Although many industries are suffering in the wake of Coronavirus, they are also being called upon to help use their skills, ideas and developments to find novel solutions to the spread and impact of the disease.
Technology can be implemented in many ways to address the outbreak from identification, containment, treatment developments and disinfection.
A.I and data trend tracking
Health monitoring platform Bluedot, based in Toronto, Canada, uses AI and big data analytics to help track the spread globally, anticipating the likely trends in the outbreak. This information can be used to assist governments and hospitals to better prepare for the oncoming pandemic by allocating resources and funding where it is needed most.
Contactless delivery and robots to the rescue
In order to eliminate human to human contact and assist those in isolation, robots are being used to help deliver services in the catering industry, to help disinfect areas and even drones utilized to transport supplies or medical samples. In addition to transportation these bots can also use basic diagnostic functions or thermal imaging to help identify those with infection and to help understand how the disease is spreading on the ground.
Surveillance is amped up
In China, where the impacts of the disease are currently the worst, surveillance systems are being harnessed to identify those with potential infections and to enforce quarantines. Using facial recognition cameras and thermal imaging, Chinese firms can track the temperature of passers-by with those people with higher than normal body temps most likely to be infected. Although undoubtedly a good resource at identifying those people who are at risk of having disease, this type of surveillance brings up ethical concerns.
Despite all the advanced technology which may assist in understanding the disease and help in containing it, the simplest solutions, hand washing and isolation, will be the most effective in stopping the spread.