10 Emerging technologies that help fight COVID-19
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Is it possible for technology to help fight a pandemic?
And how does technology help us? Remember that technology emerged nearly two million years ago, stone tools are the first known technological invention. We created technology to make those so we could more easily satisfy our sweet tooth. Humans invented the wheel to move things like goods around without having to carry them. We invented the horse or the oxen-pulled plow to help us grow more food. We created cars to help us get from one point to another faster. Basically we create technology to help us with our everyday tasks and needs.
At this time we are facing a pandemic that we have never seen before. We were not prepared on how to fight it. But we are able to use technology to survive it.
Here are the 10 Emerging technologies that help fight COVID-19 :
- Sherlock — is a Cas13a-based CRISPR system that targets RNA rather than DNA, and does not stop cutting after reaching its intended target. It also cuts any RNA that happens to be nearby, a feature that can be used to provide a clue that the target is present. In 2017, Feng Zhang’s group first reported a CRISPR-based nucleic acid detection technique called SHERLOCK (Specific High sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing). After refining it over the years, the authors published a protocol for using SHERLOCK for sensitive detection of nucleic acids in 2019. The researchers demonstrated that they could use this protocol to detect coronavirus target RNA sequences with a sensitivity of 10–100 copies/µl of input. They note that this technology can be used for testing RNA purified from patient samples in less than an hour without the need for special instrumentation.
2. Antivirus snood — This is an example of (AI) Artificial intelligent or 3d printing technology. It is Snood with ‘germ trap’ technology to fight against the spread of coronavirus. Carrington Textiles and its main manufacturing facility in the UK, Pincroft, have teamed up with a UK biotech firm that developed a snood with technologies that prevent and protect against airborne virus transmission. Virustatic Shield is the result of 10 years of extensive research, to create an innovative anti-viral fabric coating applied to a light, easy to wear snood that guarantees a 360 degree and 96% protection against viruses in the air. The product acts as a barrier that attracts, traps and kills viruses in airborne droplets 15 times smaller than a human hair, so it’s safe to wear and touch as the virus will become inactive after touching the fabric.
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3. Smart helmet — They use Augmented reality for this type of technology. It has goggles to protect you from airborne droplets, high-speed impact, scratch, fingerprint and water mist. It also consists of an AR display for 24/7 new visual experience. Its communication is also advanced. Manufactured with advanced material technology with a strong signal, low power consumption, and ultra-low radiation. The helmet is also designed to protect the neck to the greatest extent and improve wearing comfort. Most of all, it has Infrared thermal imaging with high accuracy, quick unaware, and contactless temperature measurement. And the AI capabilities are superb since it supports offline face recognition and license plate recognition. As well as supporting QR code identification for paperless registration. Furthermore, this Smart Helmet alarms if someone has a higher temperature like 5 M away.
4. 3D printed ventilator valves — Earlier this week, the FDA unlocked the use of 3D-printed, single-part nasopharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 testing, according to HP — which is providing design files for face shields, hands-free door openers and mask adjustment straps. The industrial fabrication company FormLabs also said it is ramping up swab production. In addition, HP is working on designs for a 3D-printed emergency respirator, to provide ventilation support in hospitals and ICUs, which it expects could be scaled up to produce between 50 and 100 units per day. Previously, the FDA issued a wider authorization for ventilators, tubing connectors, and accessories, which the agency said could also include items such as 3D-printed tube splitters allowing multiple patients to be hooked up to the same ventilator.
5. 3D printed face mask — Rowan University engineering and medical students have developed a prototype for a durable, lightweight, reusable face mask to augment the supply of face masks during the current shortage of PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak. The mask is provided “as-is” and primarily acts as a mechanical barrier. It is not a replacement for N95 masks. Developed in collaboration with medical professionals, the mask prototype may serve in clinical and field use. If printed, used, and maintained correctly, the mask provides a durable, reusable mechanical barrier. The prototype provides two components: a contoured mask and filter housing. No special tools are needed for assembly. The replaceable nonwoven filter materials recommended for the filter housing are widely available. Users will supply and install the elastic or cord. The mask can be printed in three sizes, all with the same size filter housing. The contoured mask may be more closely molded to the user’s face by submerging the edges in hot water and pressing it to reform the shape against the face.
6. Disinfecting drones — Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, GIS and Mapping, Location Technology, and autonomous machines are playing a growing role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in this war against this invisible enemy, drones play a key role by helping authorities and people in different ways to prevent further spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Law enforcement authorities such as the local police or municipal authorities are using drones as surveillance to monitor people’s movement and break up social gatherings that could pose a risk to society. The introduction of drones at this time of crisis is reducing the risk of getting infected to police officials and other staff since it enables monitoring the vast swathe of the area without physical engagement. In addition to street surveillance, authorities are also using drones to broadcast messages and information about lockdown measures, especially in a rural area that lacks open communication channels for health information. Drones equipped with loudspeakers are used to make public announcements to keep people indoors, take necessary precautions, make social-distancing, and wear a mask if stepping outside from home. China and many European countries are using drones for broadcasting messages to the public. To disinfect public spaces and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, health authorities are deploying agriculture spray drones to carry out tasks like spraying disinfectant in potentially affected areas. These spraying drones are filled with disinfectants and can cover much more ground in less time and 50 times faster than traditional methods. Doctors and hospitals need medical supplies and laboratory testing more than ever, and drones are the safest and fastest ways to deliver medical supplies and transport samples from hospitals to laboratories. During the peak of the epidemic in China, authorities were carrying out large-scale remote temperature measurement in most apartment complexes through drones. Since people were worried about catching the infection, to avoid face to face contact, Chinese authorities used drones equipped with infrared cameras to measure the temperature of people who were locked down in their houses.
7. RealTime Covid-19 tracking app — The biggest companies in technology created a Mobile+Cloud tech- and cloud base app used for working from home or communicating with others through this pandemic. Across the world, governments and health authorities are working together to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people and get society back up and running. Software developers are contributing by crafting technical tools to help combat the virus and save lives. In this spirit of collaboration, Google and Apple are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design. Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health organizations have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology. To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy. First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores. Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate if they choose to opt-in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities.
8. Patients Screening Robots — In Robotics, a robot is created to help screen patients in a hospital. The initiative has been taken to screen each and every visitor including doctors, nurses, medical and non- medical staff entering the hospital. The robot interacts using facial and speech recognition contextual help and autonomous navigation and screens the visitor for symptoms for COVID-19 such as fever, cough, and cold. This initiative will allow healthcare workers to remain at a safe distance from the highly infectious coronavirus.
9. Hands- free door opener — Door handles are among the most germ-infested objects in houses, hospitals, factories, and elderly homes. Current evidence suggests that the virus that causes COVID-19 can live on surfaces such as stainless steel and plastic for up to three days, meaning it may be possible to infect yourself by touching a contaminated surface such as a door handle and then touching your mouths, nose, or eyes. People often have to enter and exit rooms or buildings, and until more accessible, automatic doors are installed, we can’t simply tell everyone to stop touching doorknobs. A simple, quick solution are these 3D-printable add-ons that can be fitted onto doors in hospitals and businesses, allowing people to open doors hands-free. They could be an easy way to reduce the chance of cross-contamination from coronavirus, and generally keep people’s hands cleaner in the future. The printable door opener, designed by Belgium-based 3D-printing company Materialise, needs only a few screws to be attached around door handles, allowing a door to be opened with a covered forearm rather than a hand. The idea started with a brainstorming session between the CEO and engineers about what the company could do to help during the coronavirus crisis, says Materialise vice president Bryan Crutchfield. “During that brainstorming session, the idea came up for a way to open doors without using your hands to try to contain the spread of the germs,” he says, “and literally inside of 24 hours they turned around a design, got it on a printer, and printed the first prototype off and tried it out on one of our handles.”
10. Indoor gaming — The video game industry, in conjunction with the World Health Organization, launched a campaign known as #PlayApartTogether, touting the benefits of gamers to remain socially distant, while still connecting with others around the world in an effort to fight COVID-19. “It’s never been more critical to ensure people stay safely connected to one another,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in the statement. “Games are the perfect platform because they connect people through the lens of joy, purpose, and meaning. We are proud to participate in such a worthwhile and necessary initiative.”