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What Role Has Technology in the Fights Against COVID19?



We all saw how China relied on technology and user habits and behaviors in its fight against the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. China has leaned heavily on tracking and fighting this pandemic, with technology leaders stepping up their efforts in this area. AI-powered devices and smartphone apps were utilized by citizens to reveal the areas infected by the virus. This optimal use of technology will potentially accelerate the digital transformation already underway. governments, cities, and businesses are now exploring how China's digital advantages can help address the logistical challenges of the crisis.

In the rest of the world, tech startups are working with doctors, scientists, and government agencies around the world to activate technologies as the virus continues to spread in many other countries. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), technology also helps fight the virus. The technology enables a more efficient and cost-effective control of coronaviruses in a variety of ways, for example through biotechnology. However, the utilization of technology has taken many other shapes. 

Potentially dangerous coronavirus misinformation has spread around the world, forcing some of the world's largest technology companies to take unprecedented action to protect public health. Facebook, Google, and others have begun to use algorithms and new rules against intrusive facts to destroy the misleading coronavirus information that keeps popping up on their services, as well as unproven means that could put lives at risk. World Health Oganization’s Andy Pattison who have long implored technology companies to step up their response to viral falsehoods welcomed the new effort, saying platforms are now working faster than ever to scrub their sites with coronavirus misinformation. He said in an interview with CNBS that "misleading information" had been removed from Facebook and Google's services Google + and YouTube.  

Apple and Google plan to release an OS-level API technology that will allow government agencies and health groups to warn users if they might be exposed to the virus. Bluetooth-based technology will build on what these companies have described as a more robust solution and will be rolled out in two phases. In May, both companies plan to release an API that enables coronaviruses to be tracked using apps that will both be available in their respective app stores.

Addressing the concerns that these technologies will be utilized to collect data on the users, Apple said it only works on issues related to telemedicine and distance learning and does not collect the locations of iPhone users, stressing that it does not collect the location of iPhone users.  

The US government is also encouraging social media to take a more aggressive approach to thwart coronavirus conspiracy theories, the Washington Post reports, in response to foreign misinformation that could fuel panic about the outbreak. In the same vein the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced that they are collaborating on technologies to track the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. 

 

References :

https://hbr.org/2020/03/delivery-technology-is-keeping-chinese-cities-afloat-through-coronavirus

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/03/13/coronavirus-how-artificial-intelligence-data-science-and-technology-is-used-to-fight-the-pandemic/

https://www.bain.com/insights/asia-tech-industry-responds-to-coronavirus/

https://www.cn.undp.org/content/china/en/home/ourperspective/ourperspectivearticles/2020/10-ways-technology-is-helping-to-fight-the-coronavirus.html

https://libn.com/2020/04/15/tech-companies-step-up-fight-against-bad-coronavirus-info/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/17/white-house-location-data-coronavirus/

https://news.usc.edu/167401/new-technology-coronavirus-usc-experts-virtual-reality-smartphone-apps/

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3534478/tech-pitches-in-to-fight-covid-19-pandemic.html

https://www.bbva.com/en/technology-against-coronavirus/