Futureloop in its special Pandemic edition, explains how people, tech and tools are converging to overcome COVID-19.
Here’s an excerpt of those updates on how exponential technologies are impacting the detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robots part in fighting COVID-19 Pandemic
Robots have joined the battle against coronavirus in many ways. It is used from taking temperatures remotely to helping with hand washing.
Robots are helping with healthcare around the world.
- Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson hopes to conduct human trials for its potential Coronavirus vaccine by September.
The company, which was accused of developing baby powder that could cause cancer, is currently working on an antiviral treatment against the Coronavirus.
Researchers from all over the world have joined a race to develop a vaccine or a cure for the deadly Novel Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 infection.
Agreement with the US
The pharmaceutical company said that it has signed an agreement with the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to invest $1 billion for developing a cure to the Coronavirus.
The company stated that the potential vaccine could be ready for emergency use by early next year.
2. Antibodies to ‘neutralize’
Researchers are developing antibodies ‘neutralize’ novel coronavirus before it invades cells. To take one existing example: Neutralizing antibodies are used to treat rabies, which is also caused by a virus.
The project is headed by Professor James Rini of the departments of molecular genetics and biochemistry and aims to produce antibodies to effectively neutralize the virus before it causes damage.
By generating a panel of different antibodies, the researchers aim to stay one step ahead of the virus.
Tailored therapeutic antibodies
According to the project head, their advances in antibody engineering technologies and access to the complete genomes of the COVID 19 virus and its relatives provides them with an opportunity to create tailored therapeutic antibodies at relatively good scale and speed.
Modify existing SARS blocking antibodies
In addition to creating antibodies tailored to the new virus from scratch, the researchers will also modify existing SARS blocking antibodies so that they attack COVID 19 and provide an additional route to the development of a therapeutic.
Artificial Intelligence & Data
App to detect Coronavirus infection
Carnegie Mellon researchers developed an app that could detect Coronavirus infection using voice.
No questions! Just Voice!
Researchers at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh claim to have created a smartphone app ‘COVID Voice Detector’, that could determine whether you might have COVID 19 using just your voice, unlike other apps that could diagnose or help detect whether or not the person has coronavirus infection by asking a bunch of questions on a smartphone.
CT scans data
A team of researchers at the University of San Diego this week released a data set of COVID CT Dataset containing 275 CT scans collected from 143 patients with confirmed cases of COVID 19. They claim this to be the largest of its kind.
Trained on 146 non COVID scans and 183 COVID 19 scans, the researchers report that their baseline AI system demonstrated high precision but low recall, which in this context refers to the ability of the model to find all the relevant cases within the data set.
Intel’s Xu Cheng asserts the systems from companies like Alibaba, Rad Logics, Lunit, Darwin AI, Infervision, and Qure.ai might play a role in triage by indicating that further testing is required.
To demonstrate its potential, they trained an AI model to achieve an accuracy of 85 % — accuracy they say could be improved with further model optimization.
Remote Working / AR & VR
The cheapest active VR headset could be the perfect remote working tool. This virtual reality headset could prove the perfect tool for remote workers hoping to insulate themselves from distraction – and it’s mightily affordable too.
This means users can wholly immerse themselves in a presentation, working document or video without distraction – although this could be a little daunting for claustrophobic individuals.
VR chair startup raises funds, as pandemic boosts prospects for VR and gaming. The Roto chair is motorized and can auto rotate to wherever the user is looking, allowing for 360 degree viewing, and thus allows the user to stay in the VR simulation for longer periods of time.
Founded in 2015 by video games industry veterans Elliott Myers and Gavin Waxkirsh, Roto VR is an interactive chair that addresses the physical problems of consuming VR whilst seated, such as motion sickness and tangling cables. It also enhances the immersive experience with haptic / vibration feedback in the chair.
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