Governments, healthcare authorities and staff are working hard to fight and overcome the Covid-19 situation worldwide. Beyond that, innovative technologies can be a powerful additional resource to support the current efforts – let us explore some of these opportunities:
Predictive models for the spread of infectious diseases
The development of models that provide short and medium term forecasting of the number of new cases is a powerful tool to estimate the need for clinical resources and personnel, especially when healthcare systems are overloaded.
In today’s situation, daily growth rate models are being published, relying on statistical models or time-series forecasting using Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) neural networks. Further, at the beginning of the crisis, Big Data and AI techniques like Natural Language Processing have been used to identify and alert early about the new virus.
We have observed that most of the current models rely on the number of daily cases, but do not take into account the specific characteristics of each region or other relevant variables that may influence the evolution of the disease. For example, clustering regions can help create more accurate and specific predictive models. AI and Big Data can also be used to create accurate and detailed geospatial spread models, complementing the capabilities of traditional epidemiological compartment approaches.