There is a saying in the field of artificial intelligence: “Hard things are easy; easy things are hard.” Developing effective vaccines within a year of a pandemic was a hard task in itself but making the public trust this process is proving to be harder. When it comes to solving real-life problems, it is the supposedly straightforward ones that seem to be tripping us up & that is the case with vaccines right now.
But is AI capable of solving this problem? Technology has played a crucial role in developing vaccines but it might play an even greater role in vaccinating the world population. Our weekly blog gives you more on the role of AI in eliminating vaccine hesitancy & improving distribution.
Some health experts have said artificial intelligence will be integral not just in managing the process of creating boosters for the variants to COVID-19 but also for the distribution of the vaccine. The AI utility for vaccine distribution could be applied in a variety of ways from understanding which populations to target to curve the pandemic sooner, adjusting supply chain and distribution logistics to ensure the most people get vaccinated in the least amount of time, to tracking adverse reactions and side effects.
With Covid still wreaking havoc after more than 1.5 years of the first reported case, technology has to guide the way in getting the world vaccinated!
During the phase of the pandemic in China, the Baidu research team developed an AI tool, LinearFold in collaboration with Oregon State University and the University of Rochester. This AI algorithm could efficiently aid in reducing the time taken to analyze the structure of this virus. The challenge with the traditional RNA folding algorithms was its relatively slower pace in predicting the second RNA (Ribo Nucleic Acid) structure of the virus, compared to Baidu’s artificial intelligence tool. Several reports revealed that the LinearFold algorithm could reduce the time in analyzing the second RNA structure of the Covid virus from 55 minutes to 27 seconds, which is 120 times faster.
To enable the faster development of vaccines, Baidu developed another AI algorithm that used deep learning, called the LinearDesign in May 2020. The linear design was a breakthrough in the vaccine development process since it could design a stable mRNA sequence.
Baidu is certainly showing the way through technology!
Unfortunately, in vaccines, it seems the synergistic effects of the toxins have never been studied ― James Morcan
AdventHealth is using AI technology — specifically machine learning and natural language processing — to help it understand and analyze Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy.
To pinpoint the reasons driving vaccine hesitancy, AdventHealth leveraged its digital survey platform last October to ask patients about their likelihood of getting the Covid-19 vaccine once available, and specifically, what the health system could do to make them more comfortable getting vaccinated, said Pam Guler, AdventHealth’s chief experience officer, in an email. They then applied machine learning and natural language processing capabilities to the verbatim responses from patients.
As the vaccine rollout continues, we need to focus on eliminating any underlying hesitations that users might have & AI is playing that role to perfection!
Two researchers from Columbia are using AI and their backgrounds in comparative literature to understand why people are often afraid and distrustful of vaccinations and how to convince them otherwise. A new project from Columbia World Projects in partnership with key Columbia faculty aims to tackle this problem by studying the language used by different groups of people in the U.S. who are vaccine reluctant. Analyzing the data from the project, the Columbia World Projects team will create micro-targeted positive vaccine messaging campaigns for diverse groups.
Project leads Rishi Goyal & Dennis Tenen to unlock the meaning behind the language used by various anti-vaccine and vaccine-hesitant groups!
In the end...
Over the past year, healthcare organizations have navigated Covid-19 and everything it entails — patient surges, workforce burnout, inventory shortages, vaccine distribution, and so on — with arguably fewer resources than they had before the pandemic. Technology is aiding our organizations to solve a final conundrum, vaccination of over 7 billion inhabitants on this planet.
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