The world shrinks into a crystal ball of technology. Everything is linked by the web of the Internet, our homes, our schools, our workplace or a restaurant where we like to eat every weekend.
We see new smart tools and intelligent automation technologies almost every other day – all thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). But, in the same way that AI makes it easier for us to stay comfortable in our homes, it also helps healthcare workers do their jobs.
Hospitals and ambulances were equipped with smart devices and caregivers used smart technologies.
The technological need peaked with COVID
And then the pandemic hit us, and it hit us hard. Amid the coronavirus, the need for such technologies has peaked. Frontliners must help patients without compromising social distancing and their health.
So, by default, AI comes to mind as a top choice. However, while AI is being used to prune better options for the vaccine, the IoT, specifically the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), presents better solutions for treating and helping patients.
To better understand this, we look at the impact of COVID-19, how AI and IoT are facilitating the healthcare industry, and what role these technologies can play in a future pandemic.
See also: AI is technology neutral: what can be harmful in social media can help health care
Impact of the coronavirus on us and technology
The coronavirus came as a complete shutdown in a world that never stops. Yet while it took millions of precious lives around the world, it also paved the way for new health technologies to emerge.
COVID set a new normal for social distancing, and with it came gadgets that helped authorities monitor it. Corona Virus has also brought the anti-mask controversy to life.
Every other store is fighting over the freedom not to wear a mask between an anti-mask customer and store staff. This allows AI and computer vision to work, creating devices that can shut down these customers without argument. The pandemic has limited our direct access to the world, so AI has increased our digital access.
Wide scope of COVIDs
Around every corner, this new virus has had a long-lasting impact, and impactful technology has also emerged. Although indirectly, these technologies have helped the healthcare industry fight the coronavirus. However, these technologies are not limited to indirect assistance only.
The pandemic has opened our minds to the possibility of more such events in the near or distant future. Moreover, it has put us on the path to using technology in the health sector much more than before. Hospitals and healthcare workers use AI to test for disease and administer doses.
Simply put, technology is impacting COVID-19, but it’s also the other way around.
AI helps fight coronavirus
From the early stages of COVID-19 until now, AI and IoT have proven to be smart options to fight the pandemic.
From introducing new devices to using existing inventions, AI is assisting pioneers in the fight against the coronavirus. In addition, many researchers have proposed new solutions specifically targeted to combat COVID.
The healthcare industry uses dozens of connected AI-powered solutions and devices to diagnose, treat and monitor patients, transport aid, promote social distancing and even for financial purposes.
Of the dozens of AI applications, here are six describing how these technologies are paving the way for healthcare workers to fight COVID-19:
Social distancing solutions
Even after the gigantic death toll from the coronavirus, some people are still not following social distancing guidelines. It may not seem like a direct problem for healthcare workers, but an increase in new COVID cases is a blessing from disobeyed social distancing laws. Therefore, managing this issue is an important weapon in the fight against COVID-19.
Some IoTs are designed to help with social distancing through AI and image processing techniques. The Frontliners are also equipped with AI-based devices to help patients from a safe distance so they can protect themselves.
Automated initial test
IoT benefits healthcare workers through automation of initial COVID testing. From the early stages of the pandemic, researchers made extra efforts to create solutions that could speed up test results. Solutions such as predictive pathology and lung scan tests are two of many on the list of automated tests.
These AI solutions help quickly test for COVID and eliminate the risk of healthcare workers catching the disease. This allows healthcare industries around the world to have fewer cases and faster results without risking the lives of our rescuers.
Rapid diagnosis and safer treatment
As noted above, the demand for rapid diagnosis is high due to the pandemic. Rapid diagnosis means faster treatment which leads to faster recovery. Likewise, having safer treatment options increases productivity against COVID-19.
Solutions to remotely administer doses, monitor patients, and provide predictive analytics are some of the many IoT and AI-based aids that can help the healthcare industry fight COVID. These solutions benefit both patients and frontline staff due to the reduced risk of infection.
Automation in the drug supply chain
Another challenge facing the healthcare sector is the manual management of its supplies. Due to COVID-19, the increased use of medical equipment has caused a shortage. Not only was there a global shortage of medical equipment, but there was also no control over its supply.
Black market looters have also become a challenge. As the need for procurement and supply chain management automation grew, IoT and AI once again proved to be a leading solution. Solutions such as healthcare supply chain cost optimization through predictive analytics have helped control existing and needed equipment and helped the healthcare industry automate the ordering process.
AI is not just about automation. It is used for prediction in almost all fields. From estimating human behavior to predicting the weather, AI provides pioneering solutions in predictive analytics. Similar to how we use AI to predict someone’s behavior from social media, it can also be used to predict solutions for the coronavirus vaccine.
AI-based predictive analytics can help create and perfect vaccines not just for COVID-19, but for any future pandemic. Although it requires many years of research, an effective solution can pave the way for the treatment of a significant number of diseases.
Govern and predict the state of viruses
Another way AI-based predictions help the healthcare industry is to govern and predict COVID-19 status. For example, estimating the evolution of the virus makes it possible to create appropriate assays in advance. Likewise, governments around the world are imposing protective measures based on the predictions made by these AI models.
International organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) maintain comprehensive dashboards of AI-generated information for public use. This is beneficial in reducing new COVID cases and helps save resources.
COVID-19 has had a big impact on our lives, but it has also set us on a path to be prepared and proactive for similar afflictions in the future. Accordingly, we shape our tools and technologies to be compatible and flexible to deal with these issues. And just as COVID impacts technologies, impactful technologies like AI and IoT are helping us fight this pandemic.
The healthcare industry is not the only area facing the challenges that COVID-19 imposes on us. From businesses to education, everything has been impacted by the pandemic. And in the same way that AI and IoT help the healthcare sector, it is beneficial in all other fields as well.
AI-based solutions are the foundation and part of almost all future technologies. Algoscale helps industries integrate these AI solutions into their business models. Algoscale has provided AI solutions to startups and enterprises, from automation to prediction.
We hope this article turned out to be insightful for you. Algoscale tries to bring knowledge on a wide range of topics to your digital doorstep. So keep reading and enlightening yourself with new information and stay informed. Good learning!
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