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The Coronavirus Outbreak in the Era of Digital Health and A.I. / Episode 11 – The Medical Futurist

March 9, 2020


hi this is dr. Bertalan Mesko the
medical futurist and in this episode I want I want to address the coronavirus
outbreak and how five digital health technologies can help us navigate and
overcome COVID-19 and future epidemics like it even those of us who remember
the SARS MERS and Ebola outbreaks of recent years till that this new corona
virus is a little different why the death rate is fortunately lower the
virus spreads much faster and otherwise as of recent times to fight epidemics
like this our response time needs to fast enough as well and they have to use
all the tools at our disposal AI to detect the spread of epidemics on
January the 6th the American CDC issued a notification about a flu-like outbreak
in China they were followed by the WHO on the 9th of January and since
then that virus became known as the coronavirus or COVID-19 and the
outbreak became a global phenomenon but what not many know is that a Canadian
health monitoring AI platform called bluedot beat both of them to the punch
as issued a warning on December 31st a full week before the world caught on it’s
obvious that if technologies like this would have played a major role in our
prevention strategies things might have gone differently because we’ve all seen
recently that even a week can make difference between locally isolated
virus and a global pandemic and BlueDot didn’t just foresee the wuhan outbreak
it correctly predicted its spread – how did it do it by going through tons of
foreign language news and reports by tracking animal and plant disease
networks and by accessing global airline ticketing data to predict where and when
infected residents are headed next in this case blue dot correctly
predicted that the corona virus would spread from Wuhan to Bangkok Seoul and
Tokyo in the days following its first appearance maybe next time we will rely
more on a digital health technology like that now let’s take a look at what other
two we have to fight the coronavirus and to
prevent future pandemics interactive maps for monitoring we have not
experienced an outbreak like this in recent times simply due to the coverage
it can get we are watching it spread with almost real-time data available to
anyone it’s like the first erupted war when the world was able to watch almost
real-time footage for the first time from the comfort of their home it’s also
an info demmick but following an epidemic this closely and this
accurately is also crucial to stopping it developers of the Johns Hopkins
University already created an online dashboard for the corner virus to
visualize and track the reported cases on a daily timescale they also made the
complete set of data downloadable as a Google sheet the map shows new cases
confirmed deaths and recoveries they collect from various sources from the
whu-oh and CDC to local Chinese websites and reports providing more current
regional case estimates than the national organizations are capable of
and the best thing about these interactive maps they are public and
transparent alike a lot of governments that try to save face during times when
a virus could be confined and isolated NewTek for faster detection as they
mentioned in the introduction technology has dramatically evolved since the days
of these source wires for the current koruna virus outbreak the culprit was
identified within a week from the public announcement and the first diagnostic
test was developed shortly after back during the days of the SARS outbreak it
took days to sequence a virus these days it only takes hours thanks to
technological progress scientists don’t need to cultivate a sufficient number of
viruses before examining them anymore even small amounts of vital DNA can be
detected directly from a patient spit or blood sample a Singapore based company
Veritas Laboratories has already launched a portable detection kit for
labs and hospitals for clinical diagnosis with faster and portable
detection salut identifying infected individuals for
proper medical care will be quicker especially when hospitals are
overcrowded all the patients living in rural areas genome sequencing to find
vaccines on this channel we talk a lot about the importance of genome
sequencing but it’s just as crucial for fighting pandemics than it is for our
own health the genome of the virus was completely sequenced by Chinese
scientists in less than a month since the first case had been detected and as
soon as that sequence was public biotech companies started creating synthetic
copies of the virus that could be used in research genetics synthesis is also
much faster and cheaper than it was two decades ago then it costs $10 to create
a synthetic copy of one single nucleotide now it’s under 10 cents and
this all happened faster than ever before
in comparison during the SARS virus outbreak the word had to wait months
before the virus got sequenced and as we will be able to sequence pathogens
genome quicker with evolving technology the rate of finding adequate therapies
will also speed up and help save more lives in the process robots to rescue as
it has been determined that copy 19 can spread from human to human medical staff
are at high risk of being infected but medical robots are impervious to cross
infections this can be real game changers in cases of viral outbreaks
we’ve seen one case in the u.s. already where a man diagnosed with the kernel
virus was being treated by a robot the robot allows physicians to communicate
with the patient through a screen and it’s also equipped with a stethoscope
helping doctors take the man’s vitals while minimizing exposure to the Stepp
of course it won’t be possible in a jam-packed Hospital in China with
hundreds of such patients but with time current eaned patients could be better
monitored with the help of robots going further drones for medical deliveries
could also be deployed in similar settings so as to reach quarantine zones
like woman and the parts of northern Italy they can safely take medicines and
supplies to the P people in need in the future once we
seamlessly implement all these technologies we will be able to manage
outbreaks like these more adequately we will have apps to tell us about
impending outbreaks and what flight routes we should avoid health officials
will be able to get to the first patient quickly drag the virus spread more
accurately and isolate and stop the pandemic at its roots but if the things
do get out of control we still have the help of digital technologies for the
containment and eventual treatment of outbreaks like the one we witnessed
today but for all that we need countries like China not just impress the world by
building a hospital in a single week but to implement all these advanced
technologies at hand as well until them please wash your hands many times they
don’t touch your face coffee into your inner elbow and stay calm

4 Comments

  • Reply Marcos Macoeove March 6, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Mesko should be in a position of power.

  • Reply Dante 888 March 6, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    The Corona virus was designed in an Israeli and US lab to destroy China and Iran.

  • Reply Flower Name March 6, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you. Love your programme, and the information you provide. Brilliant!

  • Reply Matt Martinez March 7, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    I love your channel. Great work! Thank you!

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