How Analytics is helping Doctors tackle Coronavirus menace
As Coronavirus reaches more than 159 countries with global cases topping 183,163 and the number of death tolls crossing 7,175, the whole world is doing its best to mitigate the outbreak.
“The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a global emergency. Here’s how public and governments are using analytics to track the outbreak.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Center for Disease Control are tracking the outbreak of what could become a world epidemic. It started in China, but it has spread to many countries across the world. The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a world health emergency on 30th January 2020.
Today we can see a big use case for analytics hitting the headlines. It’s one of those instances where lives depend on technology.
The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering has built a real-time visualization dashboard of the outbreak that includes – listings of total numbers of cases, maps, deaths, active patients, closed, and recovered cases. The statistics are further broken down by countries and cases represented on the map by the size of the dot. The quoted sources include – CDC, WHO, and more. The university is using Esri’s ArcGIS (Geographic information system) for the visualization, which is published out through the web. The dashboard is a beneficial way for the general public and doctors to track the status of the outbreak. And from this, people can also know how the CDC and other government agencies are analyzing the data.
According to, Theresa Do, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at George Washington University and SAS analytics manager for infectious diseases epidemiology and biostatistics, says data, analytics, AI and other technology have a significant role to play in helping to understand, identify, and assist in predicting disease spread and progression. She knows how organizations use the data and analytics to make the right decisions. For example – The suspected new cases would be tackled by physicians and then sent to the CDC for confirmation. AI and ML technologies will also help doctors and government agencies to track down the confirmed cases and come out with the information like – where they’ve traveled and who they came in contact, to predict the spread. So, analytics that includes Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can help organizations in this outbreak to learn from past events to create new knowledge swiftly from millions of data points.
Likewise, organizations can also go for syndromic surveillance which helps to track down the size, spread, and tempo of outbreaks, to monitor disease trends, and to provide reassurance that an outbreak has not occurred. Social media is often used as a sentinel source in this outbreak. In the future, technologies like smartwatches may play a crucial role, as data can track sleep and heart rates to provide early indications that a person is not doing well.
Predictive analytics can also be applied to data from – airports, hospitals, and other public places to predict disease spread and risk. Hospitals can use the data to plan for the impact of an outbreak in their operations.
The core lesson for IT in the outbreak is that analytics has evolved to be an underpinning to all types of organizations and operations. While analytics and ML aren’t sitting in local doctors’ offices taking samples to be tested, these technologies are being employed to help the overall effort and make doctors and healthcare organizations more efficient and better equipped to fight the spread of a virus-like coronavirus.