Coronavirus and technology

Digital Trends looks into how tech may be our best hope against the coronavirus.
4:44 | 03/14/20

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Transcript for Coronavirus and technology
As your no doubt aware corona virus formally known as cove in nineteen is currently wreaking Havoc on the world but what exactly are we doing to fight. Sure you've probably heard the advice about washing your hands and staying home you're sick but what about things like vaccines. But not drugs for people who are already infected. Do we have what it takes to stop this thing. In the next few minutes I'm gonna do my best to answer all of these questions and give you a rundown of the technological tools that we're using to fight the pandemic. I'm group Randall and you're watching the deeds. The show where we demystify the technologies that are shaping the future so you can better navigate this increasingly high tech world. So right now in order to effectively stop this virus we need to do three main things we need to detect people who had prevent other people from getting. And treat those who are already sick let's start with detection. Currently detecting corona virus in humans requires a fairly invasive testing procedure where they shove a cotton swab your nose and in sent to a lab for analysis. But unfortunately the world has a limited amount of these labs that are equipped to carry out those kinds of tests and there's a shortage on the chemical components needed perform the tests themselves. That means we can't do them fast enough or on enough people per day to get a clear picture of exactly how many people are infected worldwide. For this reason our best bet right now is to identify people with specific symptoms such as a fever and a cough. And have himself Eisley to avoid spreading whatever area. On that front though we do have some really nifty tools at our disposal to again by sick people. Infrared thermometer guns for example are helping health officials check temperatures without actually touching people. Some bruises or even putting these devices on drones and robots and using them to screen crowds of people without actually giving human workers involved whatsoever but detection is just the beginning. The next step is prevention which in this case means developing acts. Right now there are dozens of pharmaceutical companies racing to develop a vaccine for company team but there's one in particular that showing a lot of promise. Massachusetts based biotechnology company Modena incorporated. Unlike other vaccine developers that make DNA based treatments but there is one of the only companies developing messenger RNA based vaccines. Now I wouldn't get too deep into the signs here but in theory MR any of these treatments should work faster and be more effective than their traditional to unit based counterparts. Now on top of that in less than two months Modena managed to develop an initial MR NA vaccine for corona virus from scratch which is in impressive turnaround time even by modern drug development standards. In late February 20/20 the first batch of the companies code nineteen vaccine we shipped to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for testing. And if everything goes as planned clinical trials are expected to begin in late April. Barring any complications it would then be another three months from the initial design of the vaccine before we can start human testing. However despite motors breakneck pace it's unlikely that the company's vaccine would be ready for mass distribution before 20/20 one. So for now the best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to do exactly what the CDC and the WH sourcing and practice social distancing. Org is going to self quarantine immediately if you forensic which brings me to my final point. What we do about people who are already sick. Is there anything we can do you picture this thing or do we just have to let the virus run its course and hope for the best. Well faithful lead not only are they are dozens of companies working on drugs and medication for corona virus. But there's already one drug that's in stage three clinical trials which means it's already being tested on humans. Rim does severe as it's called is an anti viral drug developed by pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences. Oddly enough this drug was originally developed by Ebola Virus a few years ago but it was so ineffective that they stopped using it. But now it's being tested the new clinical trials in global health authorities have called the most promising of possible treatments for people who were severely ill with a novel corona virus. In fact in January 20/20 rim does Amir was given to the first confirmed US corona virus patient in Washington State and while we can't say for sure that it was the drug but did it. The patient's condition improved dramatically the next and he was eventually discharge. Don't get too excited. Still more tests are needed before we can be sure over visitors effectiveness but if it does work it will be a huge win. You won't stop people from catching the virus but it could stop them from dying from it. All things considered the most important thing to remember here is that in spite of all the crazy headlines in the corona virus induced panic that's rippling through the world. Humanity is better equipped to respond to a viral outbreak like this than it's ever been in the history of our species. If we put our heads together and we use the best tools and technologies that are disposal there's no reason to think we can overcome this thing. We've beaten viruses before and we can absolutely do it again. Thanks for watching everybody if you enjoyed this video definitely like subscribe and we've coming down below and if you will find more awesome content as head of individual friends dot com.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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