AI and Robots have been called in to help contain & alleviate COVID-19
The tech sector has become a vital component in the battle to contain and alleviate the COVID- 19 epidemic.
Med-tech (also known as healthcare tech) is being used to identify coronavirus symptoms, find new treatments and monitor the spread of disease, which has so far infected more than 100,000 people worldwide.
Due to the high levels of human to human contagion of the virus, the robotic and automated tech industries are considerably more effective in dealing with the disease and avoiding cross-infection. Technologies are being developed and upgraded to be used remotely in the form of contactless delivery, spraying disinfectants and performing basic diagnostic functions, in order to minimise the risk of cross- infection.
Drones are being deployed to transport medical samples to hospitals, help those who are quarantined and also conduct thermal imaging of infected areas.
Meanwhile, advanced AI has been used to help diagnose the disease and accelerate the development of a vaccine.
Technology used to help with COVID-19
- UVD Robots for Disinfection
- Transport robots for food and medications
- AI – For diagnosing and creating vaccines
- Infra-red Thermometers
Using robots in hospitals and in public isn’t just helpful for avoiding transmitting the disease but also aids in helping health workers save time on simple tasks.
In China, hospitals have been shipping in robots from the Danish company “UVD Robots” to disinfect patient rooms, by emitting ultraviolet light throughout an area, killing viruses and bacteria, including the coronavirus.
Whilst in the US, a robot was used to help doctors treat an American man diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. The robot, helped the patient communicate with medical staff while limiting their own exposure to the illness.
Self-driving vehicles and Drones are being used to deliver supplies to medical workers again automating where there would ordinarily be human contact and high risk of spread.
AI is being used to study the outbreak’s spread and is powering the search for treatments.
The virus’ genome was completely sequenced by Chinese scientists in less than a month since the first case had been detected. Since the first sequencing was done, almost two dozen more have been completed. This is a remarkable pace of investigation in comparison to the SARS virus outbreak inf 2002 when a complete genome took a year to be discovered, in April 2003.
This is again thanks to advances in technology and a drive for international collaboration. These genome sequences are crucial in the development of vaccines.
Several hospitals in Asia are using AI-based software to scan through CT images of patients’ lungs to look for signs of Covid-19, the infection caused by the novel coronavirus.
The coronavirus epidemic has also inspired innovation in the pharmaceutical industry where drug companies are now using artificial intelligence-powered drug discovery platforms to search for possible treatments. That process involves using AI to find entirely new molecules that might be capable of treating the pneumonia-like illness, or mining through databases of already-approved drugs (for other illnesses) that might also work against Covid-19.
With the help of technology, containment and eventual treatment of outbreaks can be run more smoothly.