How the pandemic has changed our lives. Technology against Covid-19

Some believe that quarantine is not tough enough, others that the epidemic is a fiction. But no matter how this crisis ends, we can definitely say that our world will never be the same. Enormous resources have been deployed to combat the spread of Covid-19: humanity has thrown all its knowledge and technical potential into battle. Let’s see what gadgets and solutions we are already using to stop the coronavirus.

Rescue ultraviolet
Samsung and Xiaomi have released sterilizer cases that use ultraviolet rays to kill bacteria and also destroy the DNA of dangerous viruses. Sterilizers are designed to disinfect smartphones (including models that can charge any Qi-compatible gadget), but they can also process glasses, a bunch of keys or headphones without any problems – the main thing is that the object fits inside the magic box.

Such treatment can be quite a standard option, as it has proven itself very well, both in terms of efficiency and due to the fact that you can not use aggressive chemicals that are harmful to humans.

Pocket models of sterilizers, built-in UV systems are gaining popularity. It is with ultraviolet that banking institutions centrally disinfect banknotes; for the same purpose, UV modules are installed in ATMs. Recently, Tronsmart introduced TWS earbuds with a charging case that has a built-in UV disinfection system.

Robots around us
Robotic technology allows minimizing the contact of doctors and attendants with infected people. At the moment, machines converted from surgical robots are actively used for physiotherapy purposes.

All over the world, multifunctional robots are very actively used, which, among other things, perform UV disinfection of rooms in hospitals and public buildings.

In some countries, robots connected to a neural network are engaged in contactless sampling, testing for coronavirus, and also help to receive patients – such machines examine people, conduct a standard survey, monitor the condition of patients in wards, etc.

In parks in Singapore, you can find a four-legged robot dog that is trained to detect large crowds of people and notify citizens in a pleasant girlish voice if they do not comply with social distancing rules.

Masked face identification
To protect the population from a raging pandemic, the authorities urgently need to accurately determine the foci and chains of infection – scanning systems (stationary installations and wearable cameras) have appeared that recognize a person, even if his face is covered with a mask.

By the way, enthusiasts have created instructions for setting up the Face ID scanner so that your iPhone recognizes you with a half-covered face.

Electronic fences
In this case, we are talking about acceptable methods for monitoring the social circle of infected people, as well as for monitoring the location of citizens in self-isolation.

Smartphones exchange a special code over wireless interfaces and transmit geolocation data. Governments, as in the conduct of anti-terrorist operations, gained access to the data of mobile operators. Most of all, such giants as Amazon, Google, Facebook have succeeded in the field of population surveillance.

In some countries, you can install an app that will sound an alert or text message if you are too close to an infected person.

Separately, it is worth mentioning applications with electronic passes, as well as programs that generate QR codes for going outside, through which patrol officers can get the necessary information about you.

Temperature screening
Fever is a key symptom of the transition of the disease into the active phase. It is believed that at this time the body is most likely to infect others. Therefore, systems for detecting people with a high temperature are used in public places.

Thermal imagers appear in a variety of roles, for example, they are built into intercoms and access control systems in enterprises. Including law enforcement officials are now using smart glasses and helmets with augmented reality, equipped with thermal imaging cameras for instant inspection of a large number of people.

Wearable electronics for personal monitoring
“The salvation of the drowning is the work of the drowning themselves.”

People get the opportunity to monitor their own health and identify problems at an early stage: smart gadgets equipped with a set of special sensors “learn” to identify deviations from your normal “physiological portrait”. They are linked to the databases of decision-making centers – that is, they allow you to collect a large amount of up-to-date information, analyze it, create models for the spread of the virus and predict the situation.

Smart watches and fitness trackers read heart rate and blood pressure parameters. The front cameras of smartphones monitor the motor activity of the eyes. Attention is also paid to temperature – for example, thermometers are built into new generations of gadgets. Devices are being tested that not only fix a cough, but even by voice changes are able to determine the damage to the lungs by a virus.

In some particularly affected countries, the “gentleman’s set” of personal wearable electronics has been replenished with new types of medical devices:

Electric “smart” respirators with improved filtration.
Pulse oximeters are compact devices for measuring blood oxygen saturation.
Portable electrocardiographs measuring the parameters of the heart.
Neural networks, AI
Artificial Intelligence is being used to unravel the code of the coronavirus, as was the case with the notorious Ebola. It is used in the creation of a vaccine, as well as in the selection of drugs for the treatment of covid patients. Blockchain- based AI systems reduce paperwork, allow efficient distribution of humanitarian aid, and identify logistical needs (for beds, medicines, personal protective equipment or ventilators) at the level of a specific medical facility or an entire region.

Self-learning neural networks, which have “read” thousands of impersonal case histories, refer patients to inpatient and outpatient treatment, help make a diagnosis (based on testing data, CT or ECG images, voice recordings), monitor the condition of a hospitalized patient.

Elements of artificial intelligence are being introduced into systems that work with citizens’ appeals. Smart programs and chatbots operating in government agencies and hospitals recognize speech and answer calls, consult, streamline and redistribute request flows.

Telepresence at home and at work
In order to somehow brighten up the isolation, patients of nursing homes were offered to communicate with loved ones using robots for video communication.

For doctors, distancing is a matter of life and death, so contactless technologies are increasingly being used in modern medicine. So in China, the possibilities of “telemedicine” based on fast 5G networks have been successfully tested, when examination and treatment are carried out at a distance. The idea of ​​the so-called “virtual clinic” and online consultations is not new, but now it has reached a new level. For example, with the help of manipulators connected to the 5G network, doctors perform complex surgical operations remotely.

Drones for processing, patrolling, delivery
The copters proved to be excellent as a means of monitoring in urban environments, when you need to track human flows, broadcast useful information through a loudspeaker, or warn citizens about quarantine violations. Drones equipped with thermal imagers allow you to quickly find a person with a high temperature in the crowd.

Agricultural drones, which are usually used to treat plantings, have been successfully adapted to spray disinfectants on the street and in large buildings. Moreover, these are not necessarily flying machines, wheeled / tracked vehicles, controlled remotely, also benefit. Including their services are offered by companies that produce cars with autopilot.

For several years now, multicopters have been delivering food, medicine, and parcels. Against the backdrop of quarantine restrictions, their advantages over live couriers and ground transport sparkled with new colors .

Digital money and contactless payments
In general, there is no curiosity here, mobile money is sweeping the planet by leaps and bounds (there are already terminals in almost every outlet), and technology and modern gadgets only help in this. QR code and NFC payments do not require direct contact. When paying small amounts with an NFC device, you do not need to enter a password. When using payments on the FaceID platform, you do not even need to have gadgets with you.

It may look like this (self-service stores “without cash desks and sellers” work on a similar principle):

the system at the entrance to the store recognizes your biometric data or reads your QR code,
according to the RFID tags of the selected goods, your virtual shopping cart is compiled,
when you exit, the program will automatically withdraw money from the linked account and send you a notification and a receipt.

Development of personal transport
Public transport has become a place of increased danger, and it is now used with huge restrictions. Therefore, it is not surprising that the demand for bicycles, various scooters and electric scooters has increased . By the way, the unprecedented cycling boom is directly associated with restrictions on the work of gyms and fitness centers.

Home comfort and little things
A lot of useful coronavirus chips can be seen right around us. Basically, these are solutions that prevent the transmission of the virus through frequently used surfaces: contactless elevator buttons and toilet flush buttons, electric dryers, smart faucets and motion-sensing light switches . For “contactless” reality in a pandemic, various devices with voice control came in very handy. For example, using interactive speakers , you can give commands to smart light bulbs or household appliances. For the needs of automation, elements of the Smart Home system are now very actively used, in particular smart sockets and control centers .

For 3D printers , interesting models of the simplest mechanical devices are developed (and sent to the public). A classic example is doorknob attachments so you can open the door with your forearm.

The coronavirus has accelerated the digitalization of society and, in fact, has become a powerful incentive for the development of technology. Many innovations are already taken for granted and will not go anywhere after overcoming the crisis. Someone is delighted, someone may not like it – but this is our new reality.

People were forced to close borders and establish social distance, while we united, learned to share knowledge, act in the common interest – and this is the most important achievement

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