The Fight against Covid-19 Pandemic with Modern IT and Computer Technologies for Healthcare

The world is facing the wrath of a pandemic. Covid-19 as denoted by WHO has put the whole world under lockdown. Factories are running cold, roads are free of pedestrians and vehicles, rivers are clean, air quality index is improving, people are locked in their home and most important we all are under medical emergency. This has been the nature of almost every individual’s lifestyle in the world.

On March 23rd the Prime Minister declared a nationwide lockdown and since then many services, industries and markets have been shut. The pandemic has applied added pressure to medical services and government machinery such as bureaucracy, treasury, police force and food distribution system. Today the full effort is focused on containing the spread of virus and ensuring that the daily survival of the healthy people is not affected. But what about the people suffering from previous ailments? What about those who were already under some medical treatment and had to travel from one country to another for medication? My questions deepened as soon as the news of two great actors of the nation succumbed to their long-running ailments. Both, Late Irfan Khan and late Rishi Kapoor were patients of cancer and were receiving treatments abroad. This lockdown or pandemic would have turned fatal for them in either way. Just imagining had they been abroad in cities like London or New York who are already failing in this battle, would have they survived? Unlikely they wouldn’t have been fortunate enough to have their last breaths, burial or cremation in their motherland.

Under such a crisis arises this question what good have the technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and IoT has given us. The west which used to boast about its technological superiority and excellent healthcare has been exposed by the pandemic. No doubt today Indian Human Resource is turning out to be a global leader. This pandemic has generated golden opportunities for the Information Technology sector to come with no human contact services for healthcare making use of the above technologies.

Not only are the above-mentioned technologies important for healthcare but in cases of emergencies can be used in agriculture, logistics management, supply chain management and data collection. Just imagine the new kind of data being generated today and the importance it holds in healthcare. Data science and Machine Learning are the two excellent tools to fight against such pandemics and offer excellent healthcare service.

Now I would like to throw light on a case study which is being explored as an option to treat Covid-19 making use of Data Science and Analytics. Collection of data is very important in fighting this pandemic. The data needs to be classified in the following manner:

  • Region: Geography of a region can help us to understand the man and environment relation better. The spread of COVID 19 can be understood better by identifying different patterns using modern geographic practices.
  • Age Group: Current statistics also show that the majority of infected children are asymptomatic. This means that the innate immune system of the children helps to defend the Coronavirus. Restoring the innate immune system in adults by destroying the metabolic syndromes may help the adult people in being immune from the infection. So even if a person has been infected, reducing or curing the metabolic syndrome can reduce the magnitude of the infection effect.
  • Previous Medical History: Based on currently data and medical supervision, adults above 50 years and people of any age who have critical or terminal health conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. These patients are the ones who have diabetes, lung disease, cancer patients, asthma, blood pressure and dialysis patients.
  • Vaccination History: This is the most important factor in this study. A detailed study clearly shows that the number of COVID patients are relatively low in all countries for humans falling between the age of 0-20. The reason could be clear that because education institutes are closed students and infants are following social distancing perfectly. Apart from that one data has reflected that the countries which have compulsory BCG vaccination have relatively better immunity against the Covid-19. Possibly Tuberculosis (Treated by BCG) is not a serious medical issue in the west and probably BCG isn’t included in the vaccination programs for an infant. This is just a theory but based on data analytics prominent evidence can be generated related to the same. This is the case study which can be explored using Data Science and Machine Learning.

The use of such tools can pave the path for dealing all the patients and help in reducing the stress on medical servicemen. With the help of this technique, we can have proper planning regarding blood donations, medicine logistics management, resource management, quick medical assistance. Tracking of COVID patients will become easier and loopholes in dealing the pandemic can be identified. We all know that even a slight mistake can turn into a forest fire burning down a whole community. Although we are successful enough in fighting pandemic we are failing at other issues. We may face a permanent GDP loss of 4%. Daily wage workers are affected, construction business are affected. Damage cannot be eliminated but definitely can be minimized if we make proper and intelligent use of these technologies. ArogyaSetu app is an excellent example of the IT excellence our country possesses. This app has bridged the gap of connectivity and is trying to bring everyone in the network. Being an IT engineer our life and profession reside in our palms. It holds the doors of a solution to all problems and let’s make an effort to find feasible solutions for the country even by staying at home and following Social Distancing