Application of Artificial Intelligence for Covid-19


According to OREN ETZIONI, CEO of Seattle's Allen Institute for AI (A12) and his A12 senior assistant NICOLE DECARIO have boiled down AI’s role in the current crisis to three intermediate applications.

Firstly, processing large amounts of data to find treatment. Secondly, reducing the spread. Lastly, Treating Ill patients.

Artificial intelligence in healthcare provides an upper hand undoubtedly over traditional approaches and clinical decision-making approaches.

The goal of Artificial intelligence is to mimic human intelligence through the use of complex algorithms to improve daily human routine tasks in efficiency, speed, and accuracy. From the above definition, you would discover that Artificial intelligence can achieve this during the covid-19 pandemic

  • Efficiency­- Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has a virtual screening tool called Rhodium that recently evaluated two million drug compounds in a few days hoping to identify high-probability drugs that may have efficiency against the COVID-19 with minimal adverse side effects. The use of Artificial intelligence techniques like virtual screening has improved the efficiency of drugs.

  • Speed Rhodium, a virtual screening software, has discovered more drug compounds with possible traits of treating the CORONA virus than humans and at a faster rate. When a traditional approach to drug discovery is used it takes a longer time to come up with a lasting solution that could help augment this overwhelming moment, but when Artificial intelligence is involved, it is achieved within a short space of time.

  • Accuracy- Flusense, is an AI-based compact device used to predict viral respiratory outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the level of accuracy it achieves is better than that of humans. When humans are operating with a dataset, because of their involvement in other activities the possibilities exist that they tend to input a value that is not part of the research which will affect the output of the research. But when using an Artificial intelligence algorithm, the machine doesn’t complicate itself with other issues it only faces the given task and thereby it tends to achieve a higher level of accuracy.


  • Research

  • Drug discovery

  • Consultation

  • Patients flow and tracking

  • Diagnosis

We are going to be looking at some of the ways in which Artificial Intelligence can help in the fight of Covid-19.


Natural Language Processing (NLP) involves training machines to ­­­analyse a user question in a full sentence than to read the tens of thousands of scholarly articles in the database and generate an answer. NLP is an algorithm in Artificial intelligence that has helped researchers by crunching huge amounts of data that would be impossible for humans to process.

In March, the white house published over 45,000 PDF documents on COVID-19 for experts to look at. Obviously, no human can go through the papers in a short space of time, so AI became the solution, IBM lab in Switzerland built a model called corpus conversion tool that made it possible for researchers to pick the vital information from the papers and in a few days there were many researchers already responding to it.

There are over 60,000 scholarly papers which have an incremental value on a daily basis, related to the new coronavirus. Within a short space of time since the outbreak more were added. These are papers that could help tackle the Covid-19 situation, every scientist working on discovering a cure must need to go through the papers. Even if the scientist did nothing but reading it would take them years to go through the papers and come up with something useful but the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP) could change it and help us get an instant overview.

Drug discovery

Artificial intelligence-based models such as virtual screening have revolutionized drug discovery as an approach for coming up with lasting solutions to reduce the effects of Covid-19. Virtual screening computationally targeting a specific biomolecule of a cell either by Structure-based (3D structure) or Ligand-based structure (e.g DNA, RNA, protein e.t.c) so as to provide a rapid and cost-effective strategy for the discovery of drugs.

Through virtual screening, many natural compounds have been screened and it was discovered that they have antiviral activities including the Anti-SARS-COV effect.

Also, it is very important to note that if traditional methods of drug discovery are engaged it takes a longer period of time to develop vaccines or antiviral agents against the COVID-19.

Artificial intelligence has been able to provide us with thousands of antiviral agents in a short space of time which is impossible for a human to achieve.


The major principle adopted by every nation in fighting this virus is social distancing. Achieving this is somehow difficult as people will need to interact with the physician and make complaints when they discover any symptoms. The use of Artificial intelligence robots has helped in reducing communication between people.

AI-powered autonomous robots and humanoid robots cloud ginger (XR-1) are used in hospitals in Wuhan, China. The first is used to assist workers to deliver foods and medicine to the patients and the latter is used to entertain the patients during the quarantine.

The use of Chatbots has greatly reduced physical interactions between humans. Some few functions of the chatbot is, the conduction of the COVID-19 risk assessment, making of complaints and in case tracking. So the maintenance of social distancing can be achieved because of the use of the chatbot.

Patients flow and tracking

A health map is an Artificial intelligence algorithm that collects online data through the use of machine learning (ML) and natural processing language (NLP). It monitors and tracks the level at which a patient is affected both collectively and individually. This will enhance better decision making that fights the outbreak of the virus.

An AI system can assist physicians by providing up-to-date medical information from journal textbooks and clinical practices to inform proper patient care. Efficient patient flow allows newly admitted to getting to the right place as soon as they enter the hospital, current patients are transited to the right unit and patients who are ready for discharge to leave the hospital with as little delay as possible. When hospitals manage patient flow effectively there is a proper distribution and allocation of time and resources to unit particular kinds of patients in need.

The use of Artificial intelligence in health such as the forecasting of patient flow to avoid unnecessary visits by the emergency departments, clinical data to predict outcomes in the emergency department, e.t.c, has helped beyond doubt in the improvement of operational planning, improving healthcare quality, and increasing patients satisfactory.


Diagnosing treatment usually takes a long period of time to learn with the growing number of Covid-19 patients. We may lack the available number of personnel needed to diagnose treatment. Deep learning algorithms observe the data of the patients at hand thereby diagnosing the treatment that should be given to patients.

In 2015 misdiagnosing illness and a medical error accounted for 10% of all US deaths. One of the problems AI seeks to solve in this subjects is the reduction in the level of misdiagnosing illness.

COVID-NET, a deep learning model uses chest x-rays to detect patients that are positive for COVID-19 and accelerate treatment based on the level of risk associated with each patient.

AI-based computer vision cameras were deployed in China and other parts of the world whose major Job is to scan crowds for COVID-19 symptoms and monitor people during the lockdown.


Artificial has made a tremendous impact within the period of this pandemic. We hope that this paper will show you some of the impacts it has made. Without Artificial Intelligence the spread of the virus would have been uncontrollable, coming up with vaccines would have taken a long time, humans would be taken unaware of the situation as there will be no AI model for fast prediction.

Compared to traditional approaches in clinical operations AI is very cost-effective and it can achieve more in a short space of time. Like the case of the AI-powered autonomous robots in Wuhan, China, the spread of the virus was reduced as there is a reduction in the face near contact.


About the Author

The AI Sorcery is glad to introduce its newest writers, Achanya Christopher. He is from Nigeria and is studying statistics at the Federal Polytechnic Ile-Oluji Ondo State. He has internship experience from Cocoa Product (Ile-Oluji) Limited Nigeria where he occupied the office of the production statistician. Having been a data and technology lover, he likes to listen to soulful music and reading research articles.

203 views0 comments
Never Miss a Post. Subscribe Now!

© 2020  by The AI Sorcery


  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter