BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

COVID-19 and Technology


Blog, Uncategorized

The role and impact of technology in today’s world cannot be ignored or overstated. As a result, COVID-19 pandemic was significantly influenced by technology and in turn, the pandemic inspired some new technologies that helped control it. According to World Health Organization(WHO), COVID-19 pandemic undeniably spurred the development of over one hundred (100) health innovations and some of these innovations have been subsequently endorsed and adopted in Africa.

The aim of these innovations developed around the world was to target different areas of the COVID-19 response as well as use the insight and application of technology in the combat of the pandemic. The geographical distribution of the  technologies may be worthy to evaluate. A detailed study of these innovative technologies shows that about 12.8% were developed in Africa. Of these, 57.8% were related to Information and Communications Technology, 25% were based on 3D printing and 10.9% were robotics. ICT innovations were majorly WhatsApp, Chatbots, self-diagnostic tools, contact tracing apps and mobile health information tools. Associated African countries with their respective contributions include South Africa (13%), Kenya (10%), Nigeria (8%), Rwanda (6%) and Ghana (2%)

Needless to say, technology was, and remains very essential in various areas of COVID-19. Response areas and other areas where technology is constantly applied include, but not limited to:

  • Control and Prevention
  • Epidemiological Surveillance
  • Contact Tracing 
  • Community Engagement
  • Treatment and Vaccine 
  • Laboratory Systems
  • Information Dissemination

In a speech by Dr Matshidiso Moeti- WHO Regional Director for Africa, he acknowledged that despite being one of the worst challenges of the 21st century, COVID-19 revealed the need to invest in innovation and an opportunity to foster innovation in health technologies. He also commended the zeal and commitment of the African continent regarding the fight to end COVID-19. Notable technological inventions include hand-washing equipment powered by solar energy and mobile applications that build on Africa’s rapidly growing connectivity. 

WHO recommends increased investment in ICT infrastructure, robotics, artificial intelligence, drones and mechatronics because investing in innovation yields huge dividends. Additionally, implementing the right policies is important to boost creativity, entrepreneurship and university-led research.

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