How AI can help the public health sector face future crises

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Technology

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From COVID—19 to monkeypox and intermittent polio scares, concerns around public health crises have significantly increased over the past several years.

Living in a globally connected world amidst climate change and a growing population has enabled the emergence of more frequent viruses and fostered their spread. A research study last year estimated that the probability of novel disease outbreaks will grow three-fold in the next few decades. Fortunately, there have been significant technological developments that can help minimize the impact of these global health issues. 

As health crises have increased, so too has the power and practice of artificial intelligence (AI) in support of public health. Several factors have played into this — including rapid software advances, increased connectivity, mobile communications and cloud computing — and have been spurred even faster by the urgent needs prompted by the appearance of COVID.

Consequently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have successfully used AI and machine learning (ML) technologies to fast-track their data management and analysis of different demographics and populations, allowing them to predict and track different COVID variants, vaccination distribution rates and much more. 

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Harnessing the wealth of data

The possibilities for these technologies in the public health sector don’t stop with these uses or with COVID. They can be leveraged by public health leaders to effectively inform societal health and public policy decisions and for individual health care.

Already, AI is in widespread application throughout healthcare — from ado …

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