As the world prepares for and fights pandemics, technology plays a vital role in helping us prevent the spread of diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology was essential for tracking and responding to the outbreak. Technology also helps people stay connected remotely during pandemics so they can get the best information from healthcare professionals about how to say safe while still checking in on loved ones. Here’s a closer look at how technology helps us fight and survive global pandemics.
AI to Track Outbreaks
Health officials and doctors worldwide have a new tool at their disposal to help them track viruses. Artificial intelligence is an essential tool in the fight against pandemics. With AI, researchers can accurately predict the spread of a disease through a specific population or area. Artificial intelligence is essential to understanding how these diseases spread and how quickly. The rate of infection of a disease is critical information regarding travel restrictions, mask mandates, and other public safety policies that may be put in place.
Telehealth is a broad term encompassing various technologies that allow patients to receive health care remotely. Telehealth can help with diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring—and it has the potential to dramatically increase access to healthcare in remote areas that lack infrastructure.
Telemedicine also makes it easier for patients who are sick or injured, but not seriously so, to seek treatment at home instead of going all the way into town or making an appointment at their local clinic. This can be especially helpful when reducing patient wait times and minimizing unnecessary travel costs. Telehealth options also provide an excellent alternative to visiting a doctor in person during a pandemic. Patients at risk of infection can stay home instead of going to the doctor’s office and risking the spread of the disease. Staying home is essential to protect oneself from illness, so telemedicine is integral to pandemic healthcare.
New Vaccine Technology
During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers worldwide worked with vital medical manufacturers like Avantor to rapidly create effective vaccines. Avantor supplies state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, making safe and efficient vaccine manufacturing possible. New vaccine technology, like the ability to use messenger RNA to develop vaccines, is essential to fighting global pandemics. AI can be used to quickly search through thousands of stands of DNA so that what would typically take years to accomplish can be done in several months.
Improved Tracking and Distribution
Tracking can help improve supply chain management and manufacturing processes, enabling us to get the right products where they need to go much faster. This can significantly impact how quickly we respond during a pandemic outbreak or other crisis.
By tracking our resources and products at every step of their journey from production to distribution, we can better assess whether there are any bottlenecks in our system that could cause delays or shortages. Technology makes this kind of continual monitoring possible so you won't run out of supplies when something happens along the way (like an unexpected closure). Improved tracking and distribution networks are essential for sending vaccines, PPE, and other medical equipment to various populations and medical professionals. During the COVID pandemic, our supply chains struggled under the demand of large populations and medical supply shortages. New technologies and more efficient and flexible supply chains are critical to improving our response to pandemics.
While the COVID-19 pandemic took many by surprise and challenged healthcare systems globally, our technology can go a long way in helping us prepare for the next pandemic. New technologies like artificial intelligence, RFID tracking, and telemedicine are essential in battling future pandemics.