To say that humanity has managed to get the upper hand on Coronavirus would be misleading. With over 2.5 million lives already lost, the day we bid farewell to the pandemic is still nowhere in sight. However, we are giving the virus a proper fight back. Think of the millions of lives saved, mainly thanks to the wonderful work of medical staff all around the world.
With that in mind, there is one more factor that is playing a big role in this battle: technology and innovation. The brightest minds across the planet have been put to work throughout the past year, in order to find solutions to all the problems caused by the disease.
My name is Ofir Bar, and in my record there is over a decade of investing in entrepreneurship and technology. At this time, I would definitely encourage considering investments in startups that are focused on battling COVID-19 or on making life alongside the virus easier. Let’s look at some examples of ideas that changed our lives for the better in 2020.
Back when we were just starting to grasp the deadly effects of this virus, there was doubt if national health care systems would be up to the challenge. Aside from staff, a shortage in medical equipment was also a big problem for many countries. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that many have lost their lives, just because hospitals couldn’t capacitate all of those entering their gates at a critical situation.
That’s where innovation had come to the rescue. For example, emergency respiratory treatment was given locally in Australia with the help of this app, easily monitoring the patient’s situation. Medication is also administered more effectively with the help of AI, therefore shortening the time each patient needs a respiratory machine by their side – and that’s without even mentioning how many ad hoc solutions were thought of to handle the shortage in machinery.
One of the biggest struggles in the battle against the virus has all along been the need to quickly diagnose it, in order to promote treatment and isolation. That’s why fast detection systems were necessary – the faster the better, without compromising on accuracy. One Canadian company has even developed a kit which is supposed to provide answers in approximately 15 seconds, and a pilot program is set to take place in one of Canada’s busiest airports this year.
But detection is just one factor here. Sadly, many people tend to ignore quarantine rules. That’s why there was a need for specific technology, which can monitor a person’s location with a minimal level of privacy intrusion. With all the data that governments hold on their citizens, it was clear that the ideal solution must be a private initiative. That’s where companies specializing in location tracking but with no access to sensitive information, came into play.
No less important than controlling the disease, is maintaining normal life alongside it – as much as possible. This means that a way to enable human interaction while keeping distance was needed. The first example that comes to mind here is naturally Zoom, which has helped the education system of numerous nations keep functioning, but there’s a lot more to this story.
Take, for example, this special contraption that can warn you whenever you get too close to another person in your working environment. Want another example? Sure. A Delaware company has developed a smart tracker, which keeps count of how many people are in the same space simultaneously, sending out an alert when the defined maximum capacity is exceeded. This solution is naturally ideal not only for work spaces.
Fighting fake news
One of the greatest challenges facing leaders is the massive amount of fake news regarding the disease and, especially lately, the vaccines. Sadly, for millions around the world, Coronavirus is one big lie that should be ignored, if not a conspiracy plotted by the government. Luckily, all of that can be solved with the help of some simple algorithms.
By tracking down fake news on websites and social media, health experts can easily combat it with the spread of factual data. Social media platforms, once very reluctant to remove content, even if it is controversial, are now willing to be an active part of this effort to eliminate misleading information. And the best part about these technologies and all of the others mentioned here? They do not demand such a large budget for implementation.