AI App for Self-Assessment Coronavirus Risk
Researchers hope a new AI-powered app will help early COVID-19 detection and reduce panic
Recent fears over the spread of the COVID-19 form of the coronavirus have prompted researchers to develop a risk assessment app powered by artificial intelligence (AI). The app is designed for public use to assess symptoms and exposure and evaluate the risk of infection.
“We wanted to help identify people who are at high risk for coronavirus, help expedite their access to screening and to medical care and reduce spread of this infectious disease,” says Dr Arni Rao, study author and director of the Laboratory for Theory and Mathematical Modeling at Augusta University, USA in a press release on March 5.
Rao and study co-author Dr Jose Vazquez, chief of the MCG Division of Infectious Diseases at Augusta University, are hoping to finalise the apps development and make it available within a few weeks. According to the press release, the app will be free to use as it addresses a public health issue.
The app works by using an AI algorithm to assess information provided by the user. The information gathered includes details about demographics (residence, gender, age, race), exposure to an infected person, travel to high risk areas, and common symptoms of infection. The app then provides a risk assessment (none, minimal, moderate, or high) and alerts health facilities for further testing if required.
Rao and Vazquez believe user’s collective information will help health professionals gain a clearer picture of where and how the virus is spreading. Info about infection within geographical regions will therefore be shared with health care providers and researchers.
As an additional benefit, Rao and Vazquez believe the app may help relieve the burden on hospitals whilst public access to the app may reduce the likelihood of panic. The app also has the potential to be developed for the detection of other infectious diseases.