JERUSALEM, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) method of predicting the coronavirus spread, said Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) on Sunday.
According to WIS, the method may enable authorities of any country to focus efforts on areas where an outbreak is anticipated.
The new method was initiated by WIS researchers, in collaboration with researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Clalit Health Services, and in coordination with Israel's Ministry of Health. WIS noted that it has already attracted considerable international interest.
The method, which monitors, identifies, and predicts the coronavirus' spreading zones, is based on anonymous questionnaires for the general public and the analysis of the data obtained from them.
The questionnaires track the development of virus-induced symptoms, and the analysis relies on AI and big data algorithms.
Viral spread occurs in clusters of infection, and early identification of clusters may facilitate various actions aimed at slowing down the spread of the virus.
To date, more than 60,000 Israelis have already filled out the questionnaires, and preliminary data analysis led the scientists to detect a significant increase in symptoms reported by the public in areas where verified patients are known to have passed away.