Special note: coronavirus has nothing to do with the beer with the same name – regardless of the photo above meant to be entertaining.
Millions of people are quarantined. There is fear and concern as a new disease dubbed coronavirus is spreading. While we don’t have all the answers about this new disease, we have been here before. Over the last two decades, SARs, Bird Flu and Ebola raised similar concerns.
Each time – although the diseases were serious, the panic was way overblown.
Could this time be different? Perhaps.
It is unclear.
What we do know is aside from the health issues and unfortunate deaths, there are other issues to consider. People who are not yet sick are not happy about being isolated from one another and as a result, some worry they will not honor quarantines unless they are forced. In addition, some businesses are closing offices meaning the typical work day and colleague interaction comes to a stop.
There are a number of technologies helping to ease the problem:
1) Robots are delivering medications, food and supplies to people who have the disease. As one of the doctors who first treated the disease unfortunately died, it is great that society has robots available to help people affected.
2) Telemedicine is a great way for doctors and other health professionals to assist affected patients. Even those who are quarantined have a problem unrelated to the virus can be treated in this manner as doctors may not be able to access them in-person.
3) Handheld Thermometers are an amazing innovation – especially to those who remember a time when taking your temperature was a more intimate experience.
4) 3D-Printing is an essential technology when we need to build huge buildings quickly. China has worked overtime to build quarantine hospitals. 3D-building printers would make this happen even faster.
5) AI was said to first detect the Corina Virus – using artificial intelligence to rapidly identify new diseases means we can reduce the speed of its spreading and work on a cure far more rapidly. By the way, AI in search algorithms can detect the spread of disease – determining if there are clusters of searches for terms like “coronavirus symptoms.”
6) Unified Communications as well as 4G, WiFi and 5G will help people feel connected at a time when people will be more isolated than ever.
7) Collaboration is obviously related to communications – collaboration tools like Slack, Facetime, BlueJeans and others will help people feel connected, even when they are not. As offices are forced to close, workers are able to stay in touch with the latest tools.
8) Future of Work is a superset of collaboration. It also adds in AI smarts meaning techologies like chatbots can be used to take the place of workers when they can’t work.
9) Social media is often described at as the ultimate waste of time – when you are locked away for days or more, thank heavens it exists.
10) CRISPR is a technology that mimics the process a bacteria uses to fight viruses. In this manner, it can more rapidly perform gene editing and sequencing. It is responsible for quickly reading the coronavirus genome – determining it is related to SARS and that it jumped from a bat to a human via an intermediary.
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