Medical science may be the first and primary line of defense modern society has against dangerous diseases, but other types of technology also play an important role in prevention, containment, and treatment. Since mitigating the impact of infectious pathogens often depends largely on public and personal behaviors, technology is particularly valuable when it comes to educating and communicating within large groups. Many of these solutions can also be scaled to apply to individuals, communities, or entire regions.
Mobile Diagnostic Equipment
Creating more affordable, durable, and portable diagnostic equipment isn’t a new challenge within the medical field, but there is still plenty of room for innovation. Some recent developments include mobile phone modifications that turn certain devices into microscopes, allowing users to examine skin or blood cells with their phones. Other types of mobile testing and diagnostic materials can also provide substantial relief to populations suffering from malaria and other parasitic diseases.
One of the biggest challenges faced in a large-scale disease control strategy is balancing information gathering with respect for personal space and privacy. That’s why the development of non-invasive and fast body screening can be a major asset when controlling an outbreak. Thermal camera technology can be easily incorporated in public or commercial environments and provides accurate information about each person’s body temperature. This can help identify some of the earliest warning signs of infection or poor health even before other observable symptoms emerge.
Data Science and Modeling
information can be just as important. Developments in data science, specifically machine learning and database curation, put a lot more information at the fingertips of executives, analysts, and experts. Predictive modeling helps government organizations estimate disease impact on different regions so they can institute safety measures and distribute supplies accordingly. Data can also be applied directly to disease behavior and outcomes to better predict what types of patients are most at risk of developing a serious illness.
The fight against disease depends on developments in many different areas of technology, so opportunities to protect and treat people don’t always come directly from medical solutions. Both private and public organizations can harness the power of technology to improve the safety of their workplace and build a culture that encourages hygienic behavior. Some of these solutions can even improve screening and safety in hospitals, clinics, and health centers.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan