Dr. Manas Pradhan From Different Corners
COVID-19-A Review on the Entanglements of Technology
The world has been witnessing the ill effects of the pandemic as seen all over the news. The continuous health crisis has made society look into solutions from various perspectives. Starting from the newsroom to social media, everyone is bounded in some way or another to know the cause, symptoms, remedy, statistics, and major precautions. The technology is not far behind in establishing their positioning in this situation. Whether these entanglements of technology are for business improvement or a solution is difficult to answer – but we are in the 21st century where Technology for Everything rules. Some of the technological advances highlighted below have been used for different purposes during the coronavirus pandemic times.
Bluetooth Contact Tracing:
Bluetooth is used for finding the proximity of patients. The contact tracing applications calculate the distance between two mobile devices. The tracing app uses the Bluetooth features of devices to trace all the people affected in nearby areas. This helps one take precautionary measures as well as help the Government take remedial actions.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Devices:
The wearable devices with sensor capabilities are able to extract real-time data of body temperature, respiratory rate of the patient, and other physiological functions. Devices like smart thermometers, smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart headbands, and biosensors patches have been proven to be beneficial.
Telemedicine has helped in lessening the pressure on healthcare professionals and the risk of spreading the virus. The technology that make video consultations, Facebook webinars, and virtual screenings possible have eliminated the need to visit hospitals unless it is an emergency. Many telemedicine platforms like telemedicine carts and consultation software have proven to be useful to a great extent.
Drone Technology and Robots:
Several countries around the world have used drones to stop virus spread. They are using drones to survey crowded areas, delivering public announcements, screening individuals by a thermal camera, carrying essential medical supplies, and sterilization. Drone robots are being deployed to assist in the treatment of patients, surface disinfection, serving food, giving medication, and delivering medical supplies.
Blockchain-based applications are used by the government and organizations to monitor and manage the pandemic by validating changing data associated with citizen/national IDs. The features of blockchain applications such as movement records, hospitalization, travel history, and medications given at different times are provided by collecting the information provided by various medical organizations, public health officials, and other individuals.
GIS and GPS:
GIS and GPS systems use spatial analytics, mapping, and location intelligence to map the transmission behavior of the virus by taking parameters of demographics, environment, and past occurrences. The technology makes it easy to identify high-risk areas as well as connecting and getting information from other regions.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML):
AI, along with ML, has proved to be a landmark technological advancement implemented to predict the risk, medical diagnosis, screening, modeling, and analysis. Machine learning (ML) techniques of supervised and unsupervised learning with statistical data modeling come out with many analytical results to restrict the spread of diseases, predict the fatality rate, and provide information on the availability of treatment. AI, along with ML, determines the probability of survival and the need for ICU treatment for COVID-19 patients. It is used to correlate the patient’s data and predict the effect of the drug on a specific group of patients. AI is used in chemo-informatics to speed up the process of drug development.
Several technological solutions have been proposed for handling the impact of COVID-2019 but still, the operation challenges and data integrity need to be looked into.