The coronavirus pandemic is a new frontier and tech is rapidly evolving to deal with the new challenges we all are facing. We are now seeing each day how technology is being put to use as a valuable resource to deal with this unprecedented global health crisis. Coronavirus is changing the world as we know it, but tech is hard at work to make the “new normal” safer and more comfortable.
Telemedicine is bridging the gap during quarantine
As mandatory isolation and self-quarantine measures swept the globe, those with pre-existing medical conditions have still needed medical care. Telemedicine has allowed doctors to consult with patients via videoconferencing apps, allowing uninterrupted medical care. TelaDoc has been one of the leaders in telemedicine technology. Technology to connect health care providers and patients has also been used to help those who believe they may be infected with coronavirus.
Technology is being used to track the spread of viral pathogens.
Nextstrain is an open-source project with data sequencing and visualization tools that are updated with current publicly available data on pathogen genomes. The goal of Nextstrain is to help health professionals and the public understand how pathogens evolve and spread so that the response to outbreaks can be improved.
AI technology is searching for antibodies
AbCellera and Lilly are using AI to analyze millions of immune cells in search of antibodies. As these antibodies are found they can be used in COVID-19 therapies to help patients recover faster. They claim they have already found 500 antibodies in cells from recovered coronavirus patients.
3D printing ventilators for COVID-19 patients
As coronavirus patients fill hospital beds, there has been much concern about the number of ventilators needed vs the overwhelming number of patients who need them. To combat the shortage, 3D printer owners are collaborating and sharing open-source designs to print all the components to make ventilators.
All social events are now virtual via video calls
Downloads of video calling apps have seen a huge increase during coronavirus quarantine. As Easter Sunday came and went many families used Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Zoom and other apps to visit with each other virtually. Many musical artists have also provided free concert streams to help fans stay entertained while in quarantine. While it’s not quite like a live event, these online concerts have provided many with entertainment and a distraction from the boredom of staying at home.
Remote workers attend virtual meetings
Using much of the same technology and apps workers who may have previously been furloughed are now working remotely. Technology allows workers to attend virtual meetings and prepare and deliver work online without interruption. Before this technology was available it would have been impossible for many of these jobs to be done remotely and more people would have become unemployed.
All students are online students now
With schools of all levels closed during the pandemic, educators have converted traditional coursework into online learning. While online education is not new and has become extremely popular in recent years, coronavirus forced those unfamiliar with online school to adapt quickly. The CARES Act provided $14.3 billion for higher education to offset the expenses of massive disruption on college campuses across the US. College students are also getting help from the CARES Act with student loan payments deferred through September 30, 2020 and some loans have had the interest rate temporarily dropped to 0%.