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February 06th, 2020
The world is facing a partial lockdown with less contact with the outside world. Reason! Coronavirus, Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19, as you may prefer to say. There is nothing more to say about its origin, how it spreads or what are the measures taken by respective governments as the word is out and everybody knows it. What you should be knowing is that this fight is not just about human health but it is a test for technology as well. The question lies – how advanced technology is helping in coping with the present crisis!
Given are some of the features and methods that are currently being deployed for public health and wellbeing. Some of these are working on creating vaccines and treating medicines as well. Be informed, most of these technologies are at disposal presently in China where COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan city. However, other countries are also deploying technology to fight against the pandemic. China has reported no new cases after March 19, 2020, after the outbreak of pandemic disease. After the demonstration and implementation of these advanced technologies, there has been a mitigation of the widely spread virus.
After the outbreak of Coronavirus, the Chinese government stepped forward and tied up with bigwigs Alibaba and Tencent to develop a technology that could track the wellbeing of people daily. This is when they came up with the idea of colour code for individuals depending on their present health. The app could identify individuals’ health through three colours – green, yellow and red QR codes depending on their travelling schedule and medical background. A person could only go out and socialise when the app shows green QR code.
As the virus could infect any human, one of the most winning step was to deploy robots in hospitals. As robots are immune from this virus these were started to be used to cook meals and deliver them to the infected patients, limiting human interference. Robots of various kinds were also being deployed for disinfecting hospital premises and dispensing hand sanitizers without human touching any container. These are acting on the frontline in restricting the spread of Coronavirus.
Apart from hospitals, robots are also used by other industries like restaurants and transport departments to deliver meals maintaining social distancing.
Some places in China and worldwide are severely affected, making it difficult for the medical team and other professionals to reach. Utilization of drones has given remote access to reaching these parts for delivering medical supplies and collecting patient samples without contaminating them. These are also installed with QR codes that can be scanned at designated places and achieve the required information. These are also capable to instruct people to wear masks while they are outside and monitor movement in locked down cities.
Monitoring of virus growth is only possible when each of the citizens’ statistics was available in one dashboard. Big Data records, face recognition and monitoring body temperature of individuals through infrared temperature detection devices have come in handy to look out for the outbreak. Various cities along with China have installed these temperature detection techniques at several places. Sense Time and Hanwang Technology, Chinese AI companies, claims to have developed technologies that can recognize people even if they have put on masks. Some of the apps are also being used to keep track of people’s movement and warn others who might have been in contact with an infectious individual.
The utilization of technology is not limited to China, and Google is also trying to save people from the pandemic. Google’s DeepMind is using the latest AI algorithms to develop drugs. In the recent advancement, GoogleMind has used the latest AI algorithm to breakdown the protein molecules of Coronavirus and study its pattern. In another progression, Benevolent AI is using Artificial Technology to develop drugs that can cure Corona patients and other deadly diseases. It will diagnose the disease and work on suggesting any existing drug that can cure or treat the illness.
Chatbots are into being for some years now and have assisted in different situations. But, these have helped a lot during the crisis. Tencent introduced Chatbots in WeChat during the crisis to cope with the increasing number of queries and questions from individuals. Through this facility, people can communicate directly with medical experts. It has been also used in travel and tourism to keep the travellers updated about the recent travel norms and restrictions if any.
It is time that a vaccine is rolled out as fast and possible to protect people from the outbreak. Supercomputers are put to work effectively to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Bigwig like Tencent, DiDi and Huawei are taking the help of supercomputers as these are fast, effective and can calculate errorless than the standard computers.
Currently, countries are devising ways to inform their citizens about the present situation and the affected individuals. Hence, countries are working on creating online dashboards containing every data that are accessible to citizens. These dashboards contain the number of cases in real-time, patients currently under treatment, deceased nationals, discharged people, country of origin and gender to name some parameters. The data are provided by medical boards and are accurate. This helps in clearing the cloud that has created in the minds of citizens.