COVID 19 or coronavirus has wreaked havoc across the world. Apart from claiming millions of lives, it has impacted the economies. While there is no vaccine for the virus yet, lockdown and social distancing are the only ways to reduce the spreading of the virus.
However, tracking and testing are still important in the prevention of the virus. And technology can play an important role here.
The development of technology solutions aimed at dealing with the COVID 19 outbreak is rapidly gaining momentum on a global scale.
Governments, academic institutions, and businesses are developing smart solutions to blunt the spread of the virus. In fact, tech has a history of facilitating tracking and treating the virus. The most recent example is flu tracking. Smart connected thermometer helped the government collected illness data during the 2018 flu season in the USA.
Even NASA is said to develop the technology to fight COVID 19 as their NASA@Work initiative to collect innovative ideas by employees.
According to one study, Fitbit devices could be useful in influenza detection as they collect data associated with the heart and the sleep.
Here we will discuss the role of technology in tracking, fighting, and treating COVID 19.
Telemedicine: Telemedicine has emerged as an effective and sustainable solution for prevention, precaution, and treatment to control the spread of COVID 19.
Telemedicine is the practice of providing virtual healthcare services over the Internet or phone, eliminating the in-person meeting with a physician. For example, with telemedicine, a patient can be diagnosed through voice calls, video calls, and other electronic mediums.
This way, a patient can stay at home while getting prescription and instructions from their physician.
And this helps reduce the spread of the virus of the mass populations are people are staying at home. Plus, it will protect the medical staff from coming into contact with the infected person. No wonder why many hospitals and clinics are implying telemedicine to treat quarantined patients infected with the coronavirus.
Alarming Mobile Apps: Mobile apps can also play an important role in the prevention of COVID 19. They help people detect the “hotspots” as well as stay updated with the latest information on the virus with real-time updates.
They can lessen the burn on healthcare staff and help people protect themselves without compromising with their privacy.
For example, some mobile apps use Bluetooth signals to detect users whey are in proximity to each other and alarms them anonymously if they come into contact with an infected person. Many governments have rolled out their apps.
Mobile apps can also help healthcare workers track and contact COVID 19 patients as well as suspects. The app can also be used to alert those who are required to be quarantine or get tested.
Online Training Courses: Online training courses are being rolled out to train healthcare workers in core practices for COVID 19.
For example, COVID med ed, developed by UK based firm Medical Realities, provides training, research, and guidelines for medical students and healthcare professionals across the world.
They can view the latest update on COVID 19, reviews of the latest pandemic data, and relevant tests on the key clinical areas.
Online Antibody Testing: Quest Direct, a lab test company, has enabled the customer to opt for the antibody test through an online platform. The request is then directed to a licensed physician who approves the test order.
Patients can then visit a Quest service center to get their blood sample collected, and can see results within one to two days via an online platform. Patients can also talk to their doctors through telehealth services.
Although the tests are meant for COVID-19 antibodies testing, it can’t be used to detect if the person is positive with the virus.
Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence is another crucial technology to look for in the prevention of COVID 19. And many Asian nations have proved it. In Saudi Arabia, the supermarket utilizes AI to reduce delivery time. In UAE, AI is used along with machine learning and blockchain to provide a diagnosis to people.
The University of Copenhagen has used AI to create models to determine and forecast the necessity of intensive care and ventilator support for patients in the early stages of COVID 19.
The key role of AI is to collecting data related to the user’s behavior; predicting the spread of the disease; determine the hotspots; understanding the effect of drugs and predicting the next pandemic.
That’s why AI can be an effective technique to deal with the challenges of the COVID 19 virus.
Virtual Reality or VR: Virtual reality has been gaining momentum in the health sector. From creating new life-saving techniques to train the doctors, VR has plenty of applications for both healthcare and patients. And this technology can play a crucial role in dealing with COVID 19.
Virtual Reality can enable physicians to “scan” the patient’s body without having to come near to the patient. Besides, it can be used in disease awareness. For example, people can put on a headset and “virtually” experience the signs of COVID 19. Most importantly, patients can be taken through their treatment plan by virtually stepping into a 360-degree view of VR reconstruction of their pathology and anatomy. This is important as many patients have misconceptions about COVID 19 treatment.
VR can also feel them comfortable with the treatment. For example, they can use a VR headset to view calming landscapes. This way, VR can help them relax and reduce their suffering during their isolation period.
Bottom Line: The current situation with the COVID 19 crisis is critical and uncertain. This has prompted the governments and organizations to ponder over the response to the challenges.
The role of technology to deal with COVID 19 will be important and new digital trends will define this transformation.
We hope that these technologies empower the fight against COVID 19. But it can’t be denied that developing the vaccine can make a difference. Till then, we have to follow the good old rule of hygiene and social distancing.
What do you think? Can you suggest other tech solutions to track and treat COVID 19? Let us know by commenting below.
Author Bio: Helen Wilson is a marketing manager at Savah, a product that helps teams with an all-in-one platform for prototyping, design collaboration tools, and workflow.