Disinfecting robots, smart helmets, thermal camera-equipped drones and advanced facial recognition software are all being deployed in the fight against Covid-19 at the heart of the outbreak in China.
President Xi Jinping has called on the country’s tech sector to help battle the epidemic.
Healthcare tech is also being used to identify coronavirus symptoms, find new treatments and monitor the spread of the disease, which has so far infected more than 90,000 people worldwide.
But is it up to the job?
Robots to the rescue
Several Chinese firms have developed automated technologies for contactless delivery, spraying disinfectants and performing basic diagnostic functions, in order to minimise the risk of cross-infection.
Shenzhen-based Pudu Technology, which usually makes robots for the catering industry, has reportedly installed its machines in more than 40 hospitals around the country to help medical staff.
MicroMultiCopter, also in Shenzhen, is deploying drones to transport medical samples and conduct thermal imaging.
Meanwhile, advanced AI has been used to help diagnose the disease and accelerate the development of a vaccine.
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, claims its new AI-powered diagnosis system can identify coronavirus infections with 96% accuracy.
“In the battle against Covid-19, emerging technologies have stood out by making immense contributions in an unexpected, creative and amazingly responsive way,” said Lu Chuanying, a senior official at Shanghai-based Global Cyberspace Governance.
They have helped “arrest or contain the spread of the deadly virus, thus becoming one of the most reliable and trustworthy means of combating Covid-19,” hewrote in an article for state-run China Daily newspaper.