The Covid-19 is a pandemic of epic proportions that has no parallel in the post digital era. Although we have witnessed a few outbreaks in the recent past, but they were either not this lethal or their spread remained fairly contained.
So far as the novel Corona Virus is concerned, it has taken the whole world by surprise. Not only in the mortality rate of this disease fairly high, it is actually the rapid pace at which this disease spreads that is the prime cause of worry across the globe.
To manage the spread of this highly contagious virus, the only viable solution so far has come in the form of enforcing massive lockdowns across the globe. Countries or individuals that have tried to defy this rule have paid a very heavy price.
However, the world can simply not proceed like this. Global scale lockdowns have now started to pose serious economic, psychological and administrative challenges and the situation is worsening with every passing day.
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Covid-19 and Way Forward
The best case scenario in combatting Covid-19 is that we develop an effective and safe vaccine but this milestone is months, if not years away. With no immediate medical remedy in sight and global lockdowns not a viable option, things have to change quickly.
Obviously, the way forward is to restore some sort of normalcy to our day to day lives and businesses, no matter how distant this new “normal” may be from our pre Covid-19 world. Social distancing aka lockdowns can be nothing more than a stop gap arrangement.
Digitization and Covid-19
This is neither the first, nor the last pandemic to strike our world. However, we currently live in an era of massive digitization. We can leverage the present modern digital infrastructure to mitigate the adverse effects of this disease and maybe fight it as well.
In this post, we will cover some of the ways in which the present digital infrastructure is a strong, robust and potent mechanism for addressing the daunting challenges this pandemic has brought along with it.
Work from Home and Digital Infrastructure
Despite the massive disruption this crisis has caused all across the world, we have a great technology at our disposal, which is the digital infrastructure. Broadly speaking, this encompasses the World Wide Web and technologies that run over it.
In a bid to contain the spread of this deadly virus, governments across the globe have imposed lockdowns and urged people to work from the safety of their homes. We can’t think of remote work without the digital platforms at our disposal.
Take the example of online collaboration and meeting platforms that have enabled entire teams of professionals to discuss, deliberate upon and chalk out course of action for businesses, all from the safety and comfort of their homes.
Cloud Computing is yet another digital technology that has come to the rescue of thousands of businesses across the globe by enabling them to maintain critical business operations over the cloud infrastructure of Cloud Service Providers (CSP).
Digital Tools and the Fight against Covid-19
As the spread of Covid-19 is yet to lose momentum, healthcare systems of nearly every affected country are badly choked at the moment. This is an area where digitally powered information systems can transmit real time hospital data.
This would enable field level first responders to know exactly where they need to be at which time to immediately transport infected patients to the nearest medical facility that has room to accommodate any new patients.
An effective response, made possible by digital infrastructure, will not only bring efficiency to the whole process but will also save precious lives. A quick mechanism for identifying and placing affected patients under quarantine will reduce the spread of the virus as well.
Covid-19 Cure and Digital Technologies
The novel Corona Virus has affected nearly all countries of the globe, owing to the super fast means of transport. Biotechnology firms and pharmaceutical laboratories across the globe are racing against time and each other to come up with a cure or vaccine.
These efforts can be made much more effective by consolidating patient data from across the globe and correlating this data with already available data of previous strains of this deadly virus. This can reveal valuable insights about how it affects the human body.
The vast resource of medical data can be used to apply powerful Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Algorithms to identify disease progression patterns and chalk out a mechanism to at least slow this disease so that healthcare workers have more time.
Despite this daunting challenge that we are confronted with, we have a tremendously powerful digital infrastructure at our disposal. If used effectively, we can emerge out of this crisis victorious and focus again on reshaping our future.