Intel advancing technology to combat coronavirus

Intel and the Intel Foundation have announced a $50 million global initiative to put technology to work toward understanding and fighting the coronavirus. 

The initiative is supporting measures to innovate in areas like employing artificial intelligence (AI) technology to use CT scans to detect coronavirus infections and virtual technology to monitor patients and protect medical workers. 

Funding will go to accelerate diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development through technologies like AI, high-performance computing and edge-to-cloud service delivery, company officials said. It also will expand online learning access for students and teachers worldwide. 

“Today, we are witnessing what will surely be remembered as a historic deployment of remote work and digital access to services across every domain, including medicine, education, government, entertainment and more,” Intel CEO Bob Swan stated in a letter to customers and partners. “In the coming weeks and months, services will be further digitized as the creativity of a massive work-from-home population gets rolling.

“While many are naturally focused on continuity and hunkering-down, this moment is also about innovating – often in real time – to support critical services in a highly dynamic environment.”

In addition, Intel and the Foundation are donating $10 million for relief efforts including $1 million to the Arizona Community Foundation Arizona COVID-19 Community Response Fund. The fund supports nonprofits in the state that assist economically vulnerable individuals and families impacted by the illness.

Advancing technology innovation in science, healthcare  

Through the initiative, Intel plans to help healthcare and life sciences manufacturers increase the availability of technology and solutions used by hospitals to diagnose and treat COVID-19.

It will also support industry alliances worldwide to respond to this and future pandemics. 

The company has allocated up to $10 million for an innovation fund to support requests from external partners and employee-led relief projects to address critical needs in their communities like: 

Genome sequencing Intel and India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, are deploying solutions to help achieve faster and less expensive COVID-19 testing and coronavirus genome sequencing to understand epidemiology and AI-based risk stratification for patients with underlying diseases.

Predict outbreaks Intel is collaborating with India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies to build an application ecosystem and multi cloud back end to enable population-scale COVID-19 diagnostics, to predict outbreaks and to improve medical care management and administration. 

Turn hospital beds virtual Medical Informatics Corp.’s Sickbay platform, powered by Intel technology, can turn beds into virtual ICU beds in minutes, helping to protect critical care workers from risk of exposure.

Design new ventilators In the U.K. Intel is working with Dyson and medical consultancy firm TTP to supply semiconductor devices for CoVent, a new ventilator specifically designed in response to the U.K. government’s call for help. The bed-mounted ventilator is pending regulatory approval.

Initiative also expanding remote access for students and teachers worldwide 

Part of the initiative is centered around expanding access to technology and virtual learning at home for students and teachers with the greatest need.

In close partnership with public school districts, the initiative will provide assistance with PC donations, online virtual resources, study-at-home guides and device connectivity assistance. It will begin immediately in regions with the greatest needs across the United States and expand globally.

“The world faces an enormous challenge in fighting COVID-19. Intel is committed to accelerating access to technology that can combat the current pandemic and enable new technology and scientific discovery that better prepares society for future crises,” CEO Swan said. “We hope that by sharing our expertise, resources and technology, we can help to accelerate work that saves lives and expands access to critical services around the world during this challenging time.”

To learn more, go to: Intel COVID-19 Response. 

Victoria Harker

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