The coronavirus pandemic has wrecked a lot of havoc for all industries most of all, the health industry and the health workers, who have had to overwork themselves to beat the virus. However, with this, it has also shown the potential for digital technology in the health industry and healthcare at large.
Unlike previous outbreaks in the past, such as the 2003 SARS outbreak, which shares many similarities to this one, digital technology is now well developed. We now have tools in our hands that can be used judiciously to combat the virus, flatten the curve, and restore the order of things.
There are many ways to use digital technologies to manage the coronavirus outbreak as custom essay service suggests in their publications. In case you are still doubting, here are some ways in which digital technology can be used in the fight against coronavirus.
The use of AI for early detection of the virus
Digital technology can be used to manage the spread of the virus by giving early signs of potential infection. It is common knowledge that test eligibility is limited to health workers and patients with symptoms. However, there are infected people that are asymptomatic. Even for symptomatic patients, there is a time gap between the start of the symptoms and when the test results are available. In order to be more efficient, the virus has to be detected much faster. This is where digital technology comes in. The virus spreads as people travel across places and meet others. Early detection is key and that is possible with AI.
For instance, a digital health company, Bluedot, were quick to predict the path of the virus to Tokyo from Wuhan when it first appeared. They sent out warnings even earlier than the WHO and CDC. With their AI technology, they are able to generate insights into the spread of diseases and spread the information through top essay writing services, faster than the disease can spread.
Another digital health company using internet-connected thermometers, Kinsa Health, has also provided smart thermometers that can be used to record high temperatures and fevers from home. People with high fever, which is a symptom of the virus can be identified quickly before they spread it to others. Although it is no certainty that they have the virus. But the ability to detect it early (should they have it) offers a window of opportunity that will save the lives of many people.
Monitoring with interactive maps
An online dashboard was developed by John Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering which is used in the visualization and tracking of cases that are reported on a daily basis. This map includes recoveries, confirmed deaths, and new cases of the virus and this complete dataset can be downloaded as a Google sheet.
They collect their data from different sources such as WHO, NHC, CDC, DXY, and China CDC. For cases in China, the DXY aggregates local CCDC and NHC situation reports in real-time. Thus, they are able to provide more current regional estimates of cases than those reporting at the national level are able to. It is therefore used for cases in mainland China that are reported on the dashboard.
For US cases, the information is obtained from the country’s CDC, while the case data for other countries are obtained by the health department corresponding to different regions. The dashboard is built to provide information to the public in a more suitable way than platforms like Aussie essay writing, so everyone understands the situation with the pandemic from a transparent data source.
Finding potential vaccines with genome sequencing
The genome for the COVID-19 was already sequenced by scientists in China less than one month from the detection of the first case. After completing the first sequencing, tens of other sequencing have also been completed. If you compare this with information from the outbreak of the SARS virus in 2003, which took months to complete the genome sequencing, then you will realize how much faster digital health technology is helping to manage the coronavirus pandemic. To put it in perspective, the COVID-19 outbreak started at the end of 2019 and by January 2020, the genome sequence for the virus was available. Similarly, the SARS outbreak started towards the end of 2002 but it took until April 2003 before the complete genome of the virus was available.
Without a complete genome sequence, it is hard, if not impossible, to develop vaccines and diagnostics for treating the virus. So, digital technology has equipped us to create vaccines better than we were able to 17 years ago. To further illustrate this, CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) has provided pharmaceutical companies with funding support in millions in order to have a vaccine ready within a few months from the start of the pandemic. This would normally require years to accomplish but with digital health technology, it can be accomplished in a few months.
The early completion of the genome sequencing now proves valuable in being able to develop vaccines earlier than before. It provides the platform for quick medical interventions. Invariably, more lives will be saved with quicker production of vaccines with evolving technology.
Treating patients with robots
We all know that the coronavirus is passed through human to human transmission. This leaves the healthcare workers, who are front liners, very susceptible to contracting the virus. However, medical robots are not at risk of contracting this virus. So, they can be used to contain the spread of this virus across hospitals to medical staff, and save their lives. Using robots to treat coronavirus patients would reduce the stress on doctors and nurses and give them some much-needed breathing space. The doctors are able to interact with their patients through a screen on the robot. The bot also uses a stethoscope to take vital readings of the patients while reducing the amount of exposure that medical staff have with infected persons.
Although this might be difficult at the moment with hospitals crowded with patients already. There might not be enough robots to go round treating people. “But, the medical staff will learn to use it better. The monitoring of patients will be done faster and safer with more use of robots,” says Bill Pray a medical staff.
Similarly, drones can be used to deliver medical supplies and medicines to quarantine zones. This will make the delivery faster than human delivery. What more? It also minimizes the risk of infection for whoever would have delivered the supplies.
The importance of digital technology in healthcare and particularly in managing the coronavirus outbreak cannot be underemphasized. Digital health technology has now become a strong pillar to rely on when handling medical problems and outbreaks such as this. If there are ways to keep our health workers safe while ensuring the recovery of infected patients, it has to be explored. And that is digital technology.