Governments and businesses are relying on various technologies to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and in reopening the economy. At Intellizence, we monitor various business impacts due to coronavirus pandemic. Here we are highlighting a few top technology trends that emerged in the last few weeks.
Hospitals, e-commerce companies, groceries, and restaurants all are turning to the drone, robots and autonomous vehicles to offer fast, safe, contactless deliveries during the lock-down period.
Drones and Robots
Drones and robots are being used today for
Monitoring people’s movement during the lock-down
Disinfecting streets and hospital rooms
Delivering quarantine supplies and medical samples
CVS and UPS are partnering to supply prescription medicines to the nation’s largest retirement community
UPS is partnering with Matternet and hospital WakeMed to transport samples
UC San Diego Health is using drones to transport medical samples
Providing remote communication between patients and doctors, and monitor equipment in the room
Nuro, Navya are some of the driverless vehicle startups that are working in this area.
Digital Contact Tracing
Governments across the world are deploying contact tracing apps and wearables to exit lockdown and avoid the next wave of coronavirus cases. Digital contact tracing technologies record personal and health data, travel details, and COVID-19 test results. The app monitors the movement of people under quarantine and alerts in case of violation.
Digital contact tracing applications launched by some of the countries are:
Australia – COVIDSafe
Singapore – TraceTogether
South Korea – Mobile phone location data
China – Facial recognition and QR code-based technologies
India – Aarogya Setu
Hong Kong – Electronic wristbands for people under quarantine
UK – NHS COVID-19
Key partnerships by leading technology companies
Apple and Google
First Responder COVID-19 Guide – Stanford Medicine app and Apple
CovidSafe – Microsoft and University of Washington
Social Distancing Technologies
To control the pandemic, physical distancing (1.5 meters) measures have to be strictly followed.
Social distancing apps and wearable devices scan nearby mobile and wearable devices and alert you when a device enters the 1.5-meter perimeter. These apps and devices use a variety of technologies like Bluetooth, Machine Learning, UWB radio technology, sensors, RFID, etc., to measure the distance.
Social Distancing apps and wearables launched by some of the companies are:
mContain – MD2K Center for Excellence – University of Memphis
Crowdless – Lanterne, a startup supported by ESA Space Solutions
1.5 – LTO Network
Social Distance Alert – Viaanix
EGOpro Active Tag,LASE PeCo – Advanced Industrial Marketing
1point5 – The United Nations Technology Innovation Labs(UNTIL)
A Digital Workplace is an integrated unit where employees, intelligence, processes, and infrastructure come together.
What you need in a digital workplace is:
Collaboration and quick communication – Empower and support employees to access all the information they need to perform their jobs. Collaborative telepresence can render physical location irrelevant.
Remote work preparedness – Working from home or any remote location.
Key technologies that are enabling the digital workplace are
Collaboration and Communication platforms
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Thermal Imaging and Scanning
Businesses are using high-resolution thermal imaging cameras, thermal imaging wearables to screen employees as a preventive measure.
Some of the startups that are working in this space are CrowdRx, Rolkid, Staqu, Agrex, Kogniz, AnyVision Interactive Technologies, etc.
Companies are using 3D Printing technologies to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), Ventilators, medical devices, and accessories. Leading automobile companies like Ford, Toyota, Ferrari are using 3D Printing to produce face shields, respirators, etc.,
Currently, students and educational institutes are continuing learning through remote learning platforms as Google Classroom complemented with popular collaboration and social platforms like Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Team, etc.,
Remote Health & Telemedicine
Remote health technologies and apps are exploding, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and crowding hospitals, and clinics.
Remote telehealth consultations are approved to nearly 62 million Medicare beneficiaries in the US and HIPAA privacy rules have been relaxed. They can speak with healthcare providers, get treatment, and fill prescriptions via phone or videoconference.
Other technologies include
Wearable personal IoT devices that can track vital signs
Chatbots to make initial diagnoses based on symptoms
UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s Optum unit is rumored to acquire AbleTo, a remote mental health service provider for ~ $470 million.
Startups working in this space include – Zocdoc, Pager, XR Health, Lemonaid Health, Doctor on Demand
To remain competitive in pandemic times, businesses should ensure the safety of employees, customers, and the community by adopting current and relevant technologies.