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Coronavirus technologies used to fight the pandemic

Mounir Jamil

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Coronavirus technologies used to fight the pandemic

Coronavirus technologies are being developed by businesses, researchers and innovators around the world to help mitigate the impact of the current pandemic. From 3D printed ventilators to apps that collect data and track the spread of the coronavirus, technology projects are fast becoming essential tools in these uncertain times.

Applying Big Data to understand the evolution of pathogens

Understanding how the new virus, officially known SARS-CoV-2 behaves is essential for highlighting methods that can stop its spread. coronavirus technologies are being utilized at Nextstrain, an open sourced project that offers data, visualization, and sequencing enabling them to show the evolution of pathogens like coronavirus, and offer information that can aid epidemiologists in understanding how it evolves in different countries, and probable mutations that can alter its nature. By sharing the genetic sequencing of over 700 cases of the virus with the appropriate scientific community, the project has helped in corroborating that the virulence of the virus has not changed as the virus has spread.

Implementing machine learning to identify future therapies

When enough quality data is present, AI can prove to be a very powerful tool in coronavirus technologies for predicting future trends and even looking for possible treatments. AbCellera, a biotechnology company, is implementing a machine learning model to come up with therapies based on antibodies received from patients that have fully recovered from the disease. They have used AI technology and analyzed more than five million immune cells as they are trying to search for those that can produce antibodies that help patients recover. So far with the aid of AI, 500 antibodies have been identified as potential candidates for use in future therapies.

Using telemedicine to support public services

Communities around the world are using telemedicine as an alternative to avoid overcrowding hospitals with an unmanageable influx of patients. Telemedicine is being used as part of the coronavirus technologies in streamlining the diagnosis and treatment process, making it easier and faster. Patients simply need to open an application, input their symptoms, and await a doctor to get back to them through a viral consultation. The Xuhui public hospital in Shanghai China has completed successful consultation with patients all over the world.

A designated app to free up hotlines

The regional government in Madrid Spain has launched ‘Corona Madrid’ an initiative that is available on web and app. People who suspect they might be carrying the virus can go through a physical self-assessment based on their symptoms, and based on the results they will receive the appropriate advice and instruction about steps to take. This initiative is one of many coronavirus technologies aimed at reducing call congestion for the coronavirus hotline all while offering health authorities a concise snapshot of the pandemic.

3D printed ventilators

Ventilators have proven to be a necessary piece of equipment for treating the most severe cases of the coronavirus. But there is a shortage of supplies in the health system. To address this problem, several groups have set up network communication channels and platforms around the world, using technologies like Telegram where they are sharing information regarding open source designs for manufacturing ventilators with 3D printing. Anyone having a 3D printer can contribute by printing the necessary respirator component. The aim is to make them more accessible to health care services.

This project is showing fast results, in just a matter of few days, individuals from one of the groups in Spain managed to create an open source prototype for the respirator, which has already proven successful when testing on a pig in the Central University Hospital of Asturias.

A chatbot that can answer questions

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the official WHO chatbot with the purpose of providing information about the coronavirus and offering answers to questions being frequently asked such as infection rates and measures to be taken to protect oneself and others.

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MedTech

Transparent smart mask allows emotional expression

Mounir Jamil

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Transparent Smart Mask allows Emotion Expression

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, face masks have become an essential part of daily life. However, the masks that we use have stolen a profound way of connecting with others. A person’s facial expression is one of the most important aspects of communication. The typical fabric or paper masks end up concealing our identities and facial reactions (or at least half of them). We are losing valuable personal connections with others because we can’t understand their intentions or see their facial expressions when they smile, frown or laugh.

The answer to this problem? The LEAF mask, the first transparent smart mask that is FDA registered. It has N-99 standard air filtering abilities in addition to a self-purifying feature thanks to a built in UV-C light. The mask protects you and your loved ones while enabling you to convey emotions and expressions; it’s as close to normal as we can get right now.

The LEAF mask’s most defining feature is definitely its transparent design. The unibody is covered in transparent and medical-grade silicon that provides a universal fit, and ensures your face isn’t visually covered by an opaque mask. This is accomplished via the transparent smart mask filters that are located around the chin, which keeps your nose, mouth and cheeks visible to people around you – making the mask more communication-friendly and allowing others to read your lips or facial expressions while talking to them.

The LEAF transparent smart mask also sports an antifogging feature, preventing your mask from becoming cloudy on the inside whenever you take a breath. This means it also allows your smartphones facial-unlock feature to work without taking your mask off. It’s the world’s first transparent mask that has high-quality N99+ HEPA\HEPA-Carbon filters fitted into the lower chin section. Another impressive feature is the self-purifying function, which is made possible with the built-in UV-C light. The LEAF comes in 3 different options: Leaf HEPA, Leaf UV, and Leaf PRO.

The LEAF mask is available in 4 different sizes made to fit children as well as adults. With its transparent structure, the LEAF mask is challenging the status quo of opaque fabric and plastic masks. Especially with disposable masks becoming a threat to the environment, LEAF offers the right solution. A reusable and high-quality mask with long-lasting filters.

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Microsoft online courses for the unemployed

Adnan Kayyali

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Microsoft online courses for the unemployed

Microsoft online courses have been created on LinkedIn in support of those hit hardest by the pandemic. The pandemic has caused widespread devastation to worldwide economies, affecting different parts of the world in varying degrees. One thing is for sure, worldwide unemployment hasn’t been this high since The Great Depression.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), it is projected that the economic and labour crisis brought about by the pandemic may see around 25 million additional people unemployed worldwide.

What’s more, they estimate that some 436 million businesses in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, wholesale, hospitality and others are at high risk of “serious disruption”. Some businesses and jobs may bounce back after the pandemic, but there will most certainly be permanent changes to the post-Coronavirus job landscape.

“This is no longer only a global health crisis, it is also a major labor market and economic crisis that is having a huge impact on people.” Said Director-General of ILO, Guy Ryder.

“For millions of workers, no income means no food, no security and no future” he later continued. “As the pandemic and the jobs crisis evolve, the need to protect the most vulnerable becomes even more urgent.”

In response to the crisis, we are seeing tech companies push relief efforts on their own platforms, assisting severely affected communities through various means. Efforts like information platforms, live maps, updated news, and even platforms to ease distribution of medical resources worldwide, have become invaluable tools.

Microsoft online courses are meant to boost efforts in education, with the company distributing $20 million in donations to numerous NGOs, aimed at aiding those impacted by unemployment.

Using its own tool, LinkedIn Learning Paths was designed with tutorials to kickstart a person’s career in 10 fields currently in high-demand, according to LinkedIn’s data. These jobs will offer livable wages with promising future prospects.

The jobs listed include: digital marketer, graphic designer, IT support, sales representative, project manager, IT administration, software developer, customer services rep, data analyst, financial analyst. With courses free of charge and available to everyone until March 2021, anyone can go to this link and learn a new trade.

The education portal is part of a global trend pushing towards remote education inclusion in mainstream education systems. Microsoft online courses are just a drop among thousands of hours of quality educational material offered by companies such as Udemy, Skillshare, The Great Courses Plus and many more.

Alongside these, Microsoft Learn is offering supplemental technical content to these Paths, and Microsoft is also making GitHub’s Learning Lab free to practice if you’re learning skills to become a software developer.

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MedTech

New feature on Google Maps aids in the fight against Coronavirus

Mounir Jamil

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New feature on Google Maps aids in the fight against Coronavirus

A new feature on Google Maps now allows for users to get around safely during the Coronavirus pandemic. More than 11 million people have contracted the virus worldwide, and almost 500,000 have died according to the Johns Hopkins University. Countries worldwide have adopted different restrictions depending on the severity of the outbreak, which has caused numerous travel complications.

Ramesh Nagarajan, Google Maps product management director commented. “As countries around the world adapt, we are committed to bringing users the most pertinent information right to their fingertips, so when you’re ready and able to, you can safely venture out.”

The new feature on Google Maps collects data from national and local governments and agencies and alerts users to pertinent information. It also sports other updates:

Restriction alerts

Google Maps users will now receive driving alerts that notify them of COVID-19 checkpoints while crossing national borders, also the varying restrictions across their routes.

Users will now see the alert on the directions screen if they are entering an area that is impacted by restrictions, like mask mandate or social distancing regulations. These alerts are currently available in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Testing alerts

If a user is headed towards a medical facility or a Coronavirus testing center, they will receive alerts that remind them of eligibility and facility guidelines. These alerts are available in the US, South Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Public transit alerts

When using Google Maps to navigate public transportation in an area affected by Covid-19 restrictions, travelers will receive alerts from local transit agencies with reminders of regulations, like mask requirements or if government mandates are impacting transit services.

When users are using Google Maps to navigate public transportation in an area with COVID-19 restrictions, travelers will receive alerts from local transit agencies that remind them of the regulations. These alerts are rolling out in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Colombia, France, Mexico, India, Spain, Netherlands, Thailand, UK and the US.

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