Whilst our NHS is working tirelessly to help beat the Coronavirus pandemic, the government is pumping money into healthcare to ensure we can win the fight. However, there is another contributor who is assisting the healthcare industry in ways which were unfathomable as little as 15 years ago. Technology of all kinds is accelerating the speed in which we make progress in the fight against Coronavirus.
Digital technology supports the speedy creation of devices, models and systems to help the NHS cope. It also plays a key role in not only limiting the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses, but is also the catalyst we need to reach our scientific goals more quickly. Developing a vaccine in the past has taken years. However, due to urgency and the technology that has been made available to virologists and scientists, we are already testing our Covid-19 vaccines on humans. So, what other technology is helping the NHS beat the pandemic?
Stopping the spread with Telemedicine
Telemedicine is a recent development that refers to the virtual treatment of patients using self care tools and video conferencing. With patients advised not to go into their GP practices and dentists, telemedicine is the only way in which patients with non urgent matters can now see a GP. This is a revolutionary way of working as patients can continue to access help virtually, reducing the spread of the virus, and in turn reducing the pressure on the NHS as they fight a bigger battle.
Via telemedicine, GP’s may ask you to check your own temperature, take your heart rate, and they can even prescribe certain medicines virtually too.
Computers are the catalyst scientists need to find a vaccine
Computers help us with the majority of tasks in daily life, and when testing samples and finding a vaccine, they are a key part of how we reach a solution. Virologists across the world are testing thousands of samples daily in their labs using computer technology to fast track results. Scientists battling to find a vaccine quickly are also doing so and being successful due to supercomputers. These computers are not ordinary computers, they are algorithmic giants that use the most advanced AI to process large quantities of data to generate results. The quick turnaround for a Coronavirus vaccine can be contributed largely to the role of the supercomputer.
Healthcare related apps.
Mobile applications have changed our lives in so many ways, and now they are helping the healthcare industry to beat Covid-19. Lots of GP practices have introduced apps that can be accessed by patients. Whilst they may not offer the seamless native user experience, they are certainly doing their job. Many apps linked to GP practices offer clinical information, health advice, plus a fast and easy way to book an appointment and request repeat medication. Apps like these do a great job at alleviating pressure on GP services. Patients who have access to a smartphone (which is the majority of people), can contact the practice this way, freeing up practice phone lines for less tech savvy and older people to use. They also provide information that many patients would walk into the practice for, therefore helping to stop the spread.
Covid-19 Tracing Apps
Lots of countries are currently preparing to ease their lockdown restrictions, and to help ensure positive cases remain low, governments are turning to specific Covid tracing apps. Australia has already developed and released their own Covid tracing app ‘Covidsafe’, and rumour has it that the UK’s will be ready for deployment in as little as 2 weeks!
Whilst Australia’s app isn’t mandatory to download, it takes a ‘track and trace’ approach. This shows app users when other users have been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19. The Australian government hopes that this automotive approach to coronavirus contact tracing will help in the easing of restrictions.
We’re looking forward to what Britain’s version of the app may look like!