Covid-19: 8 ways in which technology benefits pandemic management

Throughout history, pandemics have posed a constant threat to human life. The world has attempted to develop new strategies for combating these sudden pandemics that have claimed millions of lives. 

Although technology has always performed a significant role in such outbreaks, COVID-19 has emphasized the crucial role of digital technology even more. 

Technology is not a cure in and of itself; it can assist in educating, preventing the spread of disease, warning us, and raising awareness of the situation.

Today, due to advancements in emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, the Mobile Cloud, Virtual meetings and Bigdata, it is possible to be better equipped for future pandemics. 

Eight ways in which technology helps pandemic management 

1. Wearable Technology 

Today, we have various wearable sensors and mobile phones that can detect our body temperature, glucose level, blood pressure, and other vital signs, instrumental in handling pandemic situations. 

We have essential historical records to determine whether or not a person is experiencing symptoms due to these devices. When you seek medication for an infection, the doctor will first examine your symptoms to determine whether you have the disorder. 

This can be accomplished by using wearable devices, allowing physicians to focus their time and resources on patients who exhibit signs of the severe disease in question while still assisting other patients in obtaining the over-the-counter or alternative medication they need. Additionally, these devices can be used to track patients after discharge.

2. BigData for Mapping and Tracing

During COVID-19, we observed that people are starting to report their symptoms through mobile apps. This is extremely useful, as it will allow us to capture the individual's symptoms and their GPS location. 

Researchers could ascertain the current status of the spread by gathering, planning, and examining this data.

Tracking maps make it simple to identify and monitor hot spots and trends throughout the distribution. 

WHO has repeatedly stated that, in addition to identifying, detecting, isolating, and handling all positive patients, it is critical to identify all positive patients' contacts to halt virus spread. 

With Smartphones, mobile technology can be a powerful tool for managing all of these activities. However, the primary issue is the protection of user data. 

To earn the public's confidence, app developers concentrate their efforts on frameworks that safeguard user data on mobile devices. Several Smartphone applications are created specifically to monitor the spread of the COVID-19 virus during the outbreak.

3. Artificial Intelligence for Prediction

Today, artificial intelligence and big data play a critical role in the healthcare industry. Medical professionals may use AI-based data analytics and predictive models to conduct in-depth studies on various diseases. 

It was highly influential in the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in predicting the number of cases and deaths that could occur over months. The predictive modelling assisted government officials in making tough decisions on the country's shutdown to prevent the spread of the disease. 

It has demonstrated that AI can be used in the future to provide more reliable forecasts of disease transmission and care.

AI and big data assist researchers in identifying more specific tests, allowing them to investigate potential solutions and novel approaches to pandemic management. Numerous AI consulting firms have developed AI-based risk evaluation methods to determine whether a patient has a common cold or is infected with a dangerous virus.

4. Virtual Healthcare

Digital healthcare entails the use of communication technology to facilitate virtual visits between a patient and their physician. Via video and audio access, a patient may meet with their doctor from any place. 

As a result, virtual healthcare networks are critical in pandemic situations. People have been put under strict quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak, and healthcare staff are now at increased risk of infection. 

Through implementing interactive healthcare platforms, physicians and the healthcare system are avoiding physical interaction between patients and physicians, thus effectively slowing disease transmission. 

It is also highly beneficial for routine patients to receive treatment in this manner – especially for elderly patients who are more vulnerable during a pandemic. As the pandemic spreads rapidly through impoverished regions with scarce resources and inaccessible travel routes, a virtual health system may be a game-changer.

5. Implementing Basic Services without Contact

By providing contactless services, technology can play a critical role in potential pandemics. 

We can use drones and robots to avoid human-to-human interaction, preventing viruses from spreading. This will decrease the risk of infection. Robots may use it to clean highways, raise public awareness, and distribute groceries, among other activities.

Drones may use to distribute food, medications, and other vital services in containment or red zones. These innovations can enhance in the future to become even more powerful and valuable.

6. Preventing in spreading fake news

Fake news amplifies people's fear and anxiety. False information about the death toll, recovery and care processes, alternative treatments, and policy decisions can be more harmful than any virus. 

This can result in panic buying, price gauging, crime, discrimination, and conspiracies, among other problems. 

To educate the public and prevent disseminating false information, many digital organizations, including Google and YouTube, collaborate to deliver checked government and WHO information. 

With accurate knowledge, people can make more informed decisions in a pandemic world.

7. Remote Working

Remote working is another critical technology that can be used in the event of a pandemic to guarantee maximum continuity while preserving social isolation. 

While pandemics significantly impact the business world, innovations such as cloud conferencing, enterprise apps, virtual meetings, and virtual or augmented reality all contribute considerably to productivity maintenance. 

Any business with remote employees should include device and internet access, connectivity tools and Cybersecurity tools to safeguard the organization's systems and data.

8. Thermal Screening 

Thermal scanning is a critical component of pandemic prevention. 

This involves emerging technologies such as wireless thermometers and infrared body temperature measurement systems that can monitor the body's temperature from a distance and identify individuals who need further examination. 

These machines are mainly used at checkpoints at offices, bus stops, airports, train stations, hotels, shopping malls, and other public locations. 

Since the temperature can measure remotely, this could help prevent the virus from spreading among security officers and other administrators. Facial recognition combined with automatic thermal monitoring will significantly speed up the operation.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic, a virus that has destroyed numerous people, has impacted the entire world. We have all recognized the importance of emerging technology as a result of this situation. 

We should work to advance digital technologies and develop strategies to assist us in dealing with similar pandemics in the future. This necessitates the widespread implementation of digital technologies and creativity and funding from major businesses and governments.

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  1. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Tomas Mandy

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    1. author
      27 Aug 2019
      Britney Millner

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  2. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Simon Downey

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