In the face of COVID-19, many people and companies have made some significant shifts. Nearly all tech businesses are adjusting to deal with the coronavirus, but some are working to fight it. From university researchers to tech’s “Big Five” to startups, companies of all kinds are helping tackle COVID-19.
Many industries have had to scale back in response to coronavirus shutdowns. However, the technology sector is still standing tall, and in some cases, is even thriving. Tech companies are now using this position to help a struggling world.
Tracking The Virus
The first step in tackling the disease is trying to control its spread. Tech businesses have taken it upon themselves to help with this, offering a variety of tracking tools. This goal has even united two of tech’s fiercest competitors.
Google and Apple have teamed up to track the virus through Bluetooth on people’s smartphones. The companies are working together to develop a system that can detect possible coronavirus exposure. That way, your phone can alert you if you’ve been close to someone with the virus.
Similar technologies are already seeing use in some countries. Nations like Singapore and China have implemented coronavirus tracking apps, inspiring U.S. companies to do the same. Many businesses are collaborating to make a secure, private and accurate virus tracker for American use.
Aiding Medical Staff
As the number of COVID-19 patients keeps rising, many hospitals are struggling to provide care for everyone. Staff and equipment shortages leave many health care facilities unprepared to handle the rising number of patients. From automating diagnoses to providing new equipment, tech companies are assisting these medical staff.
Microsoft has modified its Healthcare Bot to help with coronavirus-related concerns. Patients can talk to the chatbot to see if they might have the virus and learn what they should do. By using AI services like this, people can find answers without going to an overcrowded hospital.
3D printing startup Budmen Industries has committed to creating face shields for coronavirus first responders. The minuscule operation, which consists of just two people, plans to make 300 masks for county health staff. If staff can’t come to work, patients can’t be treated. So, helping medical facilities and their staff take proper sanitation and disease prevention measures is crucial right now. Measures like this help ensure medical personnel has the safety equipment they need in order to do that.
Searching for Potential Treatments
In some areas of the tech world, people are thinking more long term. Some researchers and tech companies are looking to use technology to find a possible treatment. IBM, the makers of the world’s most powerful supercomputer, is leading this charge.
Using IBM’s Summit supercomputer, researchers were able to find 77 compounds that might slow coronavirus. Scientists at the University of Southern California’s School of Engineering are running similar tests with their machine learning systems. By conducting thousands of simulations at once, these computers may be able to find possible treatments.
No one has found a definite cure for the virus yet. However, with the power of these advanced computers, they may be able to do so more quickly. Research is the first step in finding a cure, and innovative technology speeds it up.
Tech’s Potential For Social Good
Most conversations about technological advances seem to focus on how they can make life easier. However, modern technology has vast potential for social good, as the coronavirus pandemic has made clear. Without the world’s current level of technology, the global coronavirus response might have been a lot uglier.
Technology is one of the best defenses against the virus. As more tech companies focus their efforts on fighting COVID-19, they help make the world a safer place. Unexpected crises require innovation to defeat, and the tech sector has plenty to go around.