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Tech for Good:

Why it’s key to beating Covid-19

By Marga Hoek

As Covid-19 spreads across the world, tech for good has proven crucial to our response. From the UK to the US to the Netherlands – countries have deployed apps, robots, drones and online platforms in their fight against the virus. 

 Let’s take a look at some of the key ways it’s helping people and organizations globally. 

Protect 

Using robots instead of workers is protecting healthcare workers from becoming infected. 

Blue Ocean Robotics’ robots move around hospitals on their own, taking elevators and stairs without any problem and without any worries of the virus. They disinfect 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. The robots have been deployed since February in all Chinese provinces.

Track

The Canadian start up BlueDot has proven to be able to pre-warn us about outbreaks. They have had relevant information prior to Centers for Disease Control. Metabiota, a health tech company, offered early analysis about the virus’s spread, which led to a warning that the virus would reach South Korea, Japan and Taiwan a week earlier than expected. This enabled everyone in those regions to take appropriate measures, with better results. By tracking the disease, we can help contain its spread.

Break down barriers

In the US, the Consumer Technology Association has partnered with the World Bank Group on the Global Tech Challenge, calling on tech companies around the globe to develop innovative solutions together.

In the Netherlands, DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma had just handed over to his successors, only to be asked by the minister of health to support the government in acquiring more test materials. Governments are acknowledging global business leadership and knowledge of technology is a crucial skill they need. 

Diagnose

The company Infervision have developed an AI solution that helps healthcare workers to detect and monitor the disease more effectively. The solution improves CT diagnosis speed. Remote health apps with chatbots that use AI can also screen people to check who is feverish and can be used simply by people at home. Initial advice can be given via chatbot, taking some of the pressure on general practitioners away.

The war on Covid-19 is the tipping point for tech for good – showcasing the value it offers to the world and cementing its place in government, companies’ and healthcare’s response. 

With the right mindset and collaborative approach, we can create a world that is so strong we can face any challenge.

Marga Hoek is a global thought-leader on sustainable business, international speaker and the author of The Trillion Dollar Shift, a new book revealing the business opportunities provided by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Trillion Dollar Shift is published by Routledge, in hardback and e-book. For more information go to www.margahoek.com 

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