How IoT is Overcoming the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The global pandemic that started last March 2020 and persisted in today’s time is still totally throwing all of us into disarray. Billions of people who had plans of traveling abroad or at least within their countries are halted and forced to remain at home. Healthcare workers from different medical fields are now obliged to attend thousands of emergency cases of the same nature each day. Not to mention, they also face the risk of getting infected as they try to save the lives of the same people from whom they can get the virus. In the trading scene, many small to medium enterprises, and even large conglomerates which stood for decades struggled (or even failed for some) to adapt to the new normal. Several of them are severely cutting their losses by axing their employees, selling their assets, and temporarily (or permanently) closing their doors to the world.
Except for most players in the Internet of Things (IoT). Yes, the IoT industry was also disrupted by the pandemic in such a way that its deployment (e.g., installing a 5G mobile infrastructure which was meant to help business operations) got deprioritized as corporate clients attempt to salvage their financial crisis. However, as organizations and institutions resort to operating remotely in hopes of flattening their nation’s curve, these same brands and names called on IoT for immediate help. They have realized that leading IoT solutions providers like RAKwireless are essential in continuing and improving their efficiency, quality, and safety. To learn more, listed here below are some of the ways that show how IoT is joining the cause of stopping the spread of coronavirus.
Developing Contact Tracing
One critical step in flattening the global curve of the spread is to detect in real-time who among us have been exposed to individuals who are suspected and actual carriers of the virus. To do this, a nation must invest in high technology that can create a well-informed connected network of information. And what better technology is available in this application? Indeed, it’s IoT. IoT can be employed to capture health data from various locations of infected patients and manage all the data using a virtual management system. For example, in China, a smart mobile app called Close Contact (translated in English) was created to inform civilians of their proximity to a corona-positive virus and urge them to take extra precautions when going outside their homes. As a result, China and other countries that implemented similar apps like Taiwan are already close to stopping the pandemic.
Speeding up COVID-19 Screening and Treatment
IoT not only protects uninfected citizens of pandemic-stricken nations but also assists in executing rapid COVID-19 screening and treatment to everyone, but more especially to suspected and actual infected individuals. In a study conducted by Singh, Javaid, Haleem, & Suman (2020) in India, IoT plays a role in running a proper diagnosis on the arrival of a case at first instance by using smart connected treatment devices. This immediate diagnosis then hastens a patient’s recovery and stay in a hospital. In addition, patients with positive cases of the virus can be better informed on their symptoms (thus empowering them to make the right decisions that will quickly better their health) just by receiving real-time information on their vital statistics from a device connected to IoT. In the nearest future, developers even plan to initiate the arrival of an internet-connected hospital.
Continuing fast logistics
Since most of us can’t go shopping in markets and malls due to locally implemented stay-at-home orders, the demand for online deliveries of groceries and medical items is soaring high. And although logistics companies are experiencing greater profit than ever before, they can also get overwhelmed with the number of orders they are receiving. They can lose control of their operations and neglect the conditions of their goods, resulting in unnecessary damages. To assist them with this newfound complication, IoT systems for delivery trucks can help inform companies, distributors, and retailers of the real-time condition of the goods inside their vehicles. They can monitor the latest temperature and location of the delivery trucks. In this way, managers can quickly identify and resolve issues even while the vehicle is en route to a client.
As seen above, IoT is unstoppable even in the situation of a global pandemic. Its contributors continued to generate unique solutions to improve our healthcare system, continue business operations, and save lives. However, we all know that these technological efforts can only go so far. The dream of finally overcoming this pandemic ultimately becomes possible through our individual efforts imbued by our general care for one another.
To help fight the pandemic on your own, you can follow these simple steps:
- Stay at home and follow local regulations in addressing the pandemic. As much as possible, only go out when you need to and not whenever you want to.
- Inform others of current developments in the pandemic by sharing factual reports online.
- Only allow visitors in your home, including children adults, if you have a critical reason to do so.
- Always wear face masks and if available, face shields, whenever you must go outside. Make sure that you wear your face masks properly (i.e. covering your nose and mouth) as well.
- Sanitize yourself and your belongings like your face masks. You can keep your face masks clean by washing them regularly (only if they’re washable) and putting them in face mask holders. Using these holders can help stop you from sharing your waste especially after using your mask. To know how to use face mask holders, you can check out this video: