The pandemic is keeping the whole world under distress and fear close to a year now. However humans are resilient in nature. Humans are continuously looking for options and solutions to come out of the pandemic. Technology is making a remarkable contribution in the process. Let’s see 5 ways technology is helping to fight Covid-19 pandemic.
1. Mobile Phones and Contact Tracing App
Many countries around the world including China, UK and Australia implemented various types of contact tracing mechanisms. The uniqueness of Covid-19 virus is that it is highly contagious. A patient with Covid-19 positive may not show any symptoms for days, but can spread the virus to almost all of his/her close contacts.
Therefore identifying the whereabouts and close contacts of covid positive patients is crucial to control the spread. Mobile phones and location tracking apps have become extremely important in this aspect. Governments around the world used mobile apps and some governments used tailor made covid contact tracing apps to identify covid positive people.
Some of these apps allow people to report their symptoms which intern help authorities to identify high risk areas. Some apps give information to people if they have had any close contact with a covid positive person so that they can take necessary action.
These mobile apps are helping to control the spread of the virus and there is research going on to develop them further.
2. Robots and Drones.
Robots powered by artificial intelligence are providing their service in many hospitals and conrantine centers in various countries. There are robots designed to provide medical services to corona patients such as delivering food, medicine and other required supplies to patients, to check a patient’s temperature and answer questions. Some robots are designed to disinfect hospitals, schools, public areas etc. This helps the health service workers to minimize close contact with covid patients while ensuring they are well taken care of.
AI powered drones are used to do various tasks. Some drones are designed to deliver food and essentials to isolated or quarantine areas. Particularly in China, drones with thermal cameras are used to check the temperature of people in crowded places. These drones can identify possible covid positive patients in a crowd. Drones with loudspeakers are used to give special notices to people and warn people to avoid gatherings and to wear face masks.
3. Diagnosis and Potential Vaccine
Artificial intelligence and machine learning played a major part in understanding how to diagnose the virus. The first diagnostic test was developed within weeks of identifying the disease, thanks to technology. From that initiation onwards many developments have been made to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the PCR test. Currently the diagnosis takes a few hours which took days at the beginning. There are new developments also taking place to introduce a chip detention kit which will be faster and convenient.
The whole world is having hope for a vaccine to defeat the coronavirus. Artificial intelligence and big data has been heavily used to come up with a vaccine. Blockchain technology is playing a key role in pandemic management. This technology is being used to process massive amounts of data to help faster decision making to come up with a faster response. However the success of the vaccine is yet to find out.
4. Fintech Applications and Remote Access Applications
Most crucial aspect of controlling the spread of the virus is social distancing and minimizing physical contact. However money transactions in various forms are inevitable to continue with normal economic activities. Fintech applications such as mobile payments, contactless transactions, Online trading platforms, peer to peer borrowing/lending and online earnings have enabled the people to continue with their transaction requirements while being safe.
Technology has also allowed the majority of the businesses and organizations to run remotely. This has been a major advantage to continue with economic activities while keeping the people safe with minimal physical movements and interactions.
Healthcare is one of the most critical services during a pandemic. Healthcare workers such as doctors, nurses, hospital staff etc. are exposed to the virus day in day out. Safety and wellbeing of them is crucial. Videoconferencing and remote care services for corona patients have reduced the threat for healthcare workers. Getting support from robots for diagnosing, providing medicine, checking temperature etc. can reduce the risk of healthcare workers getting infected. In some parts of the world, there are chatbots in service to communicate with the isolated patients to ease their fear and to keep company.
Pandemic was unexpected and the world was never ready for that. However the advanced technology has placed the world in a better place to face the pandemic. Technology is there to serve mankind. Let’s hope we will be out of this misery sooner than later.