports and railway stations are considered the hub of infections, removing face masks at such places increases the risk for both authorities and the common people. Researchers are working closely with manufacturers to develop a process where the biometric system can identify people wearing masks. The AI-powered facial recognition system is still in its nascent stages but is said to identify about 77% of people as of now. Talks are also on about developing masks that detect COVID-19 infections with color signals. Such innovations are impossible without AI that is empowering our fight against the virus.
AI drones for COVID-19 detections and business operations
2020 has been a year of drones, be it spraying pesticides on agricultural fields, infrared temperature scanning, or delivering essential supplies to the locked-down citizens. These advanced drones integrate AI and machine learning to improve efficiency and speed-up operations. Even surveillance drones were used to check if all people were following the guidelines meted out by the government to combat the pandemic. In some places, where the mortality rate was high, and availability of frontline workers was low, drones were used to deliver medicines and other essential supplies. These AI-powered drones were also used to deliver testing samples to the labs faster in the absence of local transportation during the lockdown phase. With a rise in contactless distribution preferences, the drones turned out to be boons on wings.
Telehealth and digital assistants
For a long time, the hospitals were packed with COVID-19 patients, throwing other medical services off the wheel. Many health practitioners, including physical and mental health therapists, switched to telemedicine for the benefit of the people. It helped maintain the lockdown norms without compromising the people’s needs. As this was a sudden move, with not enough resources or manpower to begin, AI-integrated virtual assistants aided in making it a successful one. The multilingual voice assistance offered by AI-powered telehealth care systems reduced hassles in communication and virtual therapies. In general, these digital assistants also provided authentic information related to protective measures, scanning, and monitoring processes from time to time. Even disinfection of goods was automated without any human intervention in healthcare, and other sectors considered the hub of infections. Efforts are on to improve such solutions for a post-COVID world to stay prepared for similar crises.
Temperature scanning through AI-powered devices
One of the main symptoms of the virus is fever, and we are aware of that by now. At the beginning of the pandemic, handheld no-touch scanners were used to detect abnormal temperature levels in every person entering a public space. These thermal guns used infrared technology to identify elevations in core body temperature and detect fever from a distance. Also known as no-touch thermometers, these constituted one of our first weapons against the virus that measured temperature from the forehead.
However, soon global health experts realized the futility of measuring forehead temperature scanning, as several factors, like sweat droplets, makeup, headgear, and hair strands, affected the readings. More advanced thermal scanners were developed that took the readings from the wrist or fist of a person. As blood circulation carries any elevations in temperature to the surface of the skin through blood vessels, the wrist came to be an apt place to get more accurate readings. However, the problem with handheld thermal scanners was the need to operate them manually. The professionals who stood at the entrance of all public places, like hospitals, airports, clinics, office buildings, shopping malls, and even retail stores had to measure the temperature from the wrist of everyone intending to pass. It made them vulnerable to infections and reduced the speed of the process.
As a result, technology manufacturers, like our team at Machine Sense, came up with AI-powered automated thermal scanners that did not need any expert to handle them. Those were mounted on stands or the wall for everyone to check their temperature while passing. You may wonder that all people may not be honest enough to check their temperature, so how does a self-reliant scanner help curb the virus. Well, these self-reliant thermal scanners can be integrated into the security locks of smart doors to prevent anyone from passing without a scan. With AI customizations, you may also attribute other functions to these devices, like facial recognition and biometric identification, to increase their efficiency.
What is FeverWarn and how it helps combat the pandemic?
You may take a look at FeverWarn, our latest innovative, self-reliant infrared scanner that aims to detect every individual with fever and bar them from entering public places without a negative coronavirus test. It is an affordable AI-powered temperature scanning system that uses FDA-compliant infrared technology and confirms the accuracy of +/-0.9F. Designed and developed in the US by our amazing MachineSense team, it is one-of-a-kind with exclusive features that you may not find in other thermal scanners. You can mount the device on the wall or a stand bedside the entrance gate, and every approaching person should put their fist forward and get their temperature scanned without touching.
Our self-reliant thermal scanning device comes with USB and cloud storage to store the data obtained from each reading to prevent future liabilities. This data can also be used to track infection graphs with higher efficiency. Get in touch with us if you have further queries about FeverWarn – our innovative thermal scanner for the new world.