China–the first country to contend with the coronavirus–afforded us several case-studies for how technology can be leveraged to deal with pandemics.
The prodigious cloud-computing resources of tech companies like Tencent and DiDi were used by researchers to expedite the development of a treatment for the virus. Such systems can run incredibly complex calculations and model solutions much faster than conventional computer processing. Meanwhile, chatbots were used to share information. Tencent (the Chinese company that operates WeChat) was repurposed to deploy / access online health consultation services.
Drones are the safest and fastest ways to get medical supplies where they need to go during a disease outbreak. Terra Drone used its un-manned aerial vehicles to accomplish this crucial task. Meanwhile, Pudu Technology deployed its robots–typically used in the catering industry–to more than forty hospitals around the country to safely and expediently deliver vital supplies.
And Alibaba built an AI-powered diagnosis system that (they claim) is 96% accurate in diagnosing the virus, which it was able to do in seconds.