Tencent Holdings Limited announced to deepen collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). As part of the agreement, Tencent will provide technical support to combat the pandemic and open-sources another AI-powered tool to assist the global fight against the coronavirus outbreak. The COVID-19 self-triage assistant, which is now available on Github for developers around the world, enables preliminary self-evaluation regarding infection of the disease and provides tips on its prevention. Prior to this tool, Tencent open-sourced a COVID-19 live updates module last Friday that has answered six billion pandemic-related queries in China over the past two months.
To help people carry out a self-check about any potential coronavirus infection, thus reducing the risk of cross-infection caused by panic and seeking medical care inappropriately, Tencent Health has built a COVID-19 self-triage assistant with AI technology for people of all nations. By translating professional medical guidance into easy-to-understand messages, this tool was designed to help the public fight the pandemic with knowledge and skills. Since its launch, the tool has already helped 40 disease control and prevention centers, more than 300 hospitals, over 30 independent software vendor partners across 17 provinces in China and served tens of millions of people.
As a supplementary tool to “TH_COVID19_National – Tencent Health’s COVID-19 international live updates module”, an open-source project on Github, the open-sourced COVID-19 self-triage assistant follows the Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (Provisional 7th Edition) published by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China on 4 March 2020. It has been reviewed and approved by the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association. The tool has incorporated China’s experience in containing the outbreak, aiming to help all people around the world to combat COVID-19.
Tencent Health has used natural medical language processing technologies to construct a graph for respiratory disease diagnosis information. The tool seeks to help users with symptoms such as fevers and coughing to conduct a preliminary self-evaluation of their illnesses quickly and seek medical care appropriately. For global developers, open-source code has made it much easier to adapt medical guidelines based on the versions released by local authorities, providing more valuable guidance for local people.
By having rounds of virtual conversations with users to gather information such as the history of being in contact with COVID-19 patients, symptoms, and characteristics of diseases, and history of underlying health problems, the virtual assistant will assess the possibility of infection by referring to professional medical guidance and then provide preliminary suggestions on treatment or self-quarantine accordingly. After the self-evaluation, users will be provided a report, which can assist them when they seek further advice from doctors.
As of March 2020, Tencent has open-sourced 98 projects covering cloud computing, big data, AI healthcare, network security, and other areas. Both TH_COVID19_International and COVID-19 self-triage assistants are open source contributions by Tencent to help in the fight against coronavirus by offering technological resources globally.