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  • Jenny Sarkar

People ask about COVID-19: Can technology be the way out?

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

As many of you have seen on the news, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic isn’t getting any better, in fact, in the US most states are witnessing a rise in COVID cases. People are frantically scrambling for sanitizers and masks to keep themselves and their families safe. But now, as the fear of 100,000 cases a day sinks in, it seems that everyone may need some backup.

Luckily, technology once again provides aid. Advancements such as Telemedicine, Artificial Intelligence, Contactless devices, and 3D Printers have been battling alongside scientists and healthcare workers to fight off the virus. They have been a significant part of the prevention of spread and the speed of care provided in medical facilities.

For example, in a phase where we cannot go outside or into hospitals without risking our own lives, telemedicine has come to the rescue. You can now consult with a medical professional in the comfort of your own home while receiving the same amount of proper medical expertise. In fact, Cleveland Clinic uses the health website, MyChart to see patients’ records and status as of the appointment, as well as consultation over a webcam with a professional. Furthermore, these apps and websites are releasing At Home COVID-19 Testing Kits so that people can test themselves without risking a trip to the hospital.

Another helpful advancement, Contactless Devices. I’m sure that many of you who actually enter medical facilities see a device being raised to your forehead to check your temperature. This contactless thermometer is one of the many contactless devices that are commonly being used throughout hospitals, both checking for symptoms and respecting guidelines.

Similarly, as COVID cases rise, the need for technology has never been more needed. The Zhongnan Hospital in China is using an A.I.-based system to screen lung CT scans and help doctors prioritize potential COVID-19 cases for further testing. Also, with so many new cases pouring in everyday, hospitals and clinics worry about their lack of medical equipment. With this concern in mind, 3D printers have been used to replicate swabs, shields, masks, and other

necessary equipment for procedures. I say why not combine these two advancements to create an even more efficient one, an AI that can assist doctors in quick and more spot-on procedures.

But what about the people at home? Those who are not medical workers have also been using the facilities that have recently gained popularity such as online shopping, contactless delivery, remote learning and working, and video calls apps such as Zoom and Google Meet. During these times, technology is keeping people at home and allowing individuals to spend time with their families safely. Throughout this pandemic, people are going outside less and using these simple apps and websites to live a more normal life.

Food Delivery Services like GrubHub, Postmates, and DoorDash have been offering COVID safe contactless delivery, and it’s been a big hit! “We think it is a way to make both customers and the fleet comfortable while making and receiving deliveries,” said Postmates. Services like Postmates apply to more than 4,000 U.S. cities and people have been all for it since grocery shopping has sparked cautiousness throughout the United States.

With the next school year steadily approaching, those who will continue to Remote learn will frequently use online communication apps. Last year, the effect was seen where students across all grades came to their teachers who set up times that they could ask questions or for one-on-one time. These video chat apps helped students have that same connection with the teachers digitally as they had in school.

among families. Grandparents could see grandchildren, aunts, uncles could all be connected together over a single device. Not to mention the countless number of virtually celebrated holidays and birthdays.

Without the technology we have today, this epidemic would pass slower, harsher, and more infectious. While there still isn’t a vaccine for COVID, with the support of our family and friends through video calls and FaceTimes, we can attempt to live ideally. With frontline workers holding down the fort, for now, we must use our technological resources to create new solutions, new , and new ways to live a more normal life.

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