The world is confronting challenges that it has never seen before. The crisis is about the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 throughout the world affecting millions of people worldwide. To answer the dilemma, unprecedented utilisation and development of resources in the technological field are being seen over the course of 3 months from the first report in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Scientists and technological communities have poured in their efforts to mitigate the pandemic and protect the integrity of people. Till now, there has been over 8 lakh confirmed cases of Coronavirus infection from the world with about 40000 deceased.
In recent weeks, a surge in technological advancements, have been seen in areas like open-source data and machine designing to restrict the speed of virus. Challenges faced during the mitigation of the pandemic includes studying the progression of the virus, health centres like hospitals gaining access to adequate supplies during this crisis and initiate social distancing among the people to contain the transmission.
Given are some of the innovative ideas through which technology is being used widely to fight the crisis.
Big Data and Virus Genetic Tree
Understanding the strength of the new virus, known to belong from the family of SARS, has become crucial in limiting expanding. Technology company like Nextstrain has come to aid in providing open-source data, sequencing and visualisation. Through this source, it has become easier to study the evolution of pathogens like Coronavirus and epidemiologist are coming up with views on its evolution in different countries and any possible mutation.
Finding Therapy through Machine Learning
If the data available is in abundance, artificial intelligence or AI can prove to be an excellent tool in asserting the virus future and possible treatments. A biotechnology company AbCellera is using machine learning technique to analyse antibodies from patients who have recovered from the COVID-19 impact to create a cure for other suffering patients worldwide. Through AI technology, they have evaluated over 5 million immune cells that have produced antibodies in an attempt to help patients recover. Thanks to the AI technology that has identified over 500 antibodies that can cure COVID-19.
Telemedicine for Hospitals
Hospitals are turning towards telemedicine in order to manage patients crowd pouring in daily. Telemedicine has eased the diagnosis and treatment procedure speeding of the entire process. Working with telemedicine is very easy where the patient has to fill up a form describing their symptoms and submit. Depending on the symptom the doctor visits them for a virtual consultation. This process has been followed by doctors of Xuhui hospital in Shanghai and were able to treat patients sitting at Tibet and France. Doctors also devised proper ways to attend to their patients through telemedicine.
App for Assessing Symptoms
South Korea and Madrid have come out with an innovative way to diagnose and treat patients through apps. In this process, the patient or COVID-19 suspected person has to enter their symptoms depending on self-assessment. Based on the information, the app will provide instructions and advise steps for the perfect treatment. This has proved beneficial to reduce congestion in hotline numbers created for critical patients by the health authorities and government.
Using 3D Printers
Medical supplies are coming to a halt as more number of people are being infected with COVID-19 virus. A shortage of ventilators worldwide needs to be considered soon to treat critical patients. As this is a pandemic virus, different groups through communication platforms and channels are sharing open-source design for creating 3D printed ventilators. This means a ventilator can be created using just a 3D printer now. These have also been tested, the result of which was a success.
Chatbot to Answer Questions
With the outbreak of Coronavirus, people from around the world have not stopped asking questions. Different individuals mean different questions which need to be answered to eliminate any vague or fake idea.
In light of rising questions World Health Organisation or WHO launched WHOchatbot that can give information about the Novel Coronavirus and answer FAQs. The answers include everything about the sickness, infection and protective measures. People can get information about COVID-19 through social media platform like WhatsApp where the user has to input a specific number to know further. This mitigates any confusion as using natural language might be unclear to the chatbot. For instance, to know the latest figures the WHOchatbot may tell you to type 5. When you type 5 and send it, you will get the latest numbers for COVID-19 patients worldwide.
Use of Video Call to Stay Connected
After lockdown in different parts of the world, people found out different video calling platforms to stay connected to one another and deal with self-isolation. Some of the video calling software that has emerged to be an essential tool includes Skype, WhatsApp, Hangout, Duo and Zoom.
Data states Zoom has attracted 6 lakhs downloaded after lockdown in different countries. Video calls are not just used to talk with friends and family members but as offices are shut, software have proved to be the prime platform to carry out work even from home without any disruptions. People have come up with innovative ideas to put to use the video calling software as well. Birthday parties, events, office conferences and even weddings are taking place where invitees are sent links to view live streams.
This is the time when we should stay connected with one another even when staying in self-isolation. With the advent of different technological plans, it has eased the process of dealing with a pandemic like COVID-19. More advanced technologies are yet to come which are under process, that will help us fight the virus.