Technology to fight the coronavirus

Artificial intelligence, big data, robotics and cybersecurity. The coronavirus crisis has challenged the value of technology to innovate healthcare and has shown its contribution to slow down the spreading of the Covid -19 and to avoid the collapse of the healthcare system.

According to the report produced by Grant Thorton, “Perspectives of Covid-19, technology and innovation against coronavirus”, big data and artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, blockchain and the chatbots are the main technologies to have contribute on the fight against the pandemic.

From the beginning of the health emergency, 53% of the innovative initiatives developed against the coronavirus have been concentrated on the big data and artificial intelligence, tools that have impacted the early detection of infected patients, the fast diagnosis and the monitoring of treatments. The combination of video vigilance systems and AI assisted thermal cameras have allowed, as an example, take the temperature or to detect the individuals not wearing a mask in metro and train stations, and the AI based diagnostic tools help determine if someone has been infected in around 15 or 20 seconds with a 96% accuracy rate.

Beside AI, 22% of the technology initiatives put to work to fight the coronavirus have utilized robotics, 12% some component of cybersecurity, 11% were based on blockchain principles and 2% were chatbots.

On their own, drones or robots have allowed the remote monitoring of the population and have improved disinfection efforts in contaminated zones, the interaction with patients in hospitals and the delivery of medication, or have contributed to the reduction of contagion risk of the healthcare staff through UV rays in waiting rooms or corridors.

Since the beginning of the pandemic it has been observed a sharp increase of cyber attacks both against individuals, companies and also hospitals. An increase of the tentative phishing and malware viruses were intended to worsen the already stressful situation. Cybersecurity tools have been instrumental to try to keep things under control.

Blockchain technology facilitates, as an example, a better management of the healthcare materials through guaranteeing the traceability of its supply chain, while 3D printing has also played an important role during this crisis, fundamentally through the production of EPIs for healthcare professionals, as well as respirators for acute patients.

Finally, mobile apps and telemedicine have been vital to allow avoid overcrowding of hospitals during the peak of the pandemic and have open a path of no return in healthcare provision that has allowed accelerate in a few weeks what had not been made in years.

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