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Chinese Technology needed to fight against Covid-19 once again

Adnan Kayyali

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Chinese Technology needed to fight against Covid-19 once again

Chinese technology has been used to fight against the spread of Covid-19 since the very beginning. The efficiency with which the Chinese government handled the outbreak was clear. However, it seems a slip up may have occurred.

Seventy-nine new cases have suddenly emerged over the last four days in Beijing after two months of decline. The Chinese government quickly jumped to action and closed off over twenty neighborhoods in the area.

Having set the scene, here is a list of Chinese technology used to optimize efficiency and save lives during the outbreak.

Positioning technologies:

Positioning technologies are not unique in China. First respondents, rescue groups, government agencies, transportation and logistics planners have been using it to gain accurate geographic scans of certain areas in times of crisis or when rescue is needed. This proved invaluable when two makeshift Covid-19 hospitals were constructed at record speed, thanks in part, to quick and precise geographic assessment, mapping and imagery.

Satellite imagery:

Satellites, were used to monitor crowd density and traffic congestion, which helped decision makers to manage accordingly. In conjunction with the above (and below) these technologies were used to get a precise map of where the virus was from a bird’s-eye view in real-time.

Drones:

Drones have played an important role in delivering medical supplies and other essentials without human-to-human contact to more severely affected places in the country. This helped to speed up deliveries, bypass road-related delays, and mitigate contamination risks.

Some drones that were previously used for agriculture were repurposed for spraying disinfectants across massive areas, while attached speakers were broadcasting messages to stay at home or warnings when people were seen breaking quarantine unnecessarily or not wearing facemasks.

Health sensors and apps:

China already possesses an expansive, some would say intrusive, surveillance system. With that infrastructure in place, Alibaba and Tencent developed the now well-known color-coded health rating system: green for clean, yellow for at risk, and red for danger. Using location tracking, the app tells the holder, and authorities, if the person has been in contact with an infected person or in an area of high risk. The color determines whether the person is allowed in public spaces or should be quarantined.

Autonomous vehicles

This is an obvious and widespread solution to lessen person to person contact. Autonomous vehicles have been invaluable in distributing essential supplies to people in need. By utilizing cloud services, some vehicles have even been used to disinfect entire city districts.

Robots:

In many hospitals, robots have been tasked with performing diagnostic and thermal imaging. One hospital in Wuhan has even replaced its staff with robots entirely, forming a completely smart medical facility complete with 5G enabled IoT items like bracelets worn by patients monitoring conditions, and cloud-based data storage for fast and accurate assessment and reaction.

Junior social media strategist with a degree in media and communication. Technology enthusiast and free-lance writer. Favorite hobby: 3D modeling.

MedTech

Top 3 digital health technologies post- pandemic

Mounir Jamil

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Top 3 digital health technologies post- pandemic

It’s certain that the current pandemic will eventually come to an end. However, some of the digital health technologies we’ve adopted along the way have proven to be indispensable, and some technologies may not be so prominent after the crisis.

Here are top 3 digital health technologies that are likely to stick around post- pandemic.

1. Disinfectant robots

Ultraviolet (UV) lights, more specifically UV-C is a well-established digital disinfecting method that is commonly used in the healthcare world. It works by altering the virus’ genetic material, that way UV lights make sure that virus doesn’t replicate. However, if exposed to human skin, it can lead to sunburns, irritations, and in the worst case, skin cancer.

All that aside, the benefits of UV-C in effectively disinfecting hospitals is seriously attracting robotics engineers and healthcare workers alike. Companies such as YouiBot are reimagining and redesigning their current robots into UV disinfectant ones. Danish company UVD Robots has shipped hundreds of their existing disinfectant robots around the world during the pandemic.

In addition to saving valuable time and decreasing the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals, these robots will also prevent hospitals from getting infections.

2. AI for predicting future pandemics

In an ideal tech world, AI can predict a viral outbreak weeks, if not months in advance. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal tech world, but the good news is that we can work towards forecasting such a system with the help of current technologies.

AI company BlueDot has issued early first warnings, after scrutinizing massive data sets from news, airlines, and animal disease outbreaks. Their algorithim managed to detect a certain trend which Epidemiologists later analyzed further to confirm an outbreak.

But BlueDot is the exception and not the rule, so we must reverse the situation in order to better handle the next public health crisis. Given the massive predictive power that AI brings to the healthcare sector, the proper authorities should utilize its full potential and help in making it more commonplace in hospital settings.

3. Remote care via smartphones 

It’s a sad reality that the pandemic kick-started telemedicine for mainstream adoption. Before the crisis, only 1 in 10 US patients used telemedicine services, the number has now increased up to 158% in the same country.

With lockdowns enforced globally, people are utilizing the power of their smartphones for their mental and physical wellbeing. These new digital health technologies greatly reduce the risk of cross infection all while offering patients quality care from the comfort of their own homes

These solutions greatly reduce the risk of cross-infection while offering patients quality care from the comfort of their homes. What’s more, they prove that face-to-face doctor-patient visits are unnecessary. A Global Markets Insights report from April this year, projects that the telemedicine market value will reach $175.5 billion by 2026, indicating the need for remote care in the coming years.

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MedTech

The glaring problem with COVID-19 vaccine deployment

Adnan Kayyali

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The glaring problem with COVID-19 vaccine deployment

As most of us already know, creating a vaccine is only half the challenge of beating the pandemic. Getting 7 billion people vaccinated is a colossal undertaking, the scale of which has never been seen in history. How will the world manage and sustain COVID-19 vaccine deployment, and ensure equitable access to everyone?

It is not an easy task, and many people in positions of responsibility may have to make some difficult decisions. In short, we will not have enough vaccines for everyone by the end of this year, even if a particular vaccine candidate is deemed adequate.

In a document by the CDC published as a rough skeletal guideline, four categories of people were prioritized with newly produced or procured vaccine doses. This is to strategically use the scarce resources available to minimize the loss of life and maximize equity.

The document classified four categories of people that would receive the vaccine at different times according to a number of factors:

Category 1:

– High risk healthcare workers. First responders

– High risk older adults in congregate or crowded settings

Category 2:

Workers in critical industries and those living in an environment of high risk such as prison.

Category 3:

Young adults and children, and workers of essential industries that were not included in phase 2.

Category 4:

Everyone else.

In an Audio Interview “Guidelines for Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment”, Eric J. Rubin, M.D., Ph.D. concurred. “We do this in medicine all the time”, he said “in that we plan to treat everybody but those who get sicker are the ones who need the treatment first, while we are scaling up or making any assessment of deploying a treatment”.

This task becomes more difficult in areas were the data on who needs what is scarce. Numerous collectives and institutions however are finding ways to guide their communities using localized data tracking, remote monitoring and some forms of contact tracing. They will be able to identify where and how many people require vaccination, how many vaccines are available for the taking, when more is coming, etc.

Having a clear picture is essential for any major endeavor to succeed, and a type of “communal immunity” can be achieved, to break the back of community transmission” as Rubin put it.

The issue of Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment isn’t when the vaccine is coming, but “who gets it first”. The answer given by the CDC seems to be a good one, from the perspective of the scientist, who have accepted the reality that vaccine equity is no easy task, and hard decisions must be made.

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MedTech

Professional networking amid the pandemic

Mounir Jamil

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Professional networking amid the pandemic

As the current pandemic lingers on, we see the effects come into full force. The pandemic has changed the way we learn, work and socialize.

The pandemic has had its fair share of effects on professional networking, as most of us are currently stuck at home with limited ways to make new professional connections, top CXOs and junior-mid level professionals are joining committed and specialized platforms to connect and talk with each other online. Some of these platforms include: CoffeMug, Grab Chai, and Lunchclub.

These AI-enabled platforms call themselves “AI Superconnectors” and are the latest trend in professional networking. In essence, they are matchmakers that employ an AI algorithm to set up one-one-one meetings that are based on users’ inserted objectives, interests, and preferred time slots. AI then connects the users on email through a concept known as “warm intros” and sends them through a calendar invite that is usually accompanied by a link for a video call.

Unlike LinkedIn, these professional networking platforms are gated communities, where a user can join only through invites from existing users or by applying on the platform to get registered. Once the person enters, users cannot simply send cold emails to one another to connect. The platform is smarter as you can only meet with one specific profile at a time. This eliminates the problem of spam messages flooding your inbox.

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