Innovative solutions, upward technologies: paradigm or dilemma on how to tackle COVID-19?

Facing a pandemic is a situation the majority of us thought it would be only part of a dystopia or a sci-fi movie. Unluckily, coronavirus is more tangible and pressing than any dystopian scenario. The good thing is that as the number of infected rose up, so it did technology. In fact, it has experienced an enormous boost.

Almost one year after the pandemic broke into our lives worldwide, we can see how we evolved as a society and how we started implementing new techniques to keep studying, working, ordering food, and, what it is more important: to stay healthy and wealthy.

One of the things COVID-19 has taught us is that technology can help us fight the pandemic and make the lockdown a bearable experience. In fact, as stated by the World Economic Forum, “during the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies are playing a crucial role in keeping our society functional in a time of lockdowns and quarantines”.

Working and studying from home, buying on Internet webpages, and using contactless delivery systems evidence how pandemic has boosted the use of technology in our daily life. Yet “remote work also imposes challenges to employers and employees. Information security, privacy and timely tech support can be big issues, as revealed by recent class actions filed against Zoom”, according to the World Economic Forum.

Despite the controversy about privacy and the fact that this type of facilities is out of the reach of the majority of the world’s population, technology not only has helped us with our everyday issues, but it has also helped us to fight COVID-19 directly.

As an article published by MIT points out, “Artificial intelligence model detects asymptomatic Covid-19 infections through cellphone-recorded coughs”. A detection that is impossible for the human audition but possible for artificial intelligence and could make a difference in saving lives.

It is undoubtedly important to take into account the impact, both positive and negative, that technologies may have on our lives. Fortunately, for now, it shows blatant signs of being a fundamental and positive tool to overcome both COVID-19 and its repercussions on healthcare, economy, well-being and, even, social life. To know if it may have a negative impact, for the time being, we can just wait, observe, and appreciate its worthwhile results.

Journalist specialised in human rights