How technology can help to fight Corona virus
Corona virus has affected almost each and every person on earth in one way or another. Thousands of people have died already and more than half of the world population is under a lock down. Also, some reports anticipate that over 25 million people may lose their jobs due to this economic slowdown around the globe. Now today I will discuss how technology can be helpful to fight this deadly virus.
First of all I would like to discuss that how artificial intelligence and machine learning helped us to find this outbreak in early stages. But unfortunately these reports were not taken seriously by some governments which helped this virus to spread in many countries. Bluedot a Canadian health monitoring company had predicted the Corona virus outbreak before WHO and CDC in the month of December. Now the question is how do they did it. The developers at Bluedot has developed an artificial intelligence based system which takes news reports in 65 different languages as well as airline records and records of animal disease outbreaks to predict new virus outbreaks. The system predictions are then validated by scientists and epidemiologists. If they find out that the predictions are valid then they create a report explaining what the outbreak might be and where it is expected to start and send that report to public health officials, airlines and hospitals which may soon be receiving the patients with this disease. Bluedot systems also track outbreaks predicting where they might spread next. Bluedot systems also correctly predicted the location of Zika virus outbreak in south Florida in 2016. So now we can realize that the technology can be very helpful in fighting these kinds of pandemic.
Apple and Google are building a Corona virus tracking system which will allow its users to share data through Bluetooth low energy transmissions. The system will use short range Bluetooth communications to establish a voluntary contact-tracing network, keeping extensive data on phones that have been in close proximity with each other. Official apps from public health authorities will get access to this data and users can directly report if they have been diagnosed with Corona. Also, the system will alert its users to weather they were in close contact with an infected person. So in this way this system will be able to help a lot to fight against Corona virus and hopefully will stop it to spread from one person to another.
Now another technology which has been proved very helpful to fight this virus is the drone technology. Drones which were originally designed to spray pesticides on crops are adapted to spray disinfected chemicals in some public spaces. Now this technology can also be used to deliver medical samples which can significantly reduce unnecessary human contact throughout the transport cycle and will also save time. The essential consumer items like groceries can also be delivered with the help of drones. China has been using drones equipped with thermal sensors to find sick people walking around in public places. Britain’s police are using the same technology to enforce social distancing policy and to spread awareness among people.
After all these precautions we still need a vaccine to completely overcome this disease and artificial intelligence can be really helpful to get a vaccine as soon as possible. The key to develop a vaccine is to be able to rapidly and efficiently recreate the virus’s genome sequence and build a copy of the virus. AI is playing a very important role in suggesting components of vaccine by understanding viral protein structures and also helping medical researchers to access thousands of research papers instantly. Also, the Allen institute for AI has partnered with several research organizations to produce the Covid-19 open research dataset (CORD-19), single resource of over 44000 scholarly articles about Covid-19 and updated daily as new research is published. This data is machine-readable data so that researchers can create and apply natural-language processing algorithms, and accelerate the discovery of a vaccine.
A most important technology which is helping to fight this virus is RNA imaging technology which is being used in the testing kits of Covid-19. This technology gives us the ability to visualize specific RNA in situ which is essential to understand the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression and RNA processing. The doctors can detect Covid-19 in the early stages with the help of this technology and give an appropriate treatment to their patients.
So in this way technology is playing a very important role in fighting this deadly disease and I hope that we soon will be able to end the Corona virus and come back to our normal life.