Of course, not. No one knew a sudden outbreak could make our lives miserable. Today, we are living during a major crisis. Yes, the whole world is facing a disastrous period where a large number of people are hospitalised and others are struggling with their lives. Undoubtedly, Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made our lives full of hassle. We are so much frightened, frustrated, anxious and stressed out.
The occurrence of new COVID-19 cases is growing day by day. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been over 1,600,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of the Coronavirus so far. However, in response to COVID-19 outbreak, government, tech giants and healthcare stakeholders are searching for surveillance tools and medications to monitor the spread of the disease.
Here we have listed a few the preventive steps of governments, WHO and digital health vendors who took advantage of technology to combat the COVID-19 crisis.
Location tracking is one of the commonly used technologies used by governments. Countries like Israel, China, Korea, Taiwan have already used location-tracking technology to limit the spread or transmission of the virus. They use an individual’s cell phone location data to track where they are, identify where an infected person was and how many people were in close contact with the patient. In short, location tracking technology helps to monitor the mobility or movement of people.
The government of South Korea has used smartphone location data, records of credit card transactions and CCTV videos to track the potential COVID-19 patients.
The new AI-powered smartphone apps have been developed in China and some other countries. Well, these apps play a crucial role in monitoring an individual’s health and tracking the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus. The evolution of such apps helps predict the most susceptible population and communities. Not only this, but patients can also have access to talk to their medical advisers who can guide them well regarding their medical condition. For instance, the Singapore government took a great initiative to slow down the outbreak. They have launched an app called TraceTogether. It is a contact-tracking application which uses Bluetooth signals to identify whether the Coronavirus patients are in close contact with other people or not. And once the person is found, adequate care and treatment could be provided to them.
Different countries such as the United Kingdom, South Korea and India also have launched different apps to reduce the risk of this outbreak. For instance, C-19 COVID Symptoms Tracker helps an individual to recognise the high-risk areas and enable them to self-monitor their symptoms.
Undoubtedly, the screening process is quite essential for detecting COVID-19 patients. Previously, in China, handheld thermometers and traditional infrared imaging scanner were introduced to monitor fever or high temperature. However, China and other countries governments have now launched more advanced AI-powered temperature screening systems. The great benefit of this technology is, it can screen people from distance and even test multiple individuals within minutes.
We must say, iThermo is a remarkable innovation in this outbreak. Singapore has introduced this real-time screening device which can reduce the manual process. The device can check the forehead temperature from a distance. Not only this, but it also makes sure if a person is wearing surgical mask, spectacles or any headgear.
The autonomous robots and drones are playing a key role in combating COVID-19 virus. From delivering food to taking caring of patients and disinfecting hospitals, robots are doing a great job. In Singapore, the use of telemedicine robots can make doctors’ job easier and safer. With the help of telemedicine robots, doctors can remotely interact with patients. In fact, in Chinese hospitals, sterilization robots can disinfect wards. The emission of UV rays can kill all viruses and bacteria. Health workers or staff can remotely control the bots without any danger or fear.
Apart from autonomous robots, drones are also doing an amazing job to fight against this Coronavirus pandemic. Shenzhen, a Chinese electronic company, deployed drones which are capable to monitor crowds and traffic more efficiently. The aim is to keep a watchful eye over the crowd and make sure they are taking appropriate precautions or not. The drones are also used to spray disinfectant in different public places. Also, drones with thermal sensing can automatically sense and identify individuals with high body temperatures.
Moreover, you may also be amazed to know that drones can also speed up the transport system and ease the job of human delivery drivers. Drones can indeed ensure safe delivery without exposing humans to infection.
In conclusion, we say that digital technologies can play a significant role to fight COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid development of new applications of AI and machine learning can help assess infection risks or control the spread of the disease. However, we would like to say that during this crisis, the world needs to be united and stay firm with the spirit of shared responsibilities. No single entity is enough. We require a massive global effort. No doubt, the collective approach and efforts can do wonders. Yes, if we stay united and contribute as much as possible, then we can surely save the world from this Coronavirus outbreak.