Technology in the fight against COVID-19
With the help of technology, we’re doing all we can to fight against COVID-19.
The importance of technology to combat COVID-19
Times like this are surreal. Doctors are risking their lives, working around the clock. About a third of the world’s population is under some form of restriction. With the lockdown seeming endless, it seems like we're all losing hope. What are we doing in the fight against COVID? What is the role of technology in the fight against COVID?
The role of AI in the fight against COVID-19
To help understand the virus, medical professionals have turned to AI. Data analytics, predictive models, and algorithms. These are all tools to aid in our understanding of the virus. And to ultimately win the fight against COVID-19.
There’s currently a lot of pressure on the healthcare industry to diagnose the virus. There are shortages on testing kits, and with the amount of misinformation, everyone thinks they have the virus. This is why companies like Infervision and Alibaba have come up with solutions to help the recognition of the virus. Infervision, an AI company released a tool that quickly identifies the virus, using CT technologies. This helps in detecting and monitoring the disease, which reduces the weight on our healthcare professionals’ shoulders. Alibaba has also developed a Cloud-based diagnosis tool. It takes 20 seconds to work and has an accuracy of 96%.
Development of vaccinations
According to the BBC, AI is used in a few ways to fight this virus:
- Scanning through existing drugs to check if any could be reused
- Developing antibodies and vaccinations
- Creating a drug to fight current and future outbreaks
There have been many breakthroughs to find a cure. BenevolentAI, for example, developed a search-engine tool that looks through drug industry data, and research papers. It was with this tool that led to British pharmacologist Peter Richardson’s discovery. He discovered that rheumatoid arthritis drugs could reduce the effects of the virus.
Another example is Pfizer. Using ML technology, Pfizer found compounds that target and fight the virus. Then there’s Google’s DeepMind. DeepMind uses an AlphaFold system to predict the structure of the virus. This helps in our understanding of the virus. Exscienta is another company that uses an AI-designed drug to treat patients.
The fight against misinformation
Right now, the best we can do to be safe is to stay informed. A lot of information is spread about the virus. Some are more harmful than others. Which is why Engati developed “Fight Against Covid.” This chatbot shares symptoms, precautions, and debunks myths. It also shares statistics on the number of cases with users.
Google is also working round the clock to protect users from cyber attacks. When one googles “Coronavirus,” googles directs users to SOS alerts and resources to help and inform. Additionally, Google is working to prevent cases of phishing, malware, and misinformation.
Automation & Robotics
With the rapid spread of the virus, we need to be careful. Labour workers and healthcare providers are risking their lives everyday. Because of their exposure to the virus. We need to act diligently. To provide a way to prevent the spread of the virus. So we have turned to automation and robotics. Many startups are finding ways to make an impact with this technology.
Companies use Automation as a tool to automate tasks. It is a great option to consider to ensure daily processes keep going. Automation is used in industries like customer service to make sure customers are being served 24/7, while your employees take rest. Look into integrating Live Chat features so that agents can address additional concerns from the comfort of their homes.
For the automation of physical tasks, we use robotics. The best thing we can do right now is to develop robotics to assist doctors and nurses. Hospitals are employing robots to clean and maintain hospitals.
Another use for robotics and automation is to develop machines. There is currently a high demand for machines, like ventilators. Startups like AgVa Healthcare are using robotics to quickly manufacture these machines. AgVa Healthcare is looking to provide 20,000 cost-effective ventilators in the coming month. Isinnova, an Italian startup also designed a valve that transforms snorkeling masks into ventilators. They have actually shared their 3D-printing designs online for free.
Finally, there is the deployment of drones for surveillance. Drones monitor the lockdown. They ensure social distancing is maintained. Drones are equipped with cameras to record any violations of the lockdown and report them to the police.
Technology has become a great tool in the fight against COVID-19. There are a lot of measures being taken to rid the world of this virus. The best thing we can do at home is to practice social distancing, and keep ourselves informed. Use our Chatbot, Fight Against Covid, to be updated on all the latest developments for Coronavirus.
Take care, everyone. And remember to stay safe.
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