IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Gartner: Top five areas CIOs can use AI to combat COVID-19

By Shannon Williams
Tue 5 May 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Gartner has identified five areas where artificial intelligence can improve decision making for government and healthcare CIOs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Executives responsible for artificial intelligence (AI) strategy, particularly CIOs and CDOs in governmental and healthcare organisations, should leverage AI in five core areas to improve decision making during the coronavirus pandemic," the analyst firm explains.

“In the fight against COVID-19, AI offers an important arsenal of weapons,” Erick Brethenoux, research vice president at Gartner says.

“It allows predictions to be made about the spread of the virus, helps diagnose cases more quickly and accurately, measures the effectiveness of countermeasures to slow the spread, and optimises emergency resources, to name a few," he says.

"The power of AI should not be ignored or only partially leveraged, so long as it is applied in ethically responsible ways.”

The five areas where using AI to combat COVID-19 will have the most impact are:

Early Detection and Epidemic Analysis

AI techniques are used to understand, analyse and predict how and where the virus is spreading or slowing down.

Automated contact tracing, for example, is used to build detailed social interaction graphs by analysing a myriad of citizen data such as mobile phone locations and public facial recognition and backtracking the movement of people to identify the likely virus source. Individuals who encountered the source can then be notified, tested or quarantined.

“Other AI applications that fall within this area include epidemic forecasting and monitoring the development of herd immunity," says Brethenoux.

"Such capabilities are obviously highly relevant in the short term as society tries to ‘flatten the curve’ and minimise the burden on our healthcare systems, but they are also important in the long term if new, hopefully smaller, outbreaks reoccur," he says.

Containment                                                                                                                 

Considering the huge societal and economic impact of ‘one-size-fits-all’ measures such as lockdowns, collaboration with non-IT experts is paramount when applying AI to containment efforts.

Pieter den Hamer, senior research director at Gartner, says , "Behaviour analytics derives new insights by accounting for the dynamics of human behaviour, culture and individual thinking to answer questions around social distancing compliance or the emergence of unwanted group behaviours.

 “Law enforcement can predict where and when people may not adhere to stay-at-home orders or social distancing through predictive enforcement and dispatch enforcement units accordingly," he adds.

Triage and Diagnosis

Gartner says the use of AI-enabled self-triage has already gained popularity as telehealth practices, including virtual health assistants, were made available to help people identify if they are possibly infected and what the appropriate next steps are. Augmented medical diagnosis and triage are also key AI capabilities that help in this area. 

“AI is known to improve the accuracy of certain diagnoses if augmented with human judgment, especially in more complex cases,” says den Hamer.

“Prognostic modelling, or predicting how the disease will likely develop in patients, can also be used to improve treatment recommendations. The fact that AI has a role to play in assessing patient risk and prognosis is not something to overlook, especially when there is a possible shortage of medical professionals.” 

Healthcare Operations

AI plays an important role in streamlining healthcare operations and optimising scarce hospital resources during a pandemic. According to Gartner, healthcare CIOs and CDOs can use predictive staffing to improve personnel allocation by analysing anticipated patient numbers and their individual prognosis, and cross referencing them with the availability of qualified medical staff, materials and equipment.

“Remote patient monitoring and alerting with the use of AI also allows patients to stay at home, lowers the burden on hospitals, and enables a better understanding of how symptoms develop over time,” den Hamer says.

Vaccine Research & Development (R&D)

AI graphs and natural-language processing (NLP) can enable medical researchers to scour through many thousands of relevant reports to draw connections between data at an unprecedented pace, says Gartner. Augmented vaccine R&D also identifies coronavirus countermeasures including those that have already been tested on humans.

“Healthcare CIOs and CDOs should explore every avenue of AI to fight COVID-19 using an ongoing and systematic process of AI application identification and prioritisation," says den Hamer.

"Technologists should not overestimate their ability to understand what makes sense from a public health and medical perspective and then work with healthcare professionals to create and actively advertise an open marketplace that shares AI applications, models and data transparently,” he explains.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Collaboration
Meadows exits Ingram Micro New Zealand on a good note
We look at the resignation of Danny Meadows from Ingram Micro's New Zealand Unified Communications & Collaboration business unit.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Microsoft
PwC NZ unveils new Cloud Security Operations Center
PwC New Zealand has unveiled its new Cloud Security Operations Center for the entire Microsoft technology stack.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Microsoft
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Apple
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
Sisense
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
Cybersecurity
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Infrastructure
Nutanix study reveals financial services sector lagging with multicloud adoption
Nutanix has released new research that reveals the financial services sector is lagging behind when it comes to multicloud adoption.
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Trading up: It's time to swap core systems for flexible digital applications
This year will see more oranisations planning and commencing high tech renovations that will shake up the way they operate.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom appeals $2.25 million fine in Vodafone FibreX case
The Commerce Commission has filed an appeal in the High Court against a $2.25 million fine imposed on Vodafone NZ for its offending under the Fair Trading Act.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Wireless Nation
Wireless Nation, N4L provide 4G network to remote NZ schools
Wireless Nation and Network for Learning (N4L) have rolled out the Rural Connectivity Group’s (RCG) new 4G network to better connect three Chatham Islands schools.
Story image
Fonterra
Fonterra to use automated guided vehicles by Dematic
New Zealand's dairy giant Fonterra is upgrading its manufacturing facility in Edendale with new automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from Dematic.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations.