The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak has caused upheaval around the world, and it is slowly changing everything. The pandemic has shut down schools, offices, malls, stores, and is nearly bringing most economies at a standstill. It is changing how people communicate, study, work, shop, and handle challenges. Everything is shifting, and digital technology has been aiding the transformation. With the help of robust technology and networks, people will be able to tackle COVID-19 and create a new world.
Numerous challenges have already started to rise globally. Firstly, how doctors can quickly detect the virus to stop it from spreading it further. Secondly, doctors need to know the best way to treat a COVID-19 patient. Thirdly, various ways students can continue their education as most schools and universities around the globe are closed. And fourthly, productive ways employees can efficiently work from home.
Tech companies around the globe, including Huawei, are continuously working to fight the pandemic, especially with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In Bangladesh, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Directorate General of Health and Services are using Huawei’s video conferencing systems to assist the Government in combating the pandemic. The process enhances the remote collaboration and communication efficiency between government departments.
In the Philippines, Huawei is using an AI image screening system to help doctors diagnose patients for COVID-19. The doctors call it ‘AI COVID-19 CT Scan Analyzer’. The analyzer can determine the results within 7 minutes. Before, the process used to take around 4-5 days to assess the results of the tests. While in Ecuador, Huawei’s AI screening diagnosis system is assisting the examination process of COVID-19. Huawei’s engineers are working onsite for 14 consecutive hours to connect the Huawei Cloud AI System to its Information Technology (IT) system in the hospital. Ecuador has been the first country in South America to receive an installation of AI Cloud in a hospital, where 5 patients were detected in 1 minute.
In Singapore, Huawei is working with its numerous partners to offer a codeless development platform to help the local Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to jump-start their business continuity. Before the development of the platform, most organizations have been using pen and paper to keep the record. Huawei Cloud platform has seamlessly aided the organizations to transform its transaction to digital.
On the other hand, in Argentina, AI and infrared sensors are being used for contactless temperature measurement at the airports. The sensors are also being used in crowded areas like hospitals to improve diagnostic efficiency. In China, Huawei is conducting DNA sequencing on the Cloud to research for drugs that might be effective against the virus. Huawei Cloud WeLink is being used for telemedicine and pandemic management. In Indonesia, with the help of Huawei’s Cloud platform, the University of Jakarta has been conducting online classes through which students are interacting with teachers actively and stimulating more creativity.
Other than these countries, Huawei is also providing solutions to other regions around the world, including Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and Europe, to help them fight the pandemic.Huawei has been providing more than 200 public Cloud and AI services to more than 150 countries around the globe. Since January 2020, Huawei has provided services to more than 100 medical establishments and over 1000 educational institutions around the world, including China, to help them fight against COVID-19.
Huawei has recently launched an anti-COVID-19 website (https://activity.huaweicloud.com/intl/en-us/fight-covid-19.html) to provide information that will help all the countries in the fight against coronavirus. It offers three solutions that can benefit people from any nation. First, ‘AI Healthcare Services’ can play a significant role in virus detection and analysis. It can also help the doctors to provide an efficient diagnosis to the patients faster.
Cloud-based online classrooms will also allow students to continue their education. Additionally, the ‘Enterprise on Cloud’ will help organizations to maintain smooth operations during the crisis where the administrators can use the service from remote office for employee management. Solutions such as SAP Clouds, E-commerce, Website, and Media will ensure the continuity of the businesses. Huawei also offers solutions like OA (Office Automation), email, virtual desk table, and remote office to help employees to work-from-home.
Moreover, Huawei is providing a professional AI platform to accelerate AI research application development. ‘Genomic Analysis’ is detecting the virus faster than ever before – from hours to minutes. AI imaging has been helping the doctors to detect COVID-19 patients in seconds. AI technologies are making drug discovery more efficient.
In 2019, Huawei started a program called ‘TECH4ALL’. It means leaving no one behind in the digital era. The world is increasingly driven by digital technologies, and according to Huawei, no one should be left behind. TECH4ALL centers on developing digital inclusion and empowerment initiatives with measurable outcomes. One of its many purposes is to help accelerate the United Nation (UN)’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). TECH4ALL is supporting non-profits and International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. TECH4ALL believes that for the world to grow, develop, and transform, everyone, is entitled to four fundamental rights – education, environment, health, and development.
AI has become a crucial weapon in tracking and tracing cases during the pandemic. As the initial crisis gives way to long-term policies and public health practices, governments around the globe need to build trust in AI to ensure ultimate protection that can be deployed and maintained correctly. AI’s surveillance is being used to help break the chains of viral transmission across the globe.
Writer is the Chief Technical Officer, Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Ltd.