The world is shrinking into a crystal ball of technology. Everything is linked to the Internet network, our homes, schools, workplaces or a restaurant where we love to eat every weekend.
We see new smart tools and smart automation technologies almost every day, all thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). But just as AI helps us in the comfort of our homes, it also helps healthcare workers do their jobs.
Hospitals and ambulances were equipped with smart devices and caregivers used smart technologies.
Need for technology peaked with COVID
And then the pandemic hit us, and it hit us hard. Amid the coronavirus, the need for such technologies reached its peak. Frontline workers must help patients without compromising social distancing and their health.
So by default, AI comes to mind as the best option. However, while AI is used to prune better options for the vaccine, IoT, more specifically the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), presents better solutions to treat and help patients.
To better understand this, we are reviewing the impact of COVID-19, how AI and IoT are facilitating the healthcare industry, and what role these technologies may play in a future pandemic.
See also: AI is tech neutral: What can be harmful on social media can help healthcare
Impact of coronavirus on us and technology
The coronavirus came as an end point in a world that never stops. Yet while it claimed millions of precious lives around the world, it also somehow paved the way for new healthcare technologies to come to light.
COVID established a new norm for social distancing, and with it came devices that helped authorities monitor it. Corona Virus also gave life to the anti-mask controversy.
Every other store discusses the freedom to not wear a mask between an anti-mask customer and store staff. This makes artificial intelligence and computer vision work, creating devices that can stop such clients without discussion. The pandemic limited our direct access to the world, so AI increased our digital access.
Broad reach of COVID
In every corner, this new virus produced a long-term impact, and shocking technology also emerged. Although indirectly, these technologies helped the health industry fight the coronavirus. However, these technologies are not only limited to indirect aid.
The pandemic has opened our minds to the possibility of other similar events occurring in the near or distant future. Also, it set us on the path to use technology in the healthcare industry much more than before. Hospitals and healthcare workers use AI from testing for a disease to administering doses.
In simple words, technology is affecting COVID-19, but it is also the other way around.
AI helps fight coronavirus
From the early stages of COVID-19 until now, AI and IoT have proven to be smart options to deal with the pandemic.
From the introduction of new devices to the use of existing inventions, AI is helping leaders in the fight against coronavirus. In addition, many researchers have proposed new solutions specifically aimed at combating COVID.
The healthcare industry uses dozens of AI-powered solutions and connected devices to diagnose, treat and monitor patients, transport aid, promote social distancing and even for financial purposes.
Among the dozens of AI applications, here are six that describe how these technologies pave the way for healthcare workers to fight COVID-19:
Social distancing solutions
Even after the gigantic death toll from the coronavirus, some people are still not following social distancing guidelines. It may not seem like a direct problem for healthcare workers, but a spike in new COVID cases is a boon to flouting social distancing laws. Therefore, managing this problem is an important weapon in the fight against COVID-19.
Some IoT is designed to aid in social distancing through AI and image processing techniques. The frontliners are also equipped with AI-based devices to help patients from a safe distance so they can protect themselves.
Automated initial tests
IoT is beneficial to healthcare workers through automation in initial COVID testing. Since the early stages of the pandemic, researchers have put more effort into creating solutions that can speed up test results. Solutions like predictive pathology and pulmonary screening tests are two of many on the list of automated tests.
These AI solutions help to quickly test for COVID and eliminate the risk of healthcare workers contracting the disease. This allows healthcare industries globally to have reduced caseloads and faster results without risking the lives of our lifeguards.
Fast diagnosis and safer treatment
As discussed above, the demand for rapid diagnosis is high due to the pandemic. A quick diagnosis means faster treatment which leads to a quicker recovery. Similarly, having safer treatment options increases productivity against COVID-19.
Solutions to remotely administer doses, monitor patients, and provide predictive analytics are among the many IoT and AI-based aids that can help the healthcare industry combat COVID. These solutions are beneficial for both patients and the front line due to the reduced risk of infection.
Automation in the drug supply chain
Another challenge facing the healthcare industry is the manual management of its supplies. Due to COVID-19, the increased use of medical equipment has caused a shortage. Not only was medical equipment globally in short supply, but its supply was also unmonitored.
Black market looters also became a challenge. As the need for automation in sourcing and supply chain management increased, IoT and AI once again proved to be a superior solution. Solutions like Cost Optimization for Healthcare Supply Chain with Predictive Analytics provided control over existing and needed equipment and helped the healthcare industry automate the ordering process.
AI is not limited to automation. It is used for prediction in almost all fields. From estimating human behavior to predicting the weather, AI provides pioneering solutions in predictive analytics. Similar to how we use AI to predict a person’s behavior on social media, it can also be used to predict coronavirus vaccine solutions.
AI-based predictive analytics can help create and refine vaccines not only for COVID-19 but also for any future pandemics. Although this requires many years of research, a successful solution can lead the way in the treatment of a significant number of diseases.
Control and prediction of the state of the virus
Another way AI-based predictions are helping the healthcare industry is to govern and predict the state of COVID-19. For example, estimating the evolution of the virus helps to create adequate doses in advance. Similarly, governments around the world impose protective measures based on predictions made by these AI models.
International organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) maintain entire dashboards of AI-generated information for public use. This is beneficial in reducing new COVID cases and helps save resources.
COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on our lives, but it has also set us on a path to be prepared and proactive in the event of similar afflictions in the future. As a result, we shape our tools and technologies to be compatible and flexible to deal with such problems. And just as COVID is impacting technologies, impactful technologies like AI and IoT are helping us fight this pandemic.
The health industry is not the only field that must face the challenges that COVID-19 imposes on us. From business to education, everything has been affected by the pandemic. And just as AI and IoT are helping the healthcare industry, it is beneficial in every other field as well.
AI-based solutions are the foundation and part of almost all future technologies. Algoscale helps industries include these AI solutions in their business models. Algoscale has provided AI solutions to startups and businesses from automation to prediction.
We hope that this article turned out to be an eye-opener for you. Algoscale tries to bring knowledge on a wide range of topics to your digital doorstep. So keep reading and enlighten yourself with new information and stay informed. Happy learning!
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