Sure we can, we just need to figure how.
Those that follow me on twitter know that I have been tracking the numbers since early January (when the numbers didn’t look good as we all know now). As I outlined before the problem is among those things that we cannot figure out fast when people are infected or soon to develop the infection. While protocols had been designed most of the secondary outbreaks look like they belong to the class of blind testing protocol failures.
If you are looking for phase 1 and phase 2 cases (aka the imported and direct contact class), you may be missing sleepers, those that were discarded because they are not what you are looking for. Those are not required to be isolated, and therefore push you toward an Italy situation.
We are data guys, let’s collaborate on what we know what to do. Protein folding and that is useful, but you really have to be an expert on the domain to be able to do something. We are experts in the classification and image domain, there are millions of different forms that images are taken from our body, CTs, Xrays, etc. CTs have shown good results for screening, but CTs are not so available in third world countries or in short supply, if other imaging technology like x-rays or ultrasound can do the job, we can shorten the diagnosis time and help the effort in the way we know how.
Call your hospitals, convince them to share their anonymous data dumps of respiratory illness images including SARS, MERS, COVID and similar in annotated forms. We don’t need much data, we need to know true or false… we don’t care about anything else. Other forms of support like computing power and media support, anything can make a difference.
If you know someone there, bother them until you are able to get to the one that must sign the release. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
We have lots of computing power and brains around in this community alone. We don’t have what we are good at. We need to explore the data!!!