Alibaba Ramps Up Cloud & AI Services for Healthcare, E-Commerce And Remote Working
During the past several months, Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, has initiated the following projects that leverage its technology to help fight against COVID-19 globally:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud-based technology applications offered to medical personnel:
From Alibaba DAMO Academy, a global research initiative by Alibaba, three proven solutions are being made available at no cost during the coronavirus period for medical professionals and research institutes worldwide. Alibaba Cloud will work with local partners to deploy relevant services and solutions in accordance with local laws and regulations.
Epidemic Prediction Solution models epidemic characteristics of COVID-19 in a particular region, providing estimates of size, peak time and duration of the epidemic, as well as the spreading trends under three conditions - optimistic, neutral, and pessimistic. Based on machine learning, the algorithm was already tested on 31 provincial data in China and averaged 98% accuracy. It can serve as a reference to policymakers and medical researchers on prevention and control measures, medical resource allocation and travel advisories.
CT Image Analytics Solution is a CT image analytics technology service that can significantly improve testing accuracy and detection efficiency for diagnosing COVID-19. With deep-learning algorithms trained by data in China, the trained model can predict the probability of different pneumonia types, including the variety associated with COVID-19. It also performs computations of the proportion of lesions and the affected volume ratio to the entire lungs, by using the lung segmentation method. The whole test takes about 3 to 4 seconds to run and 15 to 16 seconds of transmission time, making it nearly 60 times faster than human detection. More than 160 hospitals in China are currently using the solution.
Whole Genome Sequencing AnalysisSolution, an AI algorithm from Alibaba DAMO Academy and running on Alibaba Cloud, is a virus genome sequencing solution for coronavirus analytics, including viral genetic data screening, evolutionary analysis, protein structure analysis, and diagnostic reporting. It can complete the diagnosis of new coronavirus within 14 hours, which is five times faster than other available sequencing solutions in China. It can screen more than 20 people simultaneously, making the averaged time for each sample just around half an hour, much shorter than the normal two hours with the PCR method. The solution helps disease control centers, hospitals and clinics, and laboratories to address challenges such as insufficient nucleic acid detection capacity, high false-negative rates of the PCR method, and possible virus mutations.
Supporting advanced innovations during emergencies like COVID-19 requires extremely scalable supercomputing power. For this, Alibaba Cloud offers Elastic High-Performance Computing (E-HPC) Solution for Life Sciences, a cloud-native high-performance computing cluster solution designed for researchers working on life sciences applications, especially for Computational-Driven-Drug-Design (CDDD) and AI-Driven-Drug-Design (AIDDD). The solution already supports 20 research groups in China. For example, the intelligent CT diagnostic system on COVID-19 pneumonia developed by Tsinghua University can complete diagnosing in 10 seconds, and the performance of gene assembly by Sun Yat-sen University is accelerated by 25% utilizing the solution. Alibaba Cloud has also partnered with Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) in Beijing to launch an AI-driven-drug-discovery platform based on E-HPC.
E-commerce solutions for retailers to fight against coronavirus impact:
Alibaba Cloud’s e-commerce solutions help retailers quickly kick off digital transformation when the traditional retail environment was no longer viable due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Alibaba Cloud e-commerce solutions provide a set of plug-and-play Alibaba Cloud products and solutions in the computing, databases, multimedia and video livestreaming, collaboration, and security and data analytics to help retailers rapidly launch an e-commerce business.
The core benefit of Alibaba Cloud's e-commerce solutions is the ability for retailers to upgrade to omnichannel shopping experience within days. Alibaba Cloud experts with rich experience in e-commerce will provide remote hands-on training with a focus on time to market. The solutions support three business models: business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C), and online-to-offline (O2O). Businesses can launch a B2C platform in five days and a B2B2C or an O2O platform in less than 25 days.
Alibaba Cloud launched a dedicated campaign to support businesses to fight against the coronavirus through technology. Eligible organizations will be offered $1000 cloud credits and can sign-up e-commerce solutions for free for 3-months. For more information, please visit https://www.alibabacloud.com/campaign/supports-your-business-anytime.
Remote working and online learning platform DingTalk for global users:
DingTalk, Alibaba’s enterprise communications and collaboration platform introduced its lite edition available to download on all major app stores iOS, Mac, Windows and Android to support local businesses and schools with challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The free-to-download communications app supports video-conferencing for over 300 people simultaneously, a thousand people live-broadcast function in high-definition quality, photo and video sharing and basic one-to-one text communications. The app, currently with the interface languages available in English, Japnanese and Traditional Chinese.
Leveraging the secure and resilient global infrastructure of Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, DingTalk has been able to deliver high-definition video-conferencing and live-broadcasting with low latency, amid surging demand for telecommunications in recent months. Some 10 million enterprises in China have used DingTalk for remote work, and over 120 million students across China attended online classes through DingTalk during the virus outbreak.
DingTalk also offered its live streaming and group chat functions to support the International Medical Expert Communication Platform, an online destination designed for medical experts around the world to communicate seamlessly with each other and share their invaluable experience fighting COVID-19.
DingTalk was also mentioned by UNESCO as one of the platforms that can facilitate distance learning during the coronavirus outbreak.
To download the DingTalk Lite edition, please refer to the website: https://page.dingtalk.com/wow/dingtalk/act/en-download?lwfrom=2020033023314202000