IBM shares AI tools to better understand and treat COVID-19

It’s hoping to help researchers and frontline medical professionals.

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IBM wants to help researchers better understand and treat COVID-19. To do so, it’s putting its AI to work. It has released a series of new tools to aggregate data, help researchers explore potential therapies, advance the study of newly sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes and make the latest info available to healthcare professionals.

Its AI deep search tool is ingesting data from the White House, a coalition of research groups and licensed databases from the DrugBank, and GenBank. Qualified researchers can pose queries, and using machine learning, the system will quickly extract relevant information from the 13,335 documents that the tool currently includes. IBM says it’s capable of adding as many as 100,000 PDFs per day.

IBM is also making its Functional Genomics Platform available for free for the duration of the pandemic. The cloud-based research tool is a repository of genes, proteins and other molecules from sequenced viral and bacterial organisms, and it’s meant to help researchers identify molecular targets necessary for drug design, test development and treatment. IBM has already identified 3,000 new small molecules as potential COVID-19 therapeutic candidates, and it’s sharing these under an open license. Researchers can study them in a new interactive molecular explorer tool.

Another could-based data repository allows microbiologists and bioinformaticians to study more than 300 million genomic sequences, including the newly sequenced public SARS-CoV-2 genomes. For clinicians and healthcare professionals, IBM is offering free access to IBM Micromedex® and DynaMed®, where they can find evidence-based drug and disease information, including the latest research on COVID-19.

IBM is also bringing COVID-19 data to mobile phones, via The Weather Channel App. Meanwhile, US officials are using mobile ad location data to study the spread of COVID-19, and UC San Francisco is partnering with Oura to use smart rings to better understand the disease.