How India is utilizing Artificial Intelligence to fight COVID-19

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been one of many largest know-how success tales of the previous decade. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfold throughout the globe, researchers and entrepreneurs stepped as much as devise new methods to fight it. From understanding and stopping the unfold of the virus to diagnosing and treating it, startups and established know-how firms in India are actively leveraging AI to help this combat.

Modeling the pandemic

Decision makers have more and more relied on pc simulations to know how the pandemic state of affairs will evolve over time. TCS, in collaboration with Pune-based Prayas Health Group, is utilizing digital twins to forecast the unfold of COVID-19 in city districts. A digital twin is a digital computerised mannequin of a bodily system that takes real-world knowledge as enter and predicts the long run evolution of the system.

“Macro models don’t work well in countries like India which have high heterogeneity. So we developed ward-level digital twins that modelled the spread of the disease as a function of the number of proximal contacts, average duration of contacts, people and place characteristics, and population demographics like age, gender, comorbidities, etc,” says Vinay Kulkarni, distinguished chief scientist, TCS. “The model predictions closely match the observations reported by city corporations and empower the administration to take better locality-specific decisions.”


Ensuring individuals put on face masks and observe social distancing is predicted to be a significant problem for organisations. AI is getting used to watch dwell CCTV feeds and immediately report violations of tips to security directors.

“It is critical that a safe ecosystem is created for businesses and schools to re-open as soon as possible in spite of COVID-19,” says Atul Arya, CEO of Blackstraw, an AI firm. “Our AI-powered health risk management system developed jointly by Blackstraw and Bharat Forge not only enables safety of humans and compliance with government guidelines, but also drives long-term behavioural changes that are crucial to live by in the new normal.”


The reverse transcription polymerase chain response (RT-PCR) check is taken into account the gold normal for COVID-19 prognosis. Due to lengthy processing instances, many hospitals use chest X-ray and CT scans for screening sufferers. Radiology scans are additionally helpful in monitoring development of the illness and assessing the diploma of lung an infection. AI has made fast advances in the previous couple of years in diagnosing tuberculosis amongst different pathologies from radiology photos. Enterprising medical startups had been fast to repurpose their TB options for COVID-19.

“We do not believe AI can yet replace radiologists. Our AI solutions are, instead, designed to augment and assist them,” says Dr Amit Kharat, a radiologist and co-founder at DeepTek. “Our AI models have been used in the field to report over 80,000 X-rays for a government-run TB screening program. We are using the same base technology for COVID-19 screening.”

By reducing radiologist efforts and enhancing reporting instances, such AI-enabled options help make well timed and correct prognosis reasonably priced for everybody.


TCS is utilizing AI simulations to synthesise molecules and uncover new medicine to combat the virus. From a candidate set of 50,000 molecules, their simulations chosen 31 molecules that are actually present process trials as potential cures.

A brand new untested drug must go in depth medical trials on human sufferers earlier than approval. Hence, the short-term focus of pharmaceutical firms has been on repurposing present medicine which have already cleared trials for COVID-19 remedy. Innoplexus is utilizing AI to crunch by a large dataset of accessible medicine to determine secure medicine that would disrupt the functioning of the virus.

Regulations and coverage

Hospitals and governments have tempered their enthusiasm for AI with warning. AI methods are brittle and work solely on the precise datasets that had been used to construct them. They have to be extensively examined on real-world knowledge earlier than being adopted in observe.

“It is difficult to trust AI since it cannot explain its predictions,” says Sahil Deo, an AI-policy knowledgeable and co-founder of CPC Analytics. “There is also the question of who is to be held accountable if the AI mispredicts. We need a strong regulatory framework before we can widely adopt AI in decision making.”

(The writer has a grasp’s diploma in pc science from University of California, Berkeley and is at present pursuing a Ph.D. in Quantum Artificial Intelligence)


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