The connectivity now afforded to us by Smartphone apps, data analytics, and AI gives us ways to fight pandemics in ways we never previously thought possible. In the midst of the corona-virus outbreak, it has become all-the-more imperative to marshal our technological resources in the best possible way.

As schools and businesses make use of Slack, Zoom, and Twitch for collective group interface, many of the rest of us are availing ourselves of Skype, Line, Whereby, WhatsApp, Facetime, HouseParty, and Google Groups for personal video communication. LinkedIn’s “Livebosses” is now used for executive communications on social networks. And Instagram Live is taking off. Such social-media technology can also be leveraged to facilitate the resurgence of faltering businesses.

The perks of “smart” technology, in conjunction with the massive power of social-media, can be mobilized to handle large-scale problems. This is especially the case when AI is married with the IoT (internet of things). For example, a “smart” algorithm can collate users’ flu-related search terms to determine where clusters of cases might be mounting.

Geo-tracking on mobile devices (while controversial because of privacy issues) can also streamline the task of tracing contagion patterns–whereby scientists are often forced to manually ascertain infected patients’ whereabouts to find as many people with whom they had direct contact. Now more than ever, we find the importance of health-tracking apps on smartphones.

Tele-communications / networking technology and AI are proving vital to helping societies effectively deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Looking forward, we can harness our technological wherewithal to determine how the economy will be re-booted after the pandemic has been completely suppressed; and the coast is clear for going back to normal.