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TECHNOLOGY VICTORY OVER CORONAVIRUS

Published on 21 May 2020

As Coronavirus plan to alight from the “pandemic subway” and board the “endemic shuttle” to only God knows where and world’s best scientists tirelessly gang up to come up with vaccines and antidote, technology may be the best painkiller to be prescribed as per the moment. That’s why the expeditious spread of Covid-19 has forced countries to use every scheme in the tech space to curb the disvirus. Some countries, like South Korea and Singapore, have done a better job than more nations, especially in Europe and African continent. Some of the countries in Asia as a  continent have used a scope of technologies in their battle against the pandemic, raising questions about over-surveillance and  more likely the violation of citizens’ privacy rights. Do not scroll any further as we take you to some of the innovative measures the technology has given birth to end the Coronavirus war with a definite TKO!

BREATHING EXPENSIVE WITH CHEAP 3D PRINTED VENTILATORS

 

Ventilators have turned to be requisite equipment for providing treatment to the most dreadful cases of COVID-19. Despite the health system is facing scantines of supplies. As a result to curb this problem, different groups of innovators around the globe have set up network communication media and channels, using platforms like Telegram, where they share information about non-proprietary design for manufacturing ventilators with 3D printers. Any person with a 3D printer can collaborate by printing the necessary respirator components. Their dire achievement is to make them readily available to health care services as easy as possible.

As medicine to a patient the project is yielding impeccable results: in just a number of days, members of one of the groups in Spain “Resistencia Team”, were able to come up with an open-source respirator prototype, which has been successfully tested on a pig at the Central University Hospital of Asturias in northern Spain. The ‘innovators team’ has received support from Asturias’ Council of Science, the hospital’s medical professionals, and the University of Oviedo, all of whom are pulling together to hasten human testing of the device.

 

GETTING SMART WITH SMARTPHONE APPS

India is set to launch an app that will tell people (specifically users) if they came in contact with someone who eventually tested positive for Covid-19. The application software will be based on location data obtained from the infected person’s smartphone. It will also use short-distance Bluetooth signals between phones, like Singapore’s “TraceTogether app”, which helps administration authorities trace patient’s contacts.

On the other hand in China, Alibaba and Tencent have developed apps to give people a colour code based on their health status and travel history. This code, designed by a big data-driven algorithm, will ascertain whether a person gains entry into a mall or a subway station, or can travel between cities/towns.

Well in the great UK, a start-up has  recently launched an app for people to self-report their symptoms. “C-19 Covid Symptom Tracker”, which had gained over 100,000 downloads in three days, helps identify high-risk areas, among other things, whereas South Korea has an app called “Corona 100m” that has geometrically mapped the locations of Covid-19 patients and alerts people (users) if they bound within 100 metres radius of an infected patient.

 

GOING HUMANE WITH ROBOTS & DRONES

A new isolation ward was opened in Wuhan early March in 2020, this is the Chinese very city where the coronavirus outbreak kicked of. The interesting bit about this ward is that it is completely manned by robots that record patients’ temperature, serve them food and drugs and more interesting disinfect the ward. When you thought that's was smart enough, China has also used robots in quarantine facilities, and so has Singapore to clean hospitals. The use of robots with a higher percentage spares healthcare workers-the heroes on the line the risk of contracting the virus. Additionally, in some parts of China, the police are using drones fitted with cameras and loudspeakers to disperse gatherings. Similarly, in an effort to enable contactless and rapid temperature detection, China is using AI-powered thermal cameras to identify those in a crowd who have a fever. The country has  done much to upscale on deploying facial-recognition systems to identify those not wearing masks. Africa really need several of this systems and cameras deployed. Just kidding!

 

LOCATION TRACKING

Being one of the most commonly used technology by governments, tracking people’s whereabouts through the location information provided by their smart gadgets i.e. phones has been pivotal to identifying an infected patient's travel history before being quarantined and the approximate number of  people who were in close proximity to the patient. Israel is one of the nations that has given its internal security agency a go ahead to the use of its citizens’ location data for 30 days. China, Taiwan and South Korea have also used location-tracking broadly to limit the transmission of the acute virus. However, in countries like Europe, German and Italy which have more strict laws on data protection are using anonymised location data to point out public spaces where people are gathering in crowds by obstructing lockdown measures put in place by the administration authorities.

 

When technology is embraced with humane hands, these are just but a few of what technology has applied to help curb the Coronavirus pandemic. SOON WE SHALL OVERCOME


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