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Tencent Open-sources Another AI-powered Tool to Help Global Fight Against COVID-19 Outbreak
April 6, 2020 News


Tencent Holdings Limited, announced to deepen collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). Tencent will provide technology support to combat the pandemic and open-sources another AI-powered tool to assist the global fight against the coronavirus outbreak as part of the agreement. The COVID-19 self-triage assistant, which is now available on Github for developers around the world, enables preliminary self-evaluation regarding infection of the disease and provides tips on its prevention. Prior to this tool, Tencent open-sourced a COVID-19 live updates module last Friday that has answered six billion pandemic-related queries in China over the past two months.

Tencent Health has built a COVID-19 self-triage assistant with AI technology for people of all nations in order to help people carry out a self-check about any potential coronavirus infection, which reduces the risk of cross infection caused by panic and seeking medical care inappropriately. By translating professional medical guidance into easy-to-understand messages, this tool was designed to help the public fight the pandemic with knowledge and skills. Since its launch, the tool has already helped 40 disease control and prevention centers, more than 300 hospitals, over 30 independent software vendor partners across 17 provinces in China and served tens of millions of people.

As a supplementary tool to “TH_COVID19_National – Tencent Health’s COVID-19 international live updates module”, an open-source project on Github, the open-sourced COVID-19 self-triage assistant follows the Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (Provisional 7th Edition) published by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China on 4 March 2020. It has been reviewed and approved by the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association. The tool has incorporated China’s experience in containing the outbreak, aiming to help all people around the world to combat COVID-19.

To construct a graph for respiratory disease diagnosis information, Tencent Health used natural medical language processing technologies. The tool seeks to help users with symptoms such as fevers and coughing to conduct a preliminary self-evaluation of their illnesses quickly and seek medical care appropriately. Open source code has made it much easier to adapt medical guidelines for global developers based on the versions released by local authorities, providing more valuable guidance for local people.

By having rounds of virtual conversations with users to gather information such as the history of being in contact with COVID-19 patients, symptoms and characteristics of diseases, and history of underlying health problems, the virtual assistant will assess the possibility of infection by referring to professional medical guidance and then provide preliminary suggestions on treatment or self-quarantine accordingly. After the self-evaluation, users will be provided a report, which can assist them when they seek further advice from doctors.

Tencent has open-sourced 98 projects covering cloud computing, big data, AI healthcare, network security and other areas, as of March 2020. Both TH_COVID19_International and COVID-19 self-triage assistant are open source contributions by Tencent to help in the fight against coronavirus by offering technological resources globally.

Tencent’s open source projects have also gained a lot of attention from developers on GitHub. So far, Tencent has received more than 287,000 stars, reflecting the popularity of its projects. According to third-party data, Tencent is in the top 10 of GitHub’s global open source star rankings.