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Tech 246Tech for good in the fight against coronavirus 

From an article by Business Chief

As the Covid-19 pandemic has evolved, the emergence of technological solutions has been a light at the end of the tunnel. Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary solutions and some of them have been developed at high speed, in often unexpected collaborations. Creativity has risen to an unprecedented level and ideas have come from unexpected sectors and corners.

Here are details about some of the most innovative tech solutions that have sprung up throughout the world:

Virus tracking tech – enabling us to fight at the right place, quicker

Thanks to the exponential growth of connectivity and data we have the ability to track the spread of the disease rapidly. This is crucial: the better we track, the better we fight the disease.

The Canadian start-up BlueDot has proven to be able to pre-warn us about outbreaks. The BlueDot engine gathers data on over 150 diseases and syndromes around the world searching every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day. This includes official data from organizations like the Center for Disease Control or the World Health Organization. But, the system also counts on less structured information. Much of BlueDot's predictive ability comes from data it collects outside official health care sources including, for example, the worldwide movements of more than four billion travelers on commercial flights every year; human, animal and insect population data; climate data from satellites; and local information from journalists and healthcare workers, pouring through 100,000 online articles each day spanning 65 languages.

Metabiota, a health tech company, offered early analysis about the virus’s spread, which led to a warning that the virus would reach South Korea, Japan and Taiwan a week earlier than expected. This enabled everyone in those regions to take appropriate measures, with better results. By tracking the disease, we can help contain its spread.

Diagnostic and preventative tech – improving accuracy & speed

In this pandemic, diagnosing the virus correctly, but at great speed, is crucial. Tech helps us to do this too. 

Airports, most of which are more or less closed by now, have used technology to track infections, by taking people’s temperatures. Biosticker, for instance, can speed this up; it measures an individual’s temperature, respiration rate and coughing, and can transmit updates every 10 minutes.

The company Infervision have developed an AI solution that helps healthcare workers to detect and monitor the disease more effectively. The solution improves CT diagnosis speed.

Remote health apps with chatbots that use AI can also screen people to check who is feverish and can be used simply by people at home. Initial advice can be given via chatbot, taking some of the pressure on general practitioners away.

Deploying robots to Corona hotspots

Robots could play a crucial part in crises such as these, since they cannot become infected. We can and should use them as much as possible where it is risky to use humans. Danish company Blue Ocean Robotics UVD Robots can be sent to the virus battlefield. These robots use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses. They move around hospitals by themselves, taking elevators and stairs without any problem and without any worries of the virus. They disinfect 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. They are not in the way and do not interrupt staff workflow. Through a Chinese partner, the robots have been deployed since February in all Chinese provinces.

[Thought - will these become standard in workplaces, etc?]

Collaboration without barriers

The war against the virus has united us – encouraging us to collaborate more throughout the world. This goes for the tech sector too. One result of this collaborative ecosystem is that tech startups are actively involved with specialists in hospitals, academics and government entities around the world to activate technology. Governments are acknowledging global business leadership and knowledge of technology is a crucial skill they need. The crisis requires us to put everyone’s valuable experience and skillsets into service.

Read the full article here.


From an article by Business Chief, 21/05/2020

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