There are now more than 100,000 cases of the coronavirus across the globe. While the death toll is relatively low, the virus has been proven to spread quickly, springing countries into action to attempt to mitigate the transmission of the disease. But, thanks to innovations in health technology, healthcare professionals worldwide are able to streamline care and help prevent the disease from spreading any further. Here are a few tools countries are using today to tackle the virus:

Telemedicine/Video Conferencing

In Israel, Sheba Medical Center has launched the world’s first known telemedicine program solely dedicated to the treatment and management of the coronavirus. For severely infected patients, a robot-like device (controlled by doctors) can enter the patient’s room and take their vitals, including heart rate. With plans to expand the program, the hospital soon hopes to be able to provide remote care services for less severely ill patients from the comfort of their own home through video conferencing twice a day with a doctor. 

Robotic Delivery

For quarantined travelers at a Hangzhou hotel in China, a new gadget was created to deliver their food and reduce the risk of spreading the virus through human contact with hotel staff: Little Peanut. Little Peanut is a robot that delivered food to those who traveled on a flight with several patients thought to be infected with the coronavirus and quarantined at the hotel as a preventative measure. In January, at the time of the incident, multiple robots were placed on each floor of the 16-story hotel and went door-to-door with meals. And outside of meal delivery, if the travelers needed anything else, the bot would inform them to contact staff through WeChat, a popular messaging app in the country. 

Predictive Software

Epic, a popular cloud-based EHR solution, has recently released a new software update to help clinicians identify the coronavirus in patients. The update, sent to providers around the United States, is standardizing a new travel screening questionnaire that asks patients about their international travel. If a patient has recently visited China or shows any symptoms of the virus, front-line medical staff are now urged to start isolation precautions. And to stay within the guidelines set by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control (CDC), the company collaborated with biocontainment experts and infectious disease professionals to develop the update.  

With all of these efforts, increased attention is being brought to businesses as they begin to establish action plans to help address the ramifications of the virus without disrupting service to their clients. 

Here at Syneos Health we’re committed to helping our customers maintain their operations, leveraging health tech to keep businesses functioning as usual. A few of the ways we’re leveraging technology for support:

Remote Conduct of Key Clinical Trial Operations 

To keep clinical trials running as needed, our clinical team is employing several e-Trial technology alternatives such as electronic data capture, eDiary, eConsent, electronic trial master file, ePortals, eTraining, and remote central monitoring to reduce exposure and potential contamination for both patients and investigators.

Virtual Meetings

As the list of travel restrictions continues to climb, many are scrambling to find substitutes for live events, turning to virtual meetings as a necessary alternative to in-person engagements. Our Syneos Health Learning Solutions and medical education company Cadent leverage extensive technology resources and experience to support the planning, programming, and execution of virtual programs in order to keep audiences safe at home without having to cancel important events outright.

About the Author:

Khye Tucker is an Innovation Strategist in Columbus, OH. With a passion for writing and a background in communications, Khye strives to bring brand stories to life through a fresh perspective, innovative thinking and creative storytelling.