COVID-19: How Techs Are Coping Up?
- April 1, 2020
- Hiba Sulaiman
With a tremendous increase in novel COVID-19 pandemic cases globally, we see a rise in chatbot helpers, EHR tools, digital epidemiology tools, and rapid response test kits.
COVID-19 has turned out to be the worst nightmare of 2020. Due to the cases growing daily, healthcare experts are looking for tools and medications to help the patients.
The digital health community prepares to release new tools to monitor the spread of the pandemic disease and facilitate patients with better medical aid. According to a report by CNBC, tech giants Facebook, Amazon, and Google are collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) to play their role in combating the spread of disease.
As of today, there are 786,459 laboratory-confirmed cases COVID-19, according to WHO. This toll of increasing pandemic cases has caused the medical community to search for solutions to prevent the spread of disease with vaccine and medicine research.
Technology has a history of aiding the medical industry track and treat illnesses. We can look at the recent example of flu tracking. In 2018, there was a severe flu season experienced in the US. During this time, Kinsa’s smart connected thermometers collected user data while indicating illness spikes across the country.
With respect to COVID-19, there is a rising trend to use digital epidemiology tools, chatbot helpers, EHR guidance tools and rapid-response test kits.
Let’s see a list of how healthcare organizations, digital health vendors and governments are using technology to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic situation:
Apple Health Check – Apple has launched a COVID-19 application that serves as a screening tool and information platform. Users can go to the site and answer a list of questions such as symptoms, risk factors, and exposure. Users are also given a directive about the next steps.
Siri Give Me Guidance – Siri is also updated to provide symptom-based and also assist users seeking COVID-19 information from the virtual assistant.
Wearable Devices – DETECT (Digital Engagement & Tracking for Early Control & Treatment) Study, carried out by the Scripps Research Translational Institute. It detects data related to heart-rate, activity and sleep data from a range of devices including Fitbits, Apple Watches, Garmins, or any others via Google Fit or HealthKit.
Daily Check – My Day for Seniors on Alexa is now introducing COVID-19 screenings in the form of daily questionnaires for elderly persons. In case of a possible COVID-19 case, the system can communicate back to a family member.
Speedy Testing – EverlyWell, a U.S based company has announced that it is working on developing a take-home coronavirus test. They plan to offer the test at cost, with no profit to the company. Users will be able to collect their own samples and ship them to a lab. The test results will be 3-5 days online. This home test kit will include an overnight delivery label, a consultation for those with positive results and a sample collecting kit.
In the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, many healthcare organizations have developed AI-powered temperature-screening solutions that screens and identifies those who have or show symptoms of fever. We hope that we get over this pandemic situation soon.