Technology has played an important role in responding to the novel coronavirus and subsequent COVID-19 pandemic. Microsoft perspective and illustrate how technology has helped transform the public health landscape with new and refined capabilities – the efficacy and impact of which will be determined by history. Technologies like chatbot and virtualized patient care offer a mechanism to triage and distribute care at scale. Artificial intelligence and high-performance computing have accelerated research into understanding the virus and developing targeted therapeutics to treat infection and prevent transmission. New mobile contact tracing protocols that preserve patient privacy and civil liberties were developed in response to public concerns, creating new opportunities for privacy-sensitive technologies that aid efforts to prevent and control outbreaks. While much progress is still needed, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted technology’s importance to public health security and pandemic preparedness. Future multi-stakeholder collaborations, including those with technology organizations, are needed to facilitate progress in overcoming the current pandemic, setting the stage for improved pandemic preparedness in the future. As lessons are assessed from the current pandemic, public officials should consider technology’s role and continue to seek opportunities to supplement and improve on traditional approaches.
A tech-enabled education system will be a pandemic-proof solution, that can also be something that can continue after the pandemic. It’ll only allow the schools and colleges to widen their outreach and reach thousands of students, by simply adapting to a digital curriculum. One might wonder how online and offline curriculums will ever be able to match each other, but that is where one should realize that they are not too different, to begin with! Similar to that of a physical classroom, a student follows a time-table for their virtual classrooms, teachers switch lessons, students get breaks, they take assessments designed for an online mode, and to top it all off, all this happens while being at the comfort of their rooms/homes.