5 Tech Innovations That Helped Us Fight the COVID Pandemic

COVID Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for the healthcare industry worldwide as our distribution and development were tested to meet the demand for vaccines, PPE, and other supplies to assist those living in lockdown or suffering from the disease. Technology was essential for healthcare professionals to combat the disease, develop treatments, and more during this time. Here are a few examples of critical healthcare tech that helped us get through the COVID pandemic and will continue to help us stay safe in the case of future outbreaks.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence was an essential technology that helped healthcare professionals and researchers combat the outbreak of COVID-19. Using AI, we can predict the spread of the disease and model how quickly it may take over a particular area or population. Ai is also essential for large-scale data interpretation and searching; for example, when creating the mRNA vaccines, AI was important for quickly searching through large quantities of DNA to isolate specific strands. As large banks of healthcare data become widely available through wearables and disease reports, the more accurate picture researchers can paint of the impact of the disease. AI will continue to be an essential tool in the healthcare industry.

mRNA Vaccines

The rapid development of the COVID vaccines was unprecedented, with many of the phases of research and development happening simultaneously. The creation of effective vaccines has been improved upon for many years by biopharma professionals. Today, a popular vaccine creation method utilizes mRNA technology. Messenger RNA is the DNA strand responsible for holding the blueprints of protein creation for the body. Researchers can code mRNA with similar proteins that mimic the coronavirus, triggering an immune response in the host once injected. The immune system will then build those proteins and create antibodies that will fight off the disease in the future. mRNA vaccines are highly effective and do not require booster shots as often as other types of vaccines.

Telehealth

As more and more of the world went into lockdown, it became essential for healthcare providers to offer virtual appointment options to minimize the spread of disease in offices and hospitals. Many patients with chronic conditions, or those who need regular check-ups, now have to turn to virtual appointments over video chat for non-urgent medical care. Today, telehealth is still widely popular, with many insurances now offering coverage for virtual appointments.

Medical Equipment and PPE

Personal protective equipment, oxygen tanks, masks, plexiglass barriers, etc., were all in super high demand during the pandemic and lockdown. As the pandemic strain hit the population, the need for PPE and other essential equipment increased as hospitals struggled to support large populations of sick people. Though our suppliers were strained, they could keep up with demand for the most part and will no doubt learn to be prepared for the next large-scale pandemic.

Distribution and Accessibility

Finally, our ability to rapidly distribute the vaccine and other COVID materials like tests were deeply tested during this time. All over the country, researchers depended on groups like Avantor to “provide the products, services, solutions, and expertise necessary to move through research and production quickly and confidently.” Improved inventory tracking systems and big teams of nurses and volunteers to run drive-through vaccination centers across the country made COVID protection widely accessible and available to anyone who could get to a center. This impressive distribution network will be essential for future outbreaks.

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