It is the hour of need to avail the opportunity of using artificial intelligence to cover and replace the shortage and gap of providing quality healthcare due to COVID 19 outbreak in a country.
Many government and private organizations are offering grants from breakthrough discoveries that can help to fight the COVID 19 pandemic.
The previous government in Pakistan had envisioned embarking on the quest of finding and achieving potential of artificial intelligence in Pakistan. Under the umbrella of Higher Education commission (HEC) nine labs are to be established throughout the country as a part of this project. Two labs are developed at NUST for Intelligent Robotics and Deep Learning, two at NED UET Karachi on Smart City and Neuro-computation, one at the CIIT to work on medical Imaging and diagnostics, one at UET Lahore on Intelligent Criminology and one at Punjab University of computational modeling. National Centre of Artificial Intelligence was launched back in March 2018.
Present government launched an initiative to educate the upcoming generation through the President’s initiative on Artificial intelligence (AI) and Computing (PIAIC), started in November 2018, offering opportunity to learning and developing business in Blockchain, Cloud native and Artificial intelligence.
Advance medical equipment which requires trained medical personnel, from consultants, nurses, pharmacists and respiratory therapists, with expertise in emergency and critical care. This short fall, can be managed with the use of AI, with alliance with medical experts. Government should organize its resources to generate AI which can help in successfully running these advance equipment and help bare the intensive care surge in hospitals with COVID 19 outbreak.
There could be an AI software that assists doctor to comprehend respiratory mechanics of a patient going towards ARDS, and when taken on mechanical ventilator, recommends settings according to the needs of the patient.
There are several examples of artificial intelligence technology used in similar contexts such as CLiO2™ which is an automatic oxygen controller that keeps the oxygen level in the blood within a safe range for newborns needing mechanical ventilation. Many researches in west, of date, are trying to develop AI for predicting tools for severity score and mortality prediction, prediction of sepsis, and decisions to support mechanical ventilations, as to when to place a person or support and when to withdraw it in view of its need and likewise predict duration of ventilation, which is essential in management patients and resources in intensive care.
This is actually the time for Pakistan to take its efforts to the next level and utilise its limited resources, in best possible way for saving lives of citizens. Hence, with the use of AI, Pakistan can win in defeating the COVID 19at its front-line in hospitals.
The use of artificial intelligence in management of severe cases is one side of it, there is always room to go beyond. In the recent interview, Prime Minister Imran Khan has mentioned using artificial intelligence in surveillance of COVID 19 to predict its spread and outbreak in Pakistan.