Fighting the Coronavirus Using Technology
The novel coronavirus has drastically changed the way we live our lives. It has changed the way we work, communicate, exercise, travel, eat and many other essential everyday tasks. Since it first hit the U.S., individuals in the technology sector have endeavored to use the tools at their disposal to come up with innovative ways to fight the virus and alleviate the strains it has put on our global communities. Below are several ways technology, data science, robotics and artificial intelligence are being used in the battle against COVID-19.
Artificial intelligence is being used in numerous ways to help fight the coronavirus. It is helping us understand the virus by providing data, sequencing and visualizations that model the evolution of the virus. It is aiding our medical communities by streamlining telemedicine, creating intelligent medical chatbots, processing healthcare claims and reducing the shortage of ventilators through 3D printing. It is helping us find treatment therapies by analyzing the vast amounts of information found in medical papers, news reports, social media platforms and government documents.
Since robots are not susceptible to the virus, they have become a very important tool. Robots are being deployed in hospitals to provide cleaning and sterilization using ultraviolet light to autonomously kill viruses and bacteria. Drones are being used as a fast and efficient method to deliver life-saving medical supplies, food and other essential goods. Cute robot pets are even being used to help alleviate feelings of loneliness and anxiety for patients who are in isolation and unable to be with loved ones and friends.
Accurate and timely information is crucial to help guide public health organizations and the community at large. There have been many conflicting messages about the virus. Large tech companies are using the tools at their disposal to help curate this information and provide critical, fact-based, messaging such as hand washing, mask use and social distancing.
Preventing the Spread
Contact tracing is a method that helps identify people who may have contracted the virus by identifying positive cases, and then analyzing with whom they may have come in contact and therefore possibly contain the spread of the virus. The technology sector is providing automated contact tracing tools that can more accurately and efficiently provide contact tracing.
Business as (Almost) Usual
Social distancing has created many challenges for businesses to operate and interact with their client base. As a result, tools that help businesses operate remotely have become much more important. Video conferencing has become very popular for both internal and client communications. Cloud-based marketing tools have also become increasingly important to help businesses stay in touch when in-person contact is not possible.
While the coronavirus pandemic heavily influences our day-to-day lives, today’s technology is undoubtedly helping us move forward.