Data is considered to be the lifeblood of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The amount of published open data on COVID-19 has increased during the pandemic and this poses new opportunities for the development of AI. Before the pandemic, AI had a minor presence in healthcare solutions as researchers did not always see the importance of AI or did not have the data needed to provide solutions. However, when we look towards the future it is likely that AI will play a more prominent role in healthcare.
An example is Kaggle, otherwise known as CORD-19, a machine learning and data science platform that hosts the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset. CORD-19 compiles relevant data and adds new research into one centralised hub. The datasets are machine readable, making it easy to break them down for AI machine learning purposes. As of May 2020, there are more than 128,000 scholarly articles on COVID-19, SARS, MERS, and other relevant terms. Furthermore, healthcare workers are sharing information on COVID-19 with a new sense of transparency and at speeds that have not been seen before.
During the early stages of the outbreak in China, Alibaba released an AI algorithm that was trained on more than 5,000 cases with the use of CT scans. This algorithm can diagnose patients in 20 to 30 seconds. With the new (open) health data being released by organisations such as healthcare institutions, the AI applications can provide real solutions for the future of healthcare and relieve the strain on healthcare workers.
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