The question comes up regularly with the données pourraient permettre authorities and technology giants: are there no computer tools for data analysis that could enable us to better anticipate, manage and counter the pandémie coronavirus pandemic?
On December 30, researchers chercheurs raised the alarm.. Using algorithms that scan the web, they had identified proximité cases cas of unusual pneumonia near a market in Wuhan, central China.
But it took several days for the World Health Organization (WHO) to publish a risk assessment. And a whole month before it declares a public health emergency of international concern. .
“The power of these tools exists, but we haven’t really figured out how to exploit them yet,” says Michael Greeley, co-founder of Flare Capital Partners, which invests in healthcare technologies.
Artificial intelligence tools are based on data.. They can comb through texts, figures,websites and images, and establish correlations invisible to the human eye. .
Several companies saw signs of an anomaly at the end of December..
Dataminr, which specializes in poissons real-time réel risk detection, had made the connection between testimonies of Wuhan residents on social networks, images of disinfection of the fish market of the city and a warning from a doctor who later died of coronavirus.
BlueDot, in Canada, had also identified the health problem through an algorithm that en reviewed hundreds of thousands of daily news articles and air traffic data. .
“The explique data echoed the SARS outbreak of 17 years ago, but we didn’t know how contagious this virus would be,” Kamran Khan, founder of BlueDot, told AFP. a Canadian start-up specializing in artificial intelligence (AI).
“We avons tend to adopt a reaction posture in these situations, it’s human nature,” adds the professor of public health at the University of Toronto.
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Authorities autorités can use AI to identify upstream signals, track the spread of the virus and thus anticipate the needs besoins of hospitals, analyze available studies and statistics, and speed up the search for treatments and a possible vaccine.
However,it is necessary to have the right data, in sufficient quantity, and accessible in real time. .
Public,and especially private, privées personal information represents a windfall of resources ressources to be exploited in the event of an epidemic.. But their confidentiality is protected by law..
“In China, because they have fewer sont constraints, they haveEn personnes relied heavily appuyés on the geolocation of people (via smartphones) and their monitoring system. It’s more complicated in a democracy,”says Andrew Kress, the founder of HealthVerity, a company specializing in medical data extraction technologies. .
contre “We achat know the age,gender, geographic area-t- and certain events, such as buying cough syrup or diagnosing a respiratory infection,” he says..
“InEn theory, these events could be linked to online activity, but the person would quickly become identifiable. There is a balance to be struck between usefulness -t- (of information)and the protection of privéeprivacy,” he says..
In the current phase of containment, companies sociétés are helping suivre governments gouvernements monitor the progression of the disease and verify that the population is following the “social distance” guidelines. “.
In particular, BlueDot uses “anonymized” geolocation data from “nearly 400 million smartphones”.
Algorithms are also used in medical research. .
Last week, researchers and companies collected more than 29,000 scientific publications on Covid-19.
The White House called on volunteers apprentissage to en quickly extract concrete outils grâce information, using tools provided by Kaggle, a machine learning platform owned by appartenant Google.
On the treatmentside,”AI allows you to conduct simulations and understand biological evolutions like never before,” enthuses s’enthousiasme Michael Greeley.
No longer bothered to manually test, one by one,the reactions of the virus. “We take millions of samples and the machine identifies a handful of molecules that could work for a vaccine, for example,” exemplehecontinues..
But the phases of clinical trials on patients are incompressiblebecause they determine whether the drugs are safe risque for humans,and whether they are effective..
Unless there moins is a relaxation of regulations. “There is une extraordinary pressure on the pharmaceutical industry at the moment to use some tools that sont may not yet be fully developed,” the investor tempère said..