COVID-19 is still spreading throughout the world, but the tools used to fight it are growing too. Throughout the pandemic, technology has played a central role in helping people prevent and treat the virus. Despite this crisis, or perhaps because of it, health tech is reaching new heights.
How Technology is Playing a Role
From medical equipment to research tools, technology is leading the charge against COVID-19. Here are five of the most prominent examples.
1. Artificial Intelligence
When you think of tech for health, artificial intelligence (AI) probably doesn’t come to mind. Still, AI has been critical in the fight against COVID-19. Since AI programs can make accurate predictions based on raw data, they can find possible candidates for a cure.
Researchers have used AI to highlight potential treatments based on existing medical data. These programs look at how some drugs have interacted with similar conditions to suggest something for further research. As scientists learn more about COVID-19, they can use similar systems to model how a medication would interact with the virus.
2. 3D Printers
As more people contract the virus, some hospitals are running low on medical equipment. While traditional manufacturing techniques may not be able to make them fast enough, 3D printers can. These devices have produced more than 348,000 face masks for medical professionals in need.
3D printers work much faster than traditional methods, and they’re often more affordable. Anyone can buy a 3D printer and help provide needed medical supplies. The speed, affordability and accessibility of these machines has never been more helpful.
You couldn’t talk about health tech for the pandemic without mentioning ventilators. These machines, which help patients breathe, have been instrumental in saving lives through the outbreak. Modern tools and manufacturing make this equipment even more effective.
Piezoceramic materials enable ultrasonic flow measurement, which measures a ventilator’s output, helping doctors see if they’re working correctly. With working ventilators, doctors can keep patients having trouble breathing alive.
With hospitals full and COVID-19 in full swing, going to the doctor may seem like a risk. Telemedicine apps allow you to talk to medical professionals remotely, so you don’t have to worry about that. Using these services helps patients avoid unnecessary hospital visits and helps doctors save time.
Telemedicine can give doctors and patients these benefits outside of the pandemic, too. Since 83% of patients expect to keep using it after COVID-19, telemedicine could be here to stay. If that’s the case, it could help prevent future outbreaks by keeping people away from potential disease carriers.
5. Ultraviolet Disinfectants
Ultraviolet (UV) lights may not seem like an important piece of tech for health, but they are. Strong UV lights can kill 99.99% of viruses and other pathogens, making them ideal for disinfecting purposes. While this light is dangerous to humans, people have started using it to disinfect high-contact surfaces.
From hospitals to hotels to food delivery services, various companies have implemented UV disinfection. By killing pathogens on a surface, these devices prevent people from contracting the virus from touching them. Researchers are even working on UV disinfectants that would be safe for human skin.
Tech Gives Us a Fighting Chance Against COVID-19
There are still a lot of unknowns surrounding the pandemic. One thing you can know for sure, though, is that there’s an abundance of health tech to help you through it. The outbreak hasn’t been easy, but it could’ve been a lot worse without this technology.
These are just five examples of the many technologies assisting in the fight against COVID-19. Without them, who knows what the impact of the virus could’ve looked like.