Alibaba Invites Medical Personnel from Around the World to Tackle COVID-19, Together

Published on March 19, 2020
It’s true, we learn best from sharing experiences.

Alibaba Cloud has implemented AI and advanced cloud-tech to develop a platform for medical personnel to share experiences and ultimately seek help from those who’ve battled this virus on the frontlines. The conference, DingTalk’s International Medical Expert Communication Platform, hosted on Alibaba’s Cloud, was developed by Alibaba’s Cloud solution experts, the DingTalk team, and scientists and researchers from Alibaba’s DAMO Academy. DingTalk has been the live-stream platform of choice for over 120 million students in China as they transition to online learning. It’s also been labelled as one of UNESCO’s distance learning solutions.

This platform is essentially one big virtual community, and in this case, is meant to encourage medical personnel from around the globe to collaborate with medical staff who’ve been at the forefront battling this pandemic. 

The new platform can work through online chats, video conferencing or live streaming. With the help of AI tech, it can even translate 11 different languages (Arabic, Bahasa, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese) in real-time, allowing for international communication to be efficient and cohesive.

DingTalk has already been put to use by the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine.

They’ve even published a handbook on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, to serve as a source of guidance from those who’ve been fighting this outbreak first-hand. 

It will not only welcome medical personnel who are under an enormous amount of pressure at this moment to consult others for help, it will also bridge a very necessary means of communication with the world. We can share the status of various regions, and accurately forecast the state of our nation and potentially foresee what’s to come. 

With the Epidemic Prediction Solution proposed by Alibaba Cloud, policy makers will gain a point of “reference [in regard to] infection prevention and control, medical allocation, border control and travel advisory.” By uploading data, a prediction report featuring estimates on characteristics like epidemic size and peak time; it may provide insight on the “spreading trend in a particular region” and offer a “sensitivity test” using optimistic, neutral and pessimistic as labels to differentiate conditions. All of this, with a 98% accuracy rate.

With more knowledge comes more control.

The more we communicate and keep each other updated, the more we’ll be able to gain an understanding of this virus. Using AI CT-imaging, Alibaba’s DAMO academy has crafted a means of diagnosing COVID-19 in a matter of 20 seconds, with 96% accuracy. This system is being used as a secondary opinion in over 160 Chinese hospitals. 

This kind of global communication and collaboration can be key in expediting the development of a vaccine for COVID-19, which is currently reported to take us, in the U.S., about 12-18 months. According to Alibaba, the Cloud has launched a computational platform, open to those working on the vaccine nationwide. This platform utilizes AI to hasten the transfer of data and computational time for research in virtual drug screening.

Kristen Sallaberry is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in New York, she covers the realm of consumer tech and how these ever-progressing gadgets affect our lives. A creative writer and music-head, she also writes for online music publication, Sound of Boston, where she reviews and premieres new music, and co-writes a hip-hop focused column.

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