Emerging Technology popping up to curb the pandemic disease – Coronavirus

By Ruchi Sinha

As per World Health Organization (WHO) situation report, total number of Coronavirus confirmed case is 132 758 and 4955 death globally. On March 11, WHO changed the status of COVID-19 as pandemic.

The bigger threat calls for better innovation, how the whole world is dealing with infectious disease teaches us lot of things. Understanding the gravity of the situation, better technology, diagnostics kit, and uninterrupted communication leading to access of vital information like disease symptoms, research updates, spreading pattern, epidemiology data and many more. This time the genome has been sequenced within one month as compared to SARS that took more than one year to sequence.

Digital Technology

A startup from Italy Paginemediche has started an online chatbot to get right information without panicking. It is also helpful for doctors to interact with patients. Facebook has generated maps that display population density, demographics, and travel patterns, enabling researchers to decide where to send supplies or how to mitigate an outbreak.

A company from Canada, BlueDot by using artificial intelligence scans 100,000 articles in 65 languages every day and it claims that they have notified their customers before WHO and CDC official notices.

Companies in China have designed automated drones, temperature detection software and robots for contactless services to patients. Pudu Technology, SenseTime, Megvii and MicroMultiCopter are few of them. Sophisticated camera, wearable masks, camera enabled helmet, apps to categorize infected and non-infected person and drones to deliver important medicines.

Similarly, Metabiota, an epidemic tracker firm generate online report for any upcoming threat by using biological, socioeconomic, political and environmental data.

Another Israel based firm Sonovia created protective equipment like face masks and suits made up of metallic nanoparticles.

An map by Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University provide a interactive web based dashboard for daily update. All data are collected from China CDC (CCDC), Hong Kong Department of Health, Macau Government, Taiwan CDC, European CDC (ECDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), USA CDC, Government of Canada, Australia Government Department of Health and also from city and state level health authorities.

Beijing based firm, Infervision using Artificial intelligence increased the scanning process of CT based images.

By using AI, BenevolentAI is helping researcher to build drugs to treat coronavirus. Report says that within weeks of the outbreak, it proposes the existing drugs that might be useful.

Baidu has created its linearfold algorithm and it is available for researchers to curb the outbreak and predict RNA structure of the virus.

Large tech companies are using super computer and big data to reduce the time of duration for the development of vaccine.

Diagnostics Kit, Sensors and Vaccines

Modera, a Cambridge based company has released the first batch of mRNA based vaccine (mRNA-1273) against novel coronavirus within 42 days and planning for phase 1 study in USA soon.

INOVIO Pharmaceuticals is moving ahead with its smart intradermal delivery device INO-4800 into Phase 1 clinical trials delivered via CELLECTRA 3PSP which has received CE mark.

Veredus Laboratories based in Singapore will soon release microarray based kit for the COVID-19 with ability to detect, differentiate and identify Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) all in one.

Source: Veredus Laboratories

Altimmune  is developing an intranasal vaccine using Altimmune’s proprietary technology. The vaccine designed under the technology NasoVAX with similar clinical profile to fight against any other respiratory infection. The vaccine is ready to move to phase 2 trial as per company report.

Moderna has started its phase 1 study against SARS-CoV-2. In collaboration with National Institutes of Health (NIH), the company’s mRNA vaccine (mRNA-1273) that encodes for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein.

What we know about COVID-19?

  • Type of Corona virus
    • 229E (alpha coronavirus)
    • NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
    • OC43 (beta coronavirus)
    • HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
    • MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)
    • SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS)
    • SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19)
  • The incubation time of the virus is 1 to 12 days
  • Transmission Mode: droplets, respiratory secretions and contaminated surfaces

To know more about clinical trials, ask our analyst.

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