Coronavirus has sparked a healthcare crisis worldwide. This deadly virus which originated from Wuhan, China, is now rapidly spreading and the death ratio has already exceeded the SARS outbreak in 2003. Huge measures are being taken to improve epidemic management and decrease the economic impact of coronavirus turmoil.
China is testing new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and drones to control the widespread. Also, citizens in Wuhan are leveraging futuristic tech to find people with the virus.
But, can technology provide real value against a destructive disease like Coronavirus?
Fast Coronavirus Diagnostic
Coronavirus may linger in the body weeks before it is diagnosed, therefore, we need efficient methods of prediction. BlueDot, a Canadian start-up, has developed AI-powered systems that filter data to detect the chances of disease occurrence. The AI platform analyzes several human language sources like social media posts, news, and government documents to track and forecast disease outbreak. BlueDot uses machine learning to offer upgraded information about possible disease occurrences. This helps health experts to get timely information on prevention measures for the virus. Something worth mentioning is that the same company predicted the SARS( Severe acute respiratory syndrome) widespread that came out to be true.
A high-tech company,Infervision, has launched an AI solution tailored for clinicians to identify and monitor the virus more effectively. The solution allows to swiftly screen out infected coronavirus patients for further treatment. Moreover, China has developed AI and ML-based tools to help predict and diagnose the disease and accelerate the development of a vaccine.
Robots in Action
China is shipping sterilization robots from a Danish company UVD Robots to disinfect coronavirus patient wards. These robots work by emitting ultraviolet light throughout an area while sterilizing viruses and bacteria. Many other Chinese organizations have implemented automated technologies for spraying bactericide and perform basic diagnostic functions to decrease the possibility of cross-infection.
Shenzhen-based pudo technology installed robots in over 40 hospitals across China to help hospital staff.
Blockchain Joins the Fight
Start-ups and tech companies are leveraging blockchain to track donations, medical materials, and drug supply chains, manage patient data, cross-border payments, and identify symptoms of infection. Hangzhou-based blockchain startup implemented a donation-tracking platform where donors can trace where funds are most needed and where the donation went. Also, Xianghubao, a blockchain-powered collective claim-sharing service, has introduced a new feature that helps firms reduce paperwork and the need for back and forth document delivery to clinics. This helps in speeding up the claims processing and reduce the time spent on administrative work.
Geographic Information System Technology ( GIS)
The GIS technology has served as an essential tool for eradicating the coronavirus spread. John Hopkins University is leading the charge by introducing a dashboard that shows all coronavirus cases globally.
Data mining is an important ingredient for GIS technology to function. The system requires data to discover areas where people talk about the virus to help implement prevention measures. The system can track the location and spread of the disease with the help of AI, machine learning, GIS, and data mining.
Chatbots can help by providing real-time information related to coronavirus outbreak. A startup in Japan has introduced a chatbot ‘ ‘Bebot” which gives out useful and reliable updates to travelers regarding coronavirus. This chatbot can be accessed through a mobile phone to ask queries on coronavirus such as treatment procedures, symptoms, and precautionary measures.
China developed an app known as “Closed Contact Detector ” designed to alleviate the coronavirus spread. The app helps users to determine the possibility of catching the disease based on close contact with someone who is sick. Users scan a code on their phones to check their status. It is yet not revealed how the system carries out the analysis but the app shows clear signs when the user comes near an infected person.
On the other hand, China’s tech giants like Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba are also fighting against the turmoil. Baidu has open-sourced its RNA prediction algorithm to help scientists reduce the time taken to discover the disease’s RNA secondary structure from 55 minutes to 27 seconds.
Technology may not be the one to find the cure for coronavirus. But it plays a crucial role in the process of testing and developing coronavirus vaccines. Also, it helps in offering treatment, information, support, food, schooling and greater safety for many.