With every passing hour, the whole world is grappling with the uncertainty of the Corona pandemic. The deadly disease that first appeared in Wuhan, China slowly and steadily spread across the globe. It is affecting many with each passing day.
The deadly outbreak has encouraged innovative solutions with the help of technologies. Different technologies have seen in full-swing to combat the virus.
Scientists, doctors, and developers are leaving no stone unturned to contain the spread and far-reaching effects of COVID-19.
Recently, diverse knowledge-sharing initiatives have come to the forefront that could help in tackling some challenges faced due to the rapid spread of Coronavirus.
Technology is being utilized to measure the progression of the disease. This is to ensure health care centers have access to supplies they urgently need and relieve some of the challenging side effects of social distancing.
Technologies Fighting Against Coronavirus
In this post, we will review a few innovative technologies that are helping to fight Coronavirus:
1) Medical Robots
Firstly, we will start with medical robots.
Medical robots have proved to be a game-changer. This has reduced the potential of danger to the life of a health worker.
One such robot that the US is already using helped doctors to communicate with a patient diagnosed with Coronavirus.
Health workers control the robots. According to a Reuters report, a small robot called “Little Peanut” delivered food to passengers who were on a flight from Singapore to Hangzhou, China. They are now being quarantined in a hotel.
2) Location Tracking
Secondly, it is location tracking.
The commonly used technology today is tracking an individual’s whereabouts via the location provided by their smartphones.
This plays a vital role to identify which all places the infected person visited before being quarantined and how many others were in close proximity.
Israel has allowed the internal security agency to utilize citizen’s location data for a month. Now, South Korea, China, and Taiwan are also taking the help of this location tracking system.
3) Big data for understanding genetic tree
In-depth understanding of this new virus, SARS-CoV-2 is important for defining measures that are able to stop the spread.
Next strain is an open-source project that helps in providing data, sequencing, and visualization.
It has evidently shown the evolution of pathogens like Coronavirus and data that can help epidemiologists understand how the virus evolves in multiple countries. The possible mutation will help in changing nature.
After sharing the genetic sequencing of approximately 700 virus cases with the scientific community, this project has contributed to corroborating that virus virulence didn’t have any effect on the spread to other countries.
4) Smartphone apps to the rescue
A UK startup recently launched a mobile app to self-report their symptoms. This C-19 (Covid-19) Tracker was downloaded by 7.5 lakh people within three days. It helps in identifying risk areas and other important things.
Inspired by a South Korean application, the regional government in Madrid has released an initiative, ‘Corona Madrid’, available by an app or a web page.
Individuals who feel they may be the potential patients who can conduct a physical assessment based on their symptoms.
According to that, they will receive instructions regarding what steps have to be taken for the treatment.
This initiative has jointly been developed by many Spanish companies in record time in order to reduce call congestion for the regional Coronavirus hotline.
It is helping in providing the health authorities with a more concise local snapshot regarding the pandemic.
4) AI detection of pandemic spread
Toronto-based health monitoring Artificial intelligence platform “Bluedot” beats the WHO and CDC when it comes to issuing warnings about coronavirus.
It has even correctly predicted the path of the virus spread from Wuhan to Tokyo.
Bluedot is a digital health company that takes the help of big data analytics to track and anticipate the spread of the world’s most dangerous infectious disease.
After going through the information regarding the news reports, airline data and reports of animal disease outbreaks, Bluedot’s algo can identify a trend that is analyzed by epidemiologists. The company shares information with its clients.
The Bluedot founder and CEO Kamran Khan told the Canadian Press, “We are growing access to data we can use in order to generate insights and spread them faster than the disease spreads itself. Besides this, uses Ebola model outbreaks with the help of data movement.
Another Artificial Intelligence company Infervision launched a Coronavirus AI solution. It helps front-line healthcare workers detect and monitor the disease efficiently.
Detection with AI
As the imaging departments in the healthcare centers facilitate taxes with the increased workload created by the virus.
This solution enhances CT diagnosis speed. The Chinese popular e-commerce company Alibaba has built an AI-powered diagnosis system which is 96% accurate at diagnosing the virus within seconds.
With the help of quality data, artificial intelligence can prove to be a powerful tool that helps in predicting the future of the disease while looking for possible treatment.
AbCellera is a biotechnology company that is taking the help of a machine learning model in order to create therapies based on antibodies from patients that have recovered from this deadly disease.
To be specific, they have to take the help of AI to analyze more than 5 million immune cells. They look for the ones which are able to produce antibodies that help patients to recover.
Another revolution of AI in the Healthcare Industry is mobile Applications. All the credit goes to artificial intelligence, 500 antibodies have been identified for use in future Coronavirus therapies.
The government in every country is taking the help of drones. From patrolling walkways with loudspeakers to warning residents to wear masks and stay at home, drones are helping authorities to get information faster.
Agriculture drones are helping to spray disinfectants in remote areas while some are helping to deliver important medical supplies.
6) Maps for Monitoring
The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University introduced an online dashboard.
This helps in visualizing and tracking the report cases on a daily timescale. They have also built a data downloadable Google Sheet.
This map helps to show new cases, confirmed deceased individuals, and recovered patients.
Apart from this, data is also collected from different sources like WHO, CDC, NHC and DXY, a website that aggregates NHC and local CCDC situation reports in real-time.
In addition, this provides current regional cases estimated than the national level reporting organization and used for China cases.
US information is derived from the US CDC and rest from the corresponding regional healthcare departments. The dashboard is intended to provide the public with an understanding of the outbreak situation with transparency.
7) Breathing easily with 3D printers
Ventilators are one of the mandatory equipment when it comes to providing treatment for the most severe cases of Coronavirus.
But health care centers are facing a shortage of supply. In order to address this issue different groups of individuals across the globe have set up network communication platforms and channels taking the help of technology like Telegram.
Unquestionably, this is where they share information regarding open-source design for manufacturing ventilators with 3D printers. Any individual with a 3D printer can collaborate by printing the essential respiratory components. The objective is to make them available to the health care department.
This project, in particular, is yielding fast results within a few days. The members of one of the groups in Spain were able to build an open-source respirator prototype that has been tested on a pig at Central University Hospital of Asturias, Spain.
Particularly, the group of makers has received support from Asturias, the Council of Science. All of them are collaborating to accelerate the human testing of the device.
Telemedicine has been is one of the most-effective alternatives that communities are now turning to avoid overwhelming hospitals with an unmanageable amount of patients.
It is streamlining the diagnosis as well as the treatment making everything faster and easier. Patients only have to open an app, describe their symptoms, and wait for a doctor’s consultation virtually.
For example in China, the Xuhui public hospital, Shanghai has managed to reach patients that were as far as Tibet and France.
In Spain, a Seville-based company called Open Salud, has released a complimentary teleconsultation platform that helps doctors to determine the best mechanism for the patients.
9) Chatbot Answering Questions
The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the WHO chatbot for providing information regarding novel Coronavirus.
Additionally, the chatbot gives answers to the frequently asked questions like sickness like infection rate, and preventive measures.
WHO has practiced a simple approach, it doesn’t take the help of natural language, users have to send numbers or emojis to get information related to different topics.
For example, if they want to inquire about the latest figure about the patients, they should type ‘1’. If they require travel information, type ‘5’.
The WHO chatbot is simple to use and operates on the WhatsApp platform that now belongs to Facebook.
Not only this, but the tech giant has also managed to create a social media Coronavirus Information Center that appears as feeds while providing an official information source.
10) Video calls
Video call apps have now become important tools for dealing with confinement while not losing contact with those beyond the four walls (especially for the ones who live alone. Few of the most popular applications are:
- Google Hangout
All these aforementioned tools according to The New York Times received approximately 600,000 downloads in a single day during the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.
All things considered, the mobile apps organize meetings for teams of remote workers and help close ones to stay in touch. The last few weeks have managed to organize workshops, seminars, conferences, virtual get-together, birthday parties, etc.
Finally, futuristic technology effectively collaborates with artificial intelligence, is helping health workers identify the symptoms of Coronavirus, look for new treatment methods, track the speed etc.
Subsequently, AI-based robots are interacting with patients. The contagion is difficult to contain as human-to-human interaction has become limited.
Importantly, remote communication has become the need of the hour. Whether you talk about hospitals, public places, robots utilize for disinfecting rooms, delivering medication, or communicating with isolated individuals.
This pandemic has now turned into a global calamity, leaving countless vulnerable, shattered economies and the whole world under lockdown. But beneath this dark cloud, the technology innovations are the silver lining proving a ray of hope.
Last but not the least, stopping the spread of Coronavirus will take a lot of hard work, research, and ingenuity. But the aforementioned advancements in technology and the power to quickly, reliably share information across the globe can help to further discoveries while saving millions of lives.