It’s almost a year now since COVID-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, China. While the pandemic has brought about numerous challenges, staff shortages and restrictions like social distancing are driving innovation.
Some of the innovative ideas are brilliantly simple, like face masks with a transparent section to help deaf people lip read, while others have been a little bit more complicated, such as 3D printed swabs designed using AI. From 3D printing to revolutionary CRISPR techniques, here are some of the best innovations that have been created to help us in the fight against coronavirus:
1. Personal Protective Equipment
PPE includes items such as gloves, masks, eye protection and high-visibility clothing. If used correctly, this type of equipment can reduce the spread of coronavirus.
While this type of equipment has been used in hospitals and similar settings for many years now, it is now advisable to wear PPE outside of these types of settings too. In fact, anyone who comes into close contact with another person who is not from their household should consider wearing PPE.
The great news is that over the last few months, more innovative PPE has been created. For example, we’ve seen face masks with transparent sections being produced for deaf people and the hard of hearing. We’ve also seen things like student desk divider guards being created by Sneeze GuardEZ. These guards provide protection from the virus, limit the spread of disease, and provide peace of mind in the classroom environment. All these innovative ideas are helping in the fight against COVID-19.
2. Monitoring Social Distancing
Another innovative product that has been created during the coronavirus pandemic is the SafeSpace system. This product monitors social distancing. It uses watches and badges to monitor how close you come into contact with another person and how long you remain in contact with them. It does this by monitoring radio signals. This amazing piece of innovative technology can even alert you if you’re getting too close to someone else and it will tell you if you’re at risk of contracting COVID-19.
3. Detecting Coronavirus with a Smartphone
Over the last few months, an Italy based company called the SDA group found a way of using artificial intelligence and light signal processing technology (rPPG) to clinically monitor a person’s vital signs remotely. The app, known as Docdot, is currently undergoing trials in hospitals in the US, Canada, India, and Japan and is believed to be almost 90% as accurate as hospital grade monitors.
4. Ventilating Patients Using the Cloud
Before the coronavirus pandemic began, doctors had to monitor ventilated patients at their bedside. This is no longer the case as doctors are now able to monitor a ventilated patient remotely using the Cloud. The Cloud based system called The AirView uses cellular based chips in ventilation devices to send data to clinicians. It also allows clinicians to change ventilation settings remotely. This reduces the risk of virus transmission from the patient to the medical professional. The AirView Cloud system is a clever piece of innovative technology that helps to keep medical professionals safe while taking care of their patients.
Organizations around the world have been working hard implementing tried and tested technologies and creating new ones to fight the coronavirus. Over the last few months, we’ve seen some amazing innovations that can help in the fight against coronavirus, from PPE to 3D printed personal protective equipment. There are lots of exciting examples to talk about.