Big Data Analytics is one of the key tech tool in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Read on to know more…
In the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and developers are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing to track and contain coronavirus, as well as gain a more comprehensive understanding of the disease.
Why Big Data
In the months since COVID-19 hit the US, researchers have been hard at work trying to uncover the nature of the virus – why it affects some more than others, what measures can help reduce the spread, and where the disease will likely go next. At the core of these efforts is something with which the healthcare industry is very familiar — Data. From interactive maps detailing new infection cases to big data analysis platforms used to find close contacts of the COVID-19 patients, big data has played an important role during the prevention and control of the epidemic.
The rapid, global spread of COVID-19 has also brought advanced big data analytics tools front and center, with entities from all sectors of the healthcare Industry seeking to monitor and reduce the impact of this virus. It not only allows the public to grasp the changing situation in a timely manner and take action accordingly, but also helps the authorities to make scientific decisions and optimize the allocation of resources.
Big Data in Fight Against COVID-19
Way back in February this year, big data analysis platform used to find close contacts of the COVID-19 patients or suspected cases has received more than 150 million hits since it was launched. By inputting names and ID card numbers after scanning QR codes, individual users can check whether they took the same flights, trains or buses as those with confirmed or suspected cases.
This is just one example how big data is helping the public to prevent the COVID-19 in a more scientific, efficient way.
At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, researchers are using big data and analytics to better comprehend coronavirus from a number of different angles. The institute recently announced that it would offer government entities, research organizations, and industry access to innovative AI tools, as well as experts in data and public health to help combat COVID-19.
Some Internet and tech organizations are also using big data analysis to extract valuable information that can help prevent and control the epidemic. Several large organizations have launched projects like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and others have recently offered researchers free access to open datasets and analytics tools to help them develop COVID-19 solutions faster.
Earlier Usage of Big Data & Apps
This is not the first time that big data has been used to collect information in a health crisis. In 2011, scientists at Cambridge University in the UK created an app to track the spread of regular flu. The app, FluPhone, incorporated ideas which were later used in the development of apps that have helped countries such as South Korea tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Algorithms produced using this data can estimate the probability that any given neighborhood or individual has been exposed to COVID-19 by matching a user’s smartphone location to known infection hotspots. One such app allows the user to see on a map where the latest cases have been reported, giving them the ability to avoid potential infection. Another allows employers to see where an employee has been for the last 14 days to make sure they can safely come back to work.