How Technology Companies Are Becoming Major Players in The Response to Covid-19
It’s one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in our global history. Yet the Covid-19 pandemic has arrived at an interesting moment in time. Technology and advancement in our capabilities as a human race have never been greater. From the huge strides made by AI and data science to the more collaborative ways of working now embraced by our society, doctors, scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs, among many other experts are poised to fight Covid-19.
In particular, technology companies, including Big Tech, are likely to become major players in the fight against this virus. Their willingness to share resources, databases, and computing systems could prove to be invaluable in flattening and altogether eradicating this disease. Here’s how technology companies are helping to fight the crisis.
Powering solutions with AI
The solutions to Covid-19 presently being powered by Artificial Intelligence are numerous and far-reaching. It’s easy to understand why. Over the past few years, many companies have invested heavily in the advancement of AI capabilities across a range of practical applications. Some companies like BlueDot in Canada had even prepared AI programs specifically for this kind of scenario.
The Canadian-based company had already programmed an AI to analyze banks of social media posts, news reports, and government documents to teach itself to predict outbreaks. In fact, BlueDot’s AI managed to issue a warning about the Coronavirus several days before the WHO managed to make their announcement.
Another company, Infervision, launched an AI solution to increase CT diagnosis speed. This effort has been echoed by China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba who claims they’ve also developed an AI-powered diagnosis solution capable of 96% accuracy and diagnosis of the virus within seconds.
From diagnosing and testing to assisting supercomputers in the race to develop the next vaccine, AI is behind almost every large scale attempt to defeat Coronavirus.
Leveraging existing distribution networks
When it comes to Big Tech weighing in on the fight against Covid-19, they’re efforts extend well beyond the computer lab. Companies who’ve built up global distribution networks and logistics are now leveraging these to help support the greater population during the lockdown. One of the biggest players in this arena is, of course, Amazon. The global e-commerce company is currently repurposing its warehouse and operations to ensure stocks of essentials, including medical supplies, don’t run out. They’re also preparing to distribute home testing kits for the virus across the U.K. These finger-prick tests search for antibodies of the virus present in the bloodstream of the testee.
Similarly, Apple is using its clout in the tech space to begin screening users in partnership with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the federal government in the US. Their new Covid-19 website and app screens users through a series of questions and also provides the public with links to resources about the virus and how to prevent its spread.
Developing vaccines with supercomputers
One of the most pressing issues health organizations and governments around the world face is the development of a Coronavirus vaccine. Many experts have expressed that an effective vaccine is the key to ending the imposed lockdowns in countries globally and eradicating the disease. Though a thoroughly vetted vaccine is likely to be months in the making, countless companies, organizations, and academic institutions have begun the race to develop one. Google’s DeepMind division is using its latest AI algorithms and supercomputers to assess the proteins making up the virus.
In a collaborative gesture, it published its findings to help other entities develop treatments. Tencent, Huawei, and DD are among the many other large tech companies sharing their cloud computing resources with researchers looking to develop a vaccine or cure who need fast computing power and modelling.
At this time of uncertainty, we at the Leonid Group are still working diligently to find companies the best talent within the R&D, Technology, and Tax sectors. Through our collaborative process and user-friendly tools, such as Leonid Live, we’re making the remote recruitment process smoother and easier for our clients. If you’re now looking to hire remotely, we can help source the right talent to your timescales while ensuring the best hiring experience for both you and your candidates. Give us a call today to get started on your project with us.