The coronavirus outbreak has rapidly accelerated the nation’s slow-moving effort to incorporate artificial intelligence into medical care, as hospitals grasp onto experimental technologies to relieve an unprecedented strain on their resources.

AI has become one of the first lines of defense in the pandemic. Hospitals are using it to help screen and triage patients and identify those most likely to develop severe symptoms. They’re scanning faces to check temperatures and harnessing fitness tracker data, to zero in on individual cases and potential clusters. They are also using AI to keep tabs on the virus in their own communities. They need to know who has the disease, who is likely to get it, and what supplies are going to run out tomorrow, two weeks from now, and further down the road.

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