The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are transforming global socioeconomic structures. Experts are expecting an impact that is astronomical in terms of the number of lives lost and jobs disappeared. As the whole world is taking measures to contain the pandemic, digital technology is helping in the fight.
Scientists are making efforts to develop diagnostic tests to detect the virus in order to correctly diagnose patients, enact measures such as isolation and quarantine, and manage their treatment accordingly. Companies are developing artificial intelligence solutions for the detection of respiratory diseases quickly tailored their software to differentiate COVID-19 from other respiratory infections, decreasing image analysis time to a matter of seconds.
According to Ahmad AbuSalah, health informatics and intelligence officer at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, the pandemic is highlighting the need to drive digital maturity with investment, while addressing data sharing models, reports MobiHealthNews. “One of the challenges that we face here in the Middle East are data collaboration and data sharing. As you know, data is the backbone of digital transformation. Using data discovery tools, I can tell in a secure way how many patients are available in the hospital in that region,” Mr. AbuSalah said.
Wearables have also been explored by countries as a means of contact tracing and safe reopening. British telecommunications firm Vodafone is deploying heat detection cameras at the entrance or reception area of workplaces. The cameras are made by surveillance tech maker Digital Barriers.
Canadian technology company Proxxi launched Halo, a wearable band to help employees maintain social distancing at work. Halo notifies wearers that another band is within 6 feet (2 meters), reminding them of the need to maintain social distance.
Rapid innovation and implementation of digital technology has allowed healthcare firms to navigate the challenges from the covid-19 pandemic and safely care for their patients. Willingness to rapidly adopt technology has truly helped healthcare professionals during this time of fear and uncertainty.