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From phone apps to drones, here are a few gadgets that have been used to battle the coronavirus:
Multiple Asian governments have used smartphone apps to track data of users who have tested positive for COVID-19. In South Korea, a compulsory app enforces self-isolation for those ordered to maintain it. Taiwan and Singapore are also using smartphone apps to enforce quarantines via “electronic fences” that alert authorities when someone moves out of quarantine.
On Tuesday, the Czech Republic became the first European nation to announce plans to deploy a powerful — but potentially intrusive — tracking tool for fighting the pandemic.
Multiple police departments in California are planning on using drones to enforce a coronavirus lockdown and monitor the homeless population.
The Chula Vista Police Department, located near the California-Mexico border, recently purchased two $11,000 drones – doubling its fleet – that will be outfitted with speakers and night vision cameras.
Multiple hospitals in Thailand have begun using “ninja robots” to ease the burden on their medical workers and doctors.
The “ninja robots” – so named for their black exteriors – were originally built to monitor recovering stroke patients. They’re now being used in at least four hospitals in and around Bangkok to measure patients’ fevers.
In China, where the COVID-19 outbreak originated, police departments have been equipped with “smart helmets.” The helmets come with infrared cameras that allow its wearer to measure temperature from up to five meters away.
The helmets, which were introduced by the Shenzhen-based technology company Kuang-Chi, also come with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 5G connectivity.
3D-printed ventilator valves
Italy’s death toll from the global COVID-19 pandemic has surpassed China, dealing a heavy blow to its health care system as it struggles to keep up with a flood of critical patients in its hospitals.
Consequently, the country lacks sufficient masks and gloves for their doctors and nurses, and most critically – ventilators. One Brescia-based business stepped in to help after a hospital ran out of valves needed for its ventilators. The company, Isinnova, developed its own prototype for valves using a 3D printer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.