Exploring the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to combat COVID-19 and existing opportunities for LMIC: A scoping review

Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Background: In the face of the current time-sensitive COVID-19 pandemic, the limited capacity of healthcare systems resulted in an emerging need to develop newer methods to control the spread of the pandemic. Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) have a vast potential to exponentially optimize health care research. The use of AI-driven tools in LMIC can help in eradicating health inequalities and decrease the burden on health systems.
Methods: The literature search for this Scoping review was conducted through the PubMed database using keywords: COVID-19, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Low Middle-Income Countries (LMIC). Forty-three articles were identified and screened for eligibility and 13 were included in the final review. All the items of this Scoping review are reported using guidelines for PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR).
Results: Results were synthesized and reported under 4 themes. (a) The need of AI during this pandemic: AI can assist to increase the speed and accuracy of identification of cases and through data mining to deal with the health crisis efficiently, (b) Utility of AI in COVID-19 screening, contact tracing, and diagnosis: Efficacy for virus detection can a be increased by deploying the smart city data network using terminal tracking system along-with prediction of future outbreaks, (c) Use of AI in COVID-19 patient monitoring and drug development: A Deep learning system provides valuable information regarding protein structures associated with COVID-19 which could be utilized for vaccine formulation, and (d) AI beyond COVID-19 and opportunities for Low-Middle Income Countries (LMIC): There is a lack of financial, material, and human resources in LMIC, AI can minimize the workload on human labor and help in analyzing vast medical data, potentiating predictive and preventive healthcare.
Conclusion: AI-based tools can be a game-changer for diagnosis, treatment, and management of COVID-19 patients with the potential to reshape the future of healthcare in LMIC.


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Journal of Primary Care & Community Health