The past decade has allowed the development of a multitude of technology. Now you can use it to remediate the COVID-19 outbreak.
Epidemics and pandemics have been threatening the human race time and again. SARS, H1N1, Ebola, and more have shown their teeth in the past. hence, we learn new ways of fighting and managing such unexpected diseases that can potentially kill millions of people.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues unfolding, technology solutions and government initiatives are multiplying to help monitor and control the virus’s journey.
Technology will not be able to avoid the onset of a pandemic. However, it can assist in managing a crisis more effectively. We all know how badly COVID-19 has impacted our lives, both personal and professional. During this time of sheer uncertainty and constant fear, our willingness to adopt technology has been our lifeline.
Let’s take a look at how technology has impacted our lives in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Incorporating distance learning
According to a recent survey, around 191 countries have either implemented or announced the closure of schools and universities, which has directly impacted close to 1.57 billion students. Most of the educational institutions have started to offer their courses online to make sure education is not disrupted due to the pandemic.
Technologies used in distant learning include augmented reality, 3D printing, virtual reality, and robot teachers enabled with artificial intelligence.
Access to data for monitoring COVID-19 pandemic
The IoT provides a platform that allows public-health agencies access to data for monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the ‘Worldometer’ provides a real-time update on the actual number of people known to have COVID-19 worldwide. This includes:
- Daily new cases of the disease
- Disease distribution by countries
- Severity of disease (recovered, critical condition, or death)
Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering has also developed a real-time tracking map for the following cases of COVID-19 across the world.
Contact tracing application
Countries are implementing tools for aggressive contact tracing to provide real-time data and detailed timelines of people’s travel. Thus, they are getting information from multiple sources like:
- Security camera footage
- Facial recognition technology
- Bank card records
- Global positioning system (GPS)
People receive emergency text alerts about new COVID-19 cases in their region. These texts instruct individuals to report to testing centers and self-isolate themselves if they get into contact with the infected. Therefore, this way government is trying to identify and isolate infections at an early stage.
Contactless Online Deliveries
The online grocery market witnessed tremendous growth during the pandemic due to the soaring demand amongst consumers. Families, particularly with children and older people, preferred to place their grocery orders online. This resulted in a significant increase of new users who are resorting to online apps for grocery deliveries.
The provision given to choose a preferred time slot for delivery plus a reduced delivery fee for orders above a specified amount is attracting more and more customers towards online delivery business models.
Remote working technologies to support social distancing
As pandemics keep threatening the business world, WFH ensures business continuity as well as facilitates social distancing. Forefront technologies ensure undisrupted deliverables. These technologies are:
- Secure access to data
- Enterprise applications
- Virtual meetings
- Cloud conferencing
- Virtual/mixed/augmented reality
Remote working is a blessing that comes due to technology and is one the greatest solution that helps us in social distancing.
Technology in clinical care
Technology is making it easier to connect with our patients hence, protecting both patients and providers and preserving our stores of masks, gowns, and gloves.
Patients using drive-through testing so do not have to leave their cars to be evaluated. After registering over the phone, patients connect with physicians via video conferencing while a nurse wearing protective gear obtains their vital signs and collects their nasal swabs.
Deliver remote health care to patients via video conferencing and digital monitoring. It is acting as a means of reducing their exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare institutions.
Robotics in use
The count of COVID-19 cases is increasing rapidly. Hence, the number of patients who need medical attention is putting extraordinary pressure on healthcare professionals across the world. Hospitals are using remote-controlled robots to help medical professionals to conduct critical tasks. This includes mouth swab collection for conducting the virus detection test, for conducting ultrasound scans, etc.
Drones are being used for easing livilyhood. Such as:
- Food deliveries
- Tracking population
- Transporting test kits
- Spraying disinfectant
- Delivering medicines to quarantine areas
COVID-19 has proved that technology innovations have been helping in managing the epidemic in a timely, systematic, and calm manner. A lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic has been to stay prepared well in advance against any crisis at both an individual and collective level. All we need to fight an epidemic like COVID-19 is preparedness.
Advancement in technology is steadily progressing; it will undoubtedly continue to grow exponentially. It’s we humans who have to adapt to changes in technology faster and continue to invest in building the technology systems for better preparedness.