The COVID-19 pandemic has required inventive thinking in creating solutions, for both fighting the virus directly and for living a socially distanced society. The country of India has shown a spurt in innovations that have proved valuable to COVID-19 ridden populations; from hand sanitizer dispensers to machines that ventilate public areas. Technology can help improve the lives in which it is implemented and give hope to the global population by showing how collaboration and creativity can improve everyday life in an arduous time.
Indian companies have created products that will be advantageous in the midst of the changing world, focusing on both assisting those who are sick and on preventing more cases. A company called Asimov Robotics has created a human-like robot that fights COVID-19 in these various ways. To assist the overworked healthcare employees, the Asimov robot has been placed in various hospitals that house COVID-19 patients, where it wheels around and delivers food and medicine. The robots also help with defensive medicine and are placed in the entrances of highly populated areas where they can dispense COVID-19 health materials, from hand sanitizer to face masks.
Collaboration is key to fighting any widespread problem. A governmental agency called Kerala Startup Mission based in Kerala, a southern state in India is fighting COVID-19 by connecting and supporting entrepreneurs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency has supported innovations and creative thinkers and has made plans for building old businesses back up and starting new ones.
New businesses, even, have been started in the midst of an economic crisis. GoK Direct app was created by Kerala Startup Mission and another platform called Okopy, which helps “curb the spread of fake news.” The mission has also helped incubate other ideas for telemedicine, software for keeping track of governmental staff, and other innovations in India that improve the vital communication during this time.
The connection between Indian businesses and international business has been especially prevalent as the global population fights COVID-19. Indian businesses and Noora Health, a global health initiative, have created places where citizens of India can reach information and relieve WHO-verified accurate information about COVID-19. There has been an acceleration of projects such as Namaste Nurses and tele-training, which work to revamp and restore the healthcare workforce. With a stronger connection between businesses, communication in the general public can increase and adapt to the unique circumstances of living in a socially-distanced world.
Repurposing for New Problems
The repurposing of innovations in India is an innovation within itself as it has proved to be a rapid way of creating successful products to fight COVID-19. Repurposing of technology simply means shifting it from a pre-COVID-19 society to one that is submerged in the evolving crisis. For example, Qure.ai is a company based in Mumbai which helped with imaging scans for tuberculosis patients but is now working on improving COVID-19 diagnosis.
The innovations in India are key to developing a world that functions around norms designed for the prevention of a communicable virus. The improvement of health, the connection between business, and the repurposed technology using the creative minds and the supportive institutions of India’s government has made the country successful at progressing towards a safer and more effective society. With the dynamic timeline of the COVID-19 battle, it is innovations like these that give hope for a life that can be lived in a normal but safe manner.
– Jennifer Long