Healthcare innovations are increasingly helping to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.
Diagnostic tools are enabling healthcare professionals to more quickly diagnose (or rule out) Coronavirus cases. Such technology tools are also providing remote (virtual) care – that is helping prevent the virus spreading more widely.
Previously it would take many months to identify such an epidemic. However by dramatically ramping up testing of people and sharing data analytics and diagnostic information regionally and globally – helps to slow the spread of the disease.
Below are 5 technology tools helping the worldwide fight against coronavirus. Increased private and public sector spending on various healthcare innovations (below) – will ensure healthcare innovation is at the forefront of the 4th industrial revolution.
Remote Care & Videoconferencing
Sheba Medical Center in Israel uses a coronavirus telemedicine system to physically treat and isolate patients. Increasingly telehealth-driven models are being expanded in the US too.
Remote work tools such as Zoom videoconferencing are becoming increasingly popular. Self-imposed quarantining means Zoom enables people to remain connected.
By installing 5G networking and communications equipment at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University – doctors are now conducting remote diagnosis of coronavirus via a telehealth system. Such initiatives are being expanded to many hospitals. The growing use of medical devices and wearables linked to the Internet – is improving ongoing patient care and monitoring.
Robots and Patient Care
In the US at Providence Medical Center in Everett, Washington, physicians are now using robots to take a patient’s vitals – with a stethoscope and communicating via a built-in screen. The remote-controlled telehealth cart allows doctors to perform diagnostic functions, including taking blood pressure and temperature. Such technology is reducing the amount of in-person interaction required.
Robots are also delivering food to patients and removing garbage/rubbish. They are also able to destroy germs by emitting ultraviolet C light. Plus they can easily sterilize rooms or facilities with suspected COVID-19 cases. This has bene used in some planes traveling from China to Los Angeles International Airport.
AI Software Identifies Coronavirus
Patterns Increasingly healthcare IT firms are updating their software to more accurately identify certain diseases and their patterns. Electronic health record (EHR) groups – including Epic in the US, have already updated their travel screening questions in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New testing orders and screening questions are being used by leading players Athena Health and Meditech via their EHR software. Such technology helps ensure information is sent to patients and providers far more quickly.
Many healthcare providers quickly updated their algorithms to create chatbots – helping screen users for the Coronavirus before they visit a hospital. Chatbots are already reducing the fear patients have – by helping them to identify symptoms earlier. This also helps reduce unnecessary hospital visits.
A number of new AI style Apps can interact with the public and answer questions about the disease.
Medical wearables will increasingly help in the fight against such epidemics. Clearly they can enable doctors to monitor vital signs with far less contact. They can ensure doctors can easily monitor patients’ important vital signs – that are known to weaken ahead of diseases such as the Coronavirus.
The Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center now uses a temperature sensor to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. These sensors are attached to the patient and are able to send immediate (real-time) data and sensor readings to healthcare workers. Such sensors are being expanded to monitor heart and respiratory rates too.
Anthony Ginsberg, Managing Director
March 4, 2020