Deputy calls for AI-powered system to bolster epidemic prevention capabilities
A deputy to the National People's Congress has suggested on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions in Beijing that the country establish an artificial intelligence-powered system to prevent and control the spread of contagions and major diseases.
Liu Qingfeng, the NPC deputy and chairman of iFlytek, a Hefei-based domestic leading AI company, said that such a system can help monitor patient case data and identify contagion-related information before an outbreak.
"This will help realize smart early warning with a multi-point trigger mechanism for epidemic prevention and control, and promote the prevention and control of infectious diseases and other major diseases in the country to a new level," said Liu.
He noted that AI has already played an important role in large-scale epidemic investigation and the alleviation of the shortage of grassroots medical workers in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Liu suggested building a human-machine coupling model to conduct epidemiological investigations for infectious diseases while phone-calling robots can carry out tasks such as screening of suspected individuals and following up on the conditions of confirmed patients to improve epidemic prevention and control as well as emergency response capabilities.
"Epidemiological investigations can also be combined with smart system-assisted auxiliary diagnosis to conduct analysis on patients' medical records and thus quickly identify suspected individuals. Such attempts will further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the epidemiological investigations," he said.
Liu Yan, an NPC deputy and vice-governor of Shanghai's Minhang district, said that data and information security protection must be strengthened when technology methods are used under normalized epidemic prevention and control.
He noted that there have been several incidents in the country where the data of COVID-19 patients, suspected cases and their close contacts was leaked online.