Coronavirus: How could technology help us?
The cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to over 100 countries since the first case being reported in Wuhan, China. There have been more than 135,000 cases of COVID-19 across the world, with a death rate of about 4%. WHO has recently released a statement declaring COVID-19, a pandemic. Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and some more technologies are now being used to tackle and handle this pandemic. Tech companies are now working together with clinicians, academicians, and government entities to stop the spread and manage the cases of COVID-19. Let’s look at how technology could help identify, track, and manage the spread of a disease outbreak.
A disease outbreak can be identified by tracking the news around the world, documents, and social media platforms using Artificial Technology (AI). A Canada based start-up predicted the outbreak and informed WHO about the possibility. The company scans over 10,000 articles in several languages per day using machine language and natural language algorithms. The information is scanned and matched with other resources and is then sent to the epidemiologists to provide conclusions. A report was sent to the WHO, which later declared it an emergency.
Since the outbreak, many health tech companies are working and giving their best to serve society. Infervision’s engineering team and scientists could come up with an AI-based solution that could detect and monitor COVID-19 in patients. There has been significant pressure on the imaging department in the hospitals since the COVID-19 outbreak, and they have been reading more than a thousand cases a day. Typically, patients and physicians have to wait a few hours to get back the CT results; the longer they wait, the more the chances of cross-contamination at the hospital. Infervision’s AI solution is helping by screening out suspected patients for further diagnosis and outbreak.
There has a lot of admissions and discharges in the hospital. It limits the number of people available to settle payments for each patient. Encouraging card and mobile payments might help hospital staff to deal with it at ease. A Blockchain-based mutual aid platform Xiang Hu Bao provides health payout for many critical illnesses. Recently, they added nCOV-19 is listed and will cover the payment with for around 15000 US Dollars each patient from their own funds. Claim applicants can submit their documents to the investigation firms, which provides them immediate access to the blockchain. The entire process can be monitored by all the individuals involved. Xiang Hu Bao’s claim process makes the payout quicker.
Many of the rural areas with limited medical supplies have been affected by this pandemic. To control and manage the COVID-19 infected patients, the healthcare staff would need the medical supply. Terra Drone, a Japanese company, is employing its UAV system to ensure that medical and quarantine supplies can reach rural areas with minimal risk. Drones are a more efficient means of transport to prevent and control the epidemic. It has increased the transport speed by 50% as compared to road transportation. The availability of enough medical supplies and physicians would surely help areas with limited supplies to fight with COVID-19. Drones are also used to conduct thermal imaging and check fever in suspected cases.
China has deployed robots to sterilize, deliver supplies, and perform a basic diagnosis to reduce the chances of contamination. Facial recognition cameras are used to check for symptoms of COVID-19 and recognize individuals who are not using masks. The surveillance system is also used to keep an eye on infected individuals and enforce the quarantine.
Artificial Technology is being used to identify the proteins that made up the virus. Many companies are using AI to identify the treatments that can be used to fight against the coronavirus. The predictive capabilities of AI are helping to figure out the existing drugs for the treatment of this disease. Benevolent AI’s technology uses machine learning algorithms to acquire contextual relationships between diseases, drugs, genes, and biological pathways to identify novel drug targets.
The Chinese government has also developed the Health Code. This monitoring system would use an individual’s travel history and a few other factors to identify and assess the risk of infection in that individual. Citizens are also assigned color codes, red, yellow, or green to indicate if they should be allowed in public or be quarantined.
Chatbots, like WeChat, has provided free access to health consultation. People can ask queries about the symptoms, treatment options, and preventive measures about coronavirus. They also provide a real-time update about COVID-19 to the travelers.
Technology is helping to fight against coronavirus and is playing a critical role in saving society from the pandemic. The contribution of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers who are working round the clock is appreciated.
We hope that there will be a vaccine or other treatment option soon available against COVID-19.
Stay safe, and please follow the guidelines of WHO to save yourself from the coronavirus outbreak.