Technology in the Time of COVID-19 - An Overview
The world is fighting hard to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak and in this crisis, the contribution of technology is no less; it minimizes person-to-person contact and enhances combat and relief efforts.
Let’s take a look at some of the technologies that are aiding in COVID-19 crisis management and reducing the impact of the pandemic situation on people’s lives.
- Artificial Intelligence
Being one of the emerging technologies in 2020, AI is at the forefront in providing solutions to tackle COVID-19 crisis. The combination of Machine Learning algorithms and Data Science can track and predict global patterns related to the spread of the coronavirus.
Coronavirus-focused chatbots leverage Natural Language Processing to disseminate real-time information about the symptoms and preventive measures to people.
After the initial outbreak in China, the government has resorted to using drones for spraying disinfectants, transporting body fluid samples for testing, measuring people’s temperatures and broadcasting public announcements.
The upside of this technology is that there is minimum human interaction and maximum ground coverage, as compared to traditional methods like patrolling, screening or fogging.
Robots are being employed to deliver food and medicines in isolation wards thereby, stemming the chances of virus transmission among hospital staff.
In China, home quarantined individuals get their food and other essentials delivered by self-driving vehicles. UVD robots are used by the Chinese to disinfect public places and hospitals in order to limit the risk of infection.
Telemedicine helps in remote screening of people for coronavirus and is used to triage patients having flu or common cold symptoms, thus reducing overcrowding in hospitals.
Telehealth apps aid healthcare providers and patients to interact virtually, via video chats, without any personal exposure.
People under the mandatory 14-day home quarantine are continuously monitored using Geo-fencing technology. Already in use in Hong Kong, it is a location-based service that defines geographical boundaries of a target object by utilizing GPS, RFID, WiFi or cellular networks.
Geo-fencing acts as a virtual barrier for those under home quarantine; if they leave their premises, a warning is triggered and an alert is sent to the concerned authorities.
These powerful technologies will go a long way in guiding us to efficiently handle public health emergencies. At this crucial juncture, we urge you to practice social distancing by staying at home and maintaining personal hygiene.
Be safe and stay motivated!