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Alibaba Unveils Technologies to Empower Partners in Fight against Coronavirus

Editor’s note, 03.26.20:This story was updated with information on the International Medical Expert Communication Platform’s translation features.

Alibaba Cloud, DAMO Academy and DingTalk have joined forces to launch a series of AI technologies and cloud-based solutions to support companies and organizations worldwide in the fight against Covid-19.

These solutions were developed by Alibaba Cloud using insights and experience accumulated during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak. The new tech offerings are designed to help business decision-makers, researchers and medical practitioners address challenges across several major areas. These include:

Knowledge Sharing and Peer Communication

Among the new solutions is the International Medical Expert Communication Platform on Alibaba Group’s enterprise chat and collaboration app, DingTalk. The platform allows verified medical personnel around the world to share their experiences through online messaging, video conferencing and livestreaming.

The platform is already being used by members of the First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine. Earlier this week, staff from the hospital published the Covid-19 Prevention and Treatment Handbook, which offers key learnings from their experience on the frontlines of combating the disease. By using the platform, which includes real-time artificial intelligence translations into 11 different languages, staff from the hospital can further share their knowledge and experience with global peers.

Epidemic Prediction

Based on machine learning of public data gathered from 31 provinces in China, Alibaba’s research and innovation institution DAMO Academy developed an epidemic prediction solution that is capable of estimating the trajectory of a coronavirus outbreak in a specific region. The algorithm can forecast the scale and duration of infections and also predict their peak times. Additionally, when local healthcare policies and containment measures are taken into consideration, the model can generate three possible outcomes of the spread – optimistic, neutral or pessimistic. The solution has a 98% prediction-accuracy rate in China and can be used as a reference for decision-makers working to contain the disease.

Fast-Track Diagnosis

To speed up the process of identifying Covid-19, DAMO Academy has launched an AI-enabled genome-sequencing technology that can simultaneously diagnose 20 people within 14 hours while offering accurate and comprehensive analyses of subjects.

Anther innovation by DAMO Academy is an AI-enabled CT-imaging system that can diagnose Covid-19 in 20 seconds with 96% accuracy. The system uses deep learning to study patterns of infection based on data and CT chest scans from thousands of coronavirus-related cases. This system is currently serving as an analytical, second opinion for doctors in more than 160 hospitals in China.

Accelerated Drug Development

To help accelerate drug and vaccine discovery, Alibaba Cloud has opened up its computational platform to worldwide research groups and institutions who are working on vaccine development. The AI-enabled platform can help partners accelerate data transfer and computational time for research in areas such as virtual drug screening.

Some of these solutions offer free trials for qualifying organizations.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, Alibaba Cloud has provided infrastructural and technical support to businesses and organizations in areas such as online retail, online learning, medical research and consultation.

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