Epidemics and pandemics have always been threatening the human race time and again. With each such outbreak, humans are trying to learn new ways of fighting and managing such unexpected diseases that can potentially kill many people. Technology cannot prevent the onset of pandemics; however, it can help prevent the spread, educate, warn, and empower countless people to be aware of the situation. Here is some technology that plays a vital part:
- 3D-printing is successfully being used to meet demands in medical supplies. The maker community and manufacturers have come together along with their 3D-printers to fight the pandemic. People ranging from garage hobbyists to established companies are 3D-printing equipment from face shields through swabs to ventilator parts.
- Telemedicine is a technology that provides medical advice to the concerned people in home confinement. Technology has found a quick fix during the pandemic. Telemedicine is a ready-made option, wherein, concerned people can consult doctors from the comfort of their homes regarding their symptoms.
- Smartphone tracing has become one of the most important methods to identify people infected with the virus. Governments around the world have resorted to the use of technology. By using high tech contact tracing, authorities can alert those who might have been in proximity to someone with COVID-19.
- Artificial intelligence (A.I.) has been successful in bringing about the real era of medicine. Hospitals are using an A.I.-based system to screen lung CT scans. It helps doctors prioritize potential COVID-19 cases for further testing. Researchers shared their findings on an A.I. framework to assist in prioritizing resources for critical cases.
- Virtual reality (VR) is seeking its place in exciting applications in healthcare. Surgeons trained with VR do a lot better in their overall surgical performance as opposed to those trained with traditional methods. VR can also help in better addressing psychological issues that COVID-19 patients are facing like isolation or stigma.
- Chatbot tools can provide an online solution to prioritize patients regarding infection diagnostics. Chatbot that has already been adopted by the Provincial Health Services Agency in Trento. The tool is primarily used by healthcare professionals to interact with patients via remote visits.
- Social media platforms lately have been a key medium of communication during an emergency. During the time of the pandemic, when the reach of traditional media has been limited due to social distancing measures, social media users have kept the world updated. Mediums such as Twitter and Facebook have played a major role in dissipating credible information.
- Drones have been proved to be potentially useful in carrying test kits and medical supplies and cutting delivery for medical authorities. Further, drones are being increasingly used in South Korea and China to spray disinfecting chemicals in public spaces. Drones equipped with thermal imaging technology are also being used in China to detect people with fever/flu symptoms.
COVID-19 will have an extensive impact on business networks internationally. This crisis has made it clear that in the business world, more so than any other time, that putting resources into rising digital technologies can do a ton of good. We see digital health technologies increasingly getting embraced in this specific circumstance. It is hard to envision how we could have taken care of such a pandemic 15-20 years back when the entirety of the above advances didn’t exist. Today, with converging technologies like mobile, cloud, analytics, robotics, AI/ML, 4G/5G, and high-speed internet, it has gotten conceivable to test a few inventive ways to deal with the pandemic reaction.