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Public cloud platform Alibaba Cloud provides medical staff and researchers with various AI tools, free of charge, in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. The tools should help provide faster diagnostics and more data-based insights.

According to the public cloud provider, this is a trial version of a suite of three AI applications from the DAMO Academy research institute of the public cloud provider that can be used to help physicians worldwide. Chinese physicians have already gained experience with this technology.

Available tools

With Alibaba Cloud’s CT Image Analytics application, healthcare personnel can increase the efficiency and speed of corona testing. The service uses an AI model that runs on deep learning algorithms that incorporate Chinese data about the disease. These algorithms enable doctors, among other things, to better assess whether patients’ complaints lead to pneumonia. The AI model could also estimate how severe the symptoms would be.

A second tool that is now made available free of charge worldwide is the DAMO Academy Epidemic Prediction tool. This tool can be used to map the characteristics of the COVID-19 outbreak at location level. The tool can be used to estimate how big the outbreak can be and how long it can last. The tool can also be used to predict how quickly the virus could spread under different conditions.

The third tool now available is a DNA sequencing tool. This application can help medical researchers screen genetic data, analyse protein structures and provide diagnostic results.

Alibaba Cloud also makes its Elastic High-Performance Computing (E-HPC) Solution for Life Sciences available for the proper functioning of these AI tools.

Communication platform

In addition to these specific AI tools, Alibaba Cloud also makes a variant of its DingTalk communication platform available to medical professionals free of charge. The platform resembles Microsoft Teams and Slack. Chinese students mainly used the platform for online lectures during the first phase of the virus outbreak in China.

The version that is now available for medical professionals and researchers is the International Medical Expert Communication Platform on Alibaba Cloud. Concretely, doctors and researchers can use it to communicate with each other worldwide for free. Furthermore, the public cloud provider wants to help establish a virtual online community with video conferencing tools and AI-based translation tools, so that Chinese medical professionals can share their experiences with colleagues worldwide.