COVID-19 has quickly spread out to almost all countries in the world. The death toll from the pandemic has crossed 200,000 around the globe. There seems to be no sign of the number of infected and dead cases decreasing, and the situation will be getting under control despite the global effort to develop an effective vaccine and medical treatment for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Governments are striving to limit the economic destruction unleashed by the virus, which has left half of the human race under some form of lockdown and notified infections approaching three million.
The world’s biggest economy has been struck by the pandemic, with 26 million jobs lost since the mess began, and US leaders are under stress to find ways to handle social distancing measures.
There is no doubt that Intelligent Automation in healthcare is causing a paradigm shift , and there might be value in its application to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Automate. Unleash the power of the ‘Digital Worker’
Combined with data analytics, Intelligent Automation in healthcare helps us to understand the COVID-19 in terms of outbreak tracking, virus structure, and disease treatment. It can build complex simulation models using coronavirus data streams for outbreak estimation. These solutions would aid health agencies in monitoring the coronavirus spread and preparing better preventive measurements.
To better understand and alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic, several articles and reports have been published online in the last few months. A few of them are discussed below.
Machine Learning can synthesize learnings
Advances in Intelligent automation in healthcare can help synthesize findings across reports.
The White House has issued a call-to-action for experts to build artificial intelligence tools that apply to a new COVID-19 dataset (CORD-19). The dataset depicts the most extensive machine-readable Coronavirus literature collection accessible for data and text mining, with over thousands of articles.
Sharing vital learnings across scientific and medical communities is key to quickening our ability to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the most critical and impactful uses of Intelligent Automation is in the ability to help scientists, academics, and technologists obtain the right information in a sea of scientific articles to move the study faster.
Besides modeling insights, Intelligent Automation can help in tracking the COVID-19 outbreak, identifying infected patients, improving medical treatment, and researching drug care.
Before COVID-19, the healthcare systems around the world were focused on individual care. With the current situation, the focus has shifted from personal care to public health in the context of an outbreak. Making that shift for any health service is not easy.
They have to change how they reflect and act, a complete change of approach. Also, a common factor in epidemics is the high number of patients who arrive at hospitals all at the same time.
How can Intelligent Automation in healthcare improve Hospital Back-office Operations?
The spread of Covid-19 is testing operational systems in healthcare and beyond. We have seen deficits of everything, from masks and gloves to ventilators, and from emergency room space to ICU beds to the speed and security of internet connectivity.
One healthcare organization’s purchasing team saw an 800% increase in the cancellations coming from suppliers in recent weeks. In the face of this emergency, an intelligent automation leader, a Blue Prism partner, developed a smart automation process for the healthcare organization, with Digital Workers from Blue Prism. It cancels the purchase order lines and relieves the manual burden the team is facing today.
Streamlining a standard, repetitive process, new Digital Workers are now able to instantly work through the high volume of cancellations, increasing purchasing efficiency, reducing response time, and helping the hospital system better serve patients.
While hospitals get ready for millions that need care, some need reassurance.
Intelligent Automation can help patient self-triage
People need to find a mechanism to self-assess whether or not care is necessary without burdening the health care systems.
There is a growing need for patient self-triage, including interactive voice response systems and chatbots. Providence St. Joseph Health System in Seattle, partnered with Intelligent Automation to differentiate between those who might be sick with COVID-19 and those who appear to be suffering from less alarming ailments. In its first week, Providence’s tool served more than 40,000 patients, delivering care at an unparalleled scale.
Likewise, Florida’s Tampa General Hospital deployed an AI system to prevent individuals with potential Covid-19 symptoms from visiting patients. Through cameras positioned at doors, the technology carries a facial thermal scan and identifies other symptoms, including sweat and discoloration, to avoid visitors with fever.
Moving beyond self-triage…
How can Intelligent Automation in healthcare help Diagnosis & Detection of COVID-19?
In the ﬁght against the COVID-19 pandemic, developing efﬁcient diagnostic and treatment methods play an important part in decreasing the impact of the COVID-19 virus.
To combat the COVID-19 epidemic, early treatment, and prediction are of importance. The standard techniques are, nonetheless, usually costly and time-consuming.
A simple and low-cost solution for COVID-19 identiﬁcation is using smart devices together with IA frameworks referred to as mobile health. The deep domain knowledge of medical experts, and uses smartphones learning to record cough/sound signals as the input data. With deep reinforcement, the abnormalities in the COVID-19 disease can be quantified.
Intelligent Automation can help Clinical Decision Support
As the coronavirus pandemic brings people to hospital emergency rooms around the world, Intelligent Automation systems trained through machine learning can offer “clinical decision support.”
University of Chicago Medical Center is working on an Intelligent Automation system. The system can provide real-time risk scores using data from patients’ electronic medical records (such as vital signs, lab results, and demographic information).
In an upgraded version that uses about 100 variables, it is a finding that the amount of supplemental oxygen required to keep a patient’s blood-oxygen level up is the most predictive signal that a patient’s condition is declining. An increasing oxygen requirement is an incredibly important signal for COVID patients whose lungs are failing.
Daniel Burke, another volunteer at the New York city’s Bellevue Hospital, is convinced that machine learning tools will help. During a shift, he watches over twenty critically ill patients on ventilators. He explains that for doctors who are not expert pulmonologists, machine-learning tools can help to make life-and-death decisions during this crisis.
How do we move ahead?
Intelligent Automation has proved very useful for supporting outbreak prediction, coronavirus detection, and patient care.
Beyond that, Intelligent Automation can also help understand the COVID-19 in terms of virus structure and disease development. By using the datasets provided by healthcare establishments, governments, clinical labs, and patients, Intelligent Automation can leverage intelligent analytic tools for predicting effective and safe vaccine/drug against COVID-19.
Intelligent Automation is acting as an “invisible hand” in revolutionising the healthcare sector.
Reimagining healthcare practices and services will require the thought of many.
It’s time that companies, Governments, scientists, need to come together to bring out the best technologies that apply across biomedicine, epidemiology, Intelligent Automation, and other sciences. Decisive action from these institutions’ science and technology enterprise is crucial to prevent, detect, treat, and develop answers to COVID-19.
Intelligent Automation has brought out the need for heavy reliance on automation. History proves that actions taken during a crisis do pay off during normal times. In telligent Automation has emerged as one of the most important aspects of a crisis response strategy. IA will not just make healthcare more efficient, but enable digital transformation across government agencies and industries. How long will it take for normalcy to return? Nobody knows. But acting now will bring in short-term and long-term benefits.