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  • How has Coronavirus created a wave of innovation? According to Gary Saitowitz

    Published on June 26, 2020

    The rapid spread of infections during coronavirus pandemic has reminded us about the power of infectious diseases. The pandemic has triggered a stream of innovations that can help meet new challenges of living by maintaining proper hygiene and health. Technology and innovation are better equipping us to contain the spared of disease and handle public health emergencies.

    According to Gary Saitowitz, the exponential growth of connectivity has given full access to a wealth of data with the help of which officials can quickly track the spread of disease and provide vital information to vulnerable populations. By using maps from Facebook that display travel patterns, demographics, and population density, researchers can decide where to send supplies or how to control an outbreak.

    Let us have a quick look at some innovations triggered by COVID-19.

    Hands-free door opener – The first choice of Gary Saitowitz

    Door handles are prone to the virus, which can survive for many hours on different kinds of surfaces and poses a threat to people who touch the handles. Epidemiologists say that the coronavirus can survive on stainless steel surfaces for 72 hours. Therefore, the focus is now on hygiene-friendly door hooks and handles that can help to operate doors without fearing infection safely. These products could be the gamechanger in overly sensitive environments like hospital wards, where hand sanitation differentiates between life and death.

    Some door opening devices like the hygiene hook, are now available in the market, which is made from non-porous easy to clean material. Many varieties of hands-free door openers have come to the market, thanks to the innovative brains of small-scale producers, and there is one variety that clips onto door handles. You can operate it by using your forearm.

    Masks and ventilators

    Masks – Masks and ventilators are lifesavers from coronavirus, and one of the innovations that have caught the attention is the snood mask with antiviral coating manufactured by Virustatic Shield of the UK that can prevent infection. The coating applied to a single-layer material transforms the base material into an antiviral protective snood that meets multi-functional protective needs.  The masks are reusable and washable and trap 96% of the flu viruses. The mask protects the critical points of viral infection like mouth, nose, and ears and cuts off cross-contamination from saliva droplets.

    Ventilators – Ventilators could save the lives of thousands of people and the most critical equipment in the treatment of the coronavirus that affects the lungs and can cause severe respiratory problems. A Welsh doctor Rhys Thomas has devised a basic and simple ventilator that not only helps patients to breathe but also kills the coronavirus. The ventilator is a portable model and cannot replace the ventilators seen in ICUs. Most of the patients in intensive care would not need bigger ventilators if treated with the smaller one first. Besides supplying purified air to patients, the ventilator will also clean the room of viral particles.

    To encourage technological creativity that can ais the fight against the coronavirus, some organizations are launching prototypes competition.