The only reason the world hasn’t already gone mad during quarantine is due to the presence of technology. It has kept us informed and entertained during the lockdown and has even ensured that the wheel of economy continues to move forward through work from home models firms are increasingly integrating into their systems. Andnow technology is helping fight the novel coronavirus directly. Here is how tech firms are providing a helping hand during the crisis.
Contact Tracing Technology
Apple and Google, the two rival companies, in a rare collaboration are working to develop a new contact tracing technology using Bluetooth signals. The signals will track the people users come in contact with and by figuring out which people tested positive for coronavirus, they can alert people and authorities who else may be sick and to get them tested. This can help control and curb viral diseases effectively. However, experts have warned that while such a program would definitely help, it cannot replace testing.
Then again it is also important to bear in mind, that this technology would only prove effective if people consider it secure and opt to subscribe to the service. Researchers at University of Oxford found in a study though that even if 60% of the population allows these apps to monitor their movements, it could prove effective in bringing down infection rates. So, there is hope.
EU Works on Monitoring Outbreaks Post Lockdown
In the same vein, countries too are working to create programs to help monitor outbreaks and for good reason. The situation in Hong Kong is bleak and their example has served as a catalyst in working on such technology.
The city was put into lockdown to curb the spread of the disease, but soon after the numbers started dropping and the authorities thought the worst had passed they lifted the ban on gatherings only to get a spike in cases of coronavirus. The city was faced with the second wave of the plague and had to go into quarantine again. This scene, for all the right reasons, has got others countries in a worry and so it’s not surprising then that EU is looking to keep its guard up even as they consider relaxing the limitations on social movements.
EU authorities are working on monitoring new outbreaks as the restrictions are lifted. The European Commission has issued guidelines on building apps that could be used by citizens on voluntary basis to help trace the virus and curb it. However, EU is all about ensuring personal privacy so how it plays out could be interesting.
Adapting Machines to Build Ventilators
AES Controls, a company in Ohio that specializes in making industrialized control systems realized that the CPAP machine, which is used to treat people with sleep apnea has the electromechanical parts essential in providing ventilation support. What they did is that they designed a control system that connects to the machine and gave it features that turn it into a functional ventilation machine. The company then rolled out the prototype to doctors and medical practitioners for feedback and tweaked it. Now they are set to produce a 100 of these things. It is hoped that other firms too will be able to replicate this and help increase their production.
Snapchat Launches AR Donation Experience
Remember when people made and post on Facebook and asked for likes as if that would help further a cause? Well those stunts were pointless in helping people, but social media platforms may be on their way to get woke in this regard. Recently Snapchat launched a new augmented reality (AR) experience that allows you to donate to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) relief efforts. If you haven’t checked it out already, do it now!
Thermal Sensing System to Help Detect COVID-19 Cases
Adasky, a tech firm based in Israel offers top of the line thermal sensing technology system: Viper-R. Originally created for the automotive industry, it is now being adapted to help sense people with fever in crowded places. Given how coronavirus symptoms include fever, it is hoped that this technology will be able to detect potential patients who can then be removed from crowded places and put into quarantine to ensure the virus doesn’t spread further.
The brightest minds are working around the world to find a solution to this pandemic. Till we can develop a vaccine and wipe out this virus, we must ensure all precautions are being taken. Social distancing and quarantining have helped bring down the spread of the virus, but this is not a sustainable in the long run. The economy cannot bear such losses for an extended period of time. As companies play their part, so must we all in our individual capacity as well. So stay indoors and self-isolate and help manage mass panic by ensuring you don’t forward fake news. Only refer to authentic new channels which Wow cable ensures you have a ton of with its great Spectrum channel lineup and only visit well established sites on the internet. So, that’s it. Take care and stay strong!