As COVID-19 continues to sweep across the globe, governments and healthcare systems are finding more and more ways to use technology to combat the deadly virus. From monitoring the spread of the virus to facilitating better treatment in healthcare systems, specific tech solutions have become a vital tool in the fight against the coronavirus. Here are some of the best examples:
1. Air curtains
After the onset of COVID-19, air curtain suppliers saw an increase in demand due to the technology’s ability to displace particles from their trajectories, thereby protecting you from the coronavirus both inside and outside an enclosed space. Although air curtains do not eliminate the risk presence of COVID-19 in the air, they are as effective personal protective equipment in preventing coronavirus transmissions.
This type of technology provides a valuable layer of additional protection in places like hospitals, food-serviceestablishments, retail stores, and places where the risk of coronavirus transmissions is higher.
2. Virtual appointments
From psychiatric appointments to COVID-19 virtual care, technology is being used to provide treatment and assess potential COVID-19 cases without increasing the risk of transmission through face-to-face meetings. Some virtual appointments are free, including COVID-19 assessments and emergency mental health cases, while other regular clinical appointments impose a fee.
3. Contact tracing
Contact tracing is essential in curbing the spread of COVID-19. Countries that are using contact tracing apps have found that it is faster, more efficient, and more effective than traditional contact tracing, especially in densely populated areas.
There are different ways on how digital contract tracing works, depending on the type of technology used and the public’s response to it. Some apps detect people’s smartphones via Bluetooth, which allows the system to catch people who have been in proximity to each other and might have contracted the virus. Other apps rely on voluntary responses from its users. For example, this app in Australia lets health officials contact you if someone you might have been in contact with tests positive for the virus.
Cameras are playing a significant hand in maintaining physical distancing guidelines in public establishments, particularly retail stores and other necessary places of business.
Thermal cameras can detect individuals whose body temperatures are higher than normal before they enter a building. However, having a higher body temperature does not automatically mean that an individual has the virus, although it does help screen multiple people at once, even in a large space.
Another useful function of cameras amidst the pandemic is the detection of people who are standing too close together. Using sensors and computing devices, a camera with this kind of technology can determine if customers are not following the six-feet-apart physical distancing rule. When it does so, it can be programmed to announce a spiel that reminds customers to maintain their distance from each other.
There are also camera systems that limit the number of people inside an establishment using sensors and a stoplight feature. When the maximum number of customers is reached, the stoplight turns red, indicating that the next customer has to wait outside until another customer exits.
Apart from making it easier for commercial establishments to maintain physical distancing guidelines, these camera systems also reduce the risk of transmission to employees by eliminating the need for them to stand by doors and monitor customers within the store.
5. Online training and education
Because of the high rate of transmission, COVID-19 has made it unsafe to gather in large groups, which ultimately affects professional training and education. To address this problem, healthcare systems, organizations, and firms are using online platforms to train and educate healthcare workers (and even the public) about COVID-19 practices and guidelines without meeting face-to-face.
6. Video conferencing
Video conferencing has made it possible to hold meetings, classes, and even events virtually, albeit with a few unavoidable challenges. Aside from allowing education to continue online, video conferencing apps are vital to the continuity of workplace operations, which helps improve communications while people are working remotely.
However, video conferencing has its downsides. For one, it does not replace the feeling of personal connection, which can affect other aspects of learning and work. Moreover, video conferencing technology is not always reliable, especially in areas with weaker Internet speeds.
The current pandemic is forcing all of us into a new normal, but the fight is far from over. As the virus continues to spread, these technological solutions are helping governments, healthcare systems, and business owners prevent the transmission of the virus and protect as many people as possible, given the difficult circumstances.