Biz / Tech

Startups develop systems to battle virus

Rich Zhu
A number of new companies involved in artificial intelligence have come up with advanced technologies to help in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.
Rich Zhu
Startups develop systems to battle virus
Ti Gong

A passenger at a Metro station in Beijing which is equipped with Megvii's new system.

A number of AI startups have been developing systems and apps to fight the coronavirus epidemic and help people when they return to work in future.

Features include facial recognition to spot those wearing masks, automatic image diagnosis to detect coronavirus infection and cameras which can measure body temperature at places with a huge volume of traffic. They are currently in use in Shanghai, Wuhan, Beijing and Shenzhen.

The technologies have been developed by Yitu, SenseTime and Megvii, all of which are AI unicorns that are valued above US$1 billion.

Shanghai-based Yitu has upgraded its medical AI services and products especially for rapid diagnosis of the coronavirus. Its systems can automatically diagnose, rate degree of the disease and offer medical recommendations based on image scans. 

 Yitu’s systems are in use at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and several hospitals in Wuhan.

AI firm SenseTime has developed a door security system which can be used in office buildings, schools, hotels and industrial parks.

Besides the usual facial recognition features, it can identify people even if they are wearing masks. Masks have become obligatory to access public buildings and will also have to be worn when people return to work. 

SenseTime’s system can measure body temperature and give an automatic warning when detecting people without masks. The information can be shared with the public health and other government bureaus, the company said .

Beijing-based Megvii’s products, also offer temperature detection and facial recognition features, and identify people when wearing masks or hats.

The system is being used in the capital’s Haidian District, including many Metro stations. The system can be operated by just one person, according to Megvii, cutting down on work pressure and infection risks.

Meanwhile, SenseTime has partnered with a supercomputing center in Shenzhen to offer and optimize computing capacity, which is used for scientists to research the new virus and develop drugs.

Startups develop systems to battle virus
Ti Gong

SenseTime's new app can recognize people who are wearing masks. 

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