Tech firm develops AI-powered health scoring system to combat coronavirus outbreak
MANILA, Philippines — A Malaysia-based tech company has come up with a new state-of-the-art profiling system for Chinese travellers to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
As of Thursday, the Chinese government said the deadly virus – which was first detected in the city of Wuhan – has claimed the lives of 2,744 people in China alone.
The Philippines, meanwhile, has three confirmed cases of COVID-19, including one death.
AI Health vs coronavirus’ spread
To combat the spread of the virus, tech company MyEG Services Berhad (MyEG) introduced ‘AI Health’, an artificial intelligence-powered health risk scoring system, which includes tracking of Chinese travellers.
MyEG Chairman Enrique Gonzalez says the technology – if implemented by the Philippine government – would ascertain that all first responders in the country (medical staff, security and the like) would have a better picture of visitors’ health and geographic travel history.
The tech firm said that it partnered with China state-owned enterprise Phoenix Travel Worldwide Co. and Tencent for the program, which is then integrated to the traveler’s WeChat app.
The tremendous amount of data gathered and analyzed by the new technology would allow the Malaysian and Philippine governments to both identify and monitor the places where visitors from China had previously been to in the last 14 days, their proximity to registered coronavirus hotspots, as well as the capacity to measure multiple qualifying attributes such as heart rate and blood pressure simply by being given access to each visitor’s WeChat apps.
Also present during the presentation of the technology was Gonzales’ colleague and fellow tech CEO Franco Mabanta.
“We understand that all countries across Asia and the world will eventually have to lift their China travel bans as the situation gets better and economic pressures from multiple industries increase,” Mabanta said.
“I’m a huge fan of how Enrique and MyEG (as well as many other Southeast Asian tech companies) are focusing so earnestly on coronavirus prevention using groundbreaking methods. AI Health — in particular — looks very promising since over a billion of our Chinese friends actively use WeChat every month, allowing for incredibly accurate health assessment using a mountainpile of data points. Hopefully members of Senate and Congress see things the way we do — after all, the coronavirus doesn’t see color, whether it be ethnicity or political.”
Focusing on China
Gonzalez, meanwhile, said that the company has chosen to pay attention to visitors from China first, being the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Right now, what we prioritize is China,” Gonzalez said.
“Tech integration takes a lot of work, so we prioritize what has the highest incidents. We will eventually integrate country-by-country.”
As sitting chairman of MyEG, Gonzales will be offering the services to the Philippine government or any large corporation handling a “high-traffic facility” free of charge.
“It’s our way of helping the country to manage through this crisis,” Gonzalez said.
“When the coronavirus hits the Philippines, it’s likely that there will be community spreading. And we need technology to hopefully prevent or reduce the probability.”
“Number two, our philosophy is if you have something really great, I think it has to be shared with the world. And technology, no matter how great the idea is, is only great [when] it’s actually used.”
Asked how far they’ve has come in terms of speaking with government officials, MyEG President Ron Aquino said that they were currently in talks with national agencies such as the Department of Health and the Department of Information Communications and Technology, among others.
In the US, AI Health has also been featured in publications such as the New York Times.
If you need to reach out to MyEG, kindly write to [email protected].
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