Putting technology to use against COVID-19

The world around us is in turmoil.

Most of the countries, including Pakistan, are facing lockdown situations for more than a month now while citizens, both old and young, continue to get infected at a steadily increasing rate.

To the horror of many, the situation is growing worse instead of getting under control. For now, there is no cure to the viral pandemic and only prevention is in our hands.

Being in lockdown is a tough situation further fueled by work from the home regime; we at BlueEast have decided to use our technology against COVID-19 and call-in all the help and contribution we can get from our in-house teams and people outside the company to join us in this noble cause.

The Challenges

Everyone in the technology sector should be focused on THREE big challenges:

  • Strengthening our healthcare infrastructure to cope up with the crisis
  • Revive the economy while controlling the further outbreak
  • Making an adjustment to our lifestyles for the post-pandemic world

Healthcare Infrastructure

From day ONE, the world knew that there were not enough ventilators.

In Pakistan, we have at best nearly 3000 ventilators in public and private hospitals. NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) has put in an initial requirement of 10,000 ventilators while for a nation of 220 million people, our hospitals should have ventilators in the tune of 150,000 to 200,000 in an ideal case.

We are running out of time!

Currently, the ICU (Intensive Care Units) are pretty much empty of critical COVID-19 patients in Pakistan but by the end of the month, if the trajectory of growth rate remained the same… they would be badly overloaded.

We need to beef up our health infrastructure fast!

Economy

The economies all over the world are under tremendous stress due to the lockdown.

Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves are estimated to deplete by another $3 billion to $8 billion while the currency may depreciate to Rs.170 against the US dollar by end of June and further to Rs.185 by December.

Pakistan could expect between 12.3 million to 18.5 million layoffs in different sectors of the economy in the aftermath of a partial or complete shutdown.

The impact of the COVID-19 on the economy can be better understood through THREE stages. The average monthly loss of Stage-I is estimated at Rs22 billion, Stage-II at Rs187 billion and Stage-III at Rs261 billion.

Stage-I: the education, hospitality, wholesale and retail trade sectors would be strongly affected. These sectors are also very vulnerable across the three stages. Job losses in these sectors have already begun.

Stage II: the wholesale and retail trade, agriculture, manufacturing, transport, and communications would be affected badly. Vulnerable employment is high in these sectors and they are also more sensitive to lockdowns.

The longer the lockdown… higher the monthly loss of each stage.

We need to come out of the lockdown quickly and keep the economy moving without risking the continued outbreak!

Post-Pandemic Life

We don’t have a cure for COVID-19 yet.

This means there would always be a threat of COVID-19 outbreak unless we make preventive actions part of our lives moving forward.

We need to keep the spread of the virus in check so that our health infrastructure can cope up with the disease. We need to make sure we don’t go into future lockdowns so that our economy can move without risking the continued outbreak.

This would only be possible if multiple measures and controls are in place to prevent the transmission of the virus and are part of our normal lives.

Putting our technology to use

Taking the current situation and the challenges ahead under consideration, we at BlueEast have picked up the gauntlet and our engineering and development teams are working to design and mass-produce:

  • Low-Cost Ventilators to contribute to beefing up the health infrastructure
  • Sanitization Gates to act as controlled entry points for businesses and facilities to come out of lockdown
  • Air Ionizers to de-activate the virus in the air to help prevent transmission

Low-Cost Ventilators – What’s being done?

Instead of reinventing the wheel, BlueEast is working on the mass-production of low-cost ventilators with collaboration with internationally renowned universities and ventilator manufacturers. Medical, Engineering and Logistics personnel from all over the world are invited in an open bid to ensure safety as well as efficiency.

The ventilator is supposed to be the most cost-effective solution for the healthcare industry in this crisis and while a lot is being said about ventilators manufacturing and optimization, most of the initiatives are not taking the job seriously.

We are aware that ventilators are a matter of life and death and are thus are fully focused on the durability and the reliability of the design. Once the design is complete, we plan to take the design to PEC (Pakistan Engineering Council) and DRAP (Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan) that operate on strict guidelines and standards. So far, 3 out of 48 designs submitted to them have been approved since most of them lacked the proper documentation for certification or missed the critical minimum requirements of an emergency COVID-19 ventilator.

BlueEast is ensuring the quality and the success of the design and Orient plans to mass-produce the ventilators after approval.

The ventilator project will not be a commercial activity but would rather be a donation or free of cost assistance to the government for the betterment of the people of Pakistan.

Smart Sanitization Gates – What are they?

We have started to work on producing smart sanitization gates that will be installed at the point of entries of all public places, including hospitals, workplaces, and laboratories.

The gate has been designed to automate and integrate three functions:

  • Screening
  • Disinfection
  • Monitoring

The gate will majorly be equipped with the ability to spray disinfectants on all who use the gate while entering and would also monitor body temperature by infrared technology.

Using Mevris our IoT platform, real-time analytics, reports, photographs, and live video will be sent to the cloud from where relevant authorities will be notified of the anomalies. They will be able to view the data in different user-friendly dashboard views.

The purpose of the gate will be to monitor and prevent any infected individuals who could go through the gate without apt screening and prior suitable actions. The gate will also serve as a notification for when a possible carrier is screened so that authorities might take the appropriate action.

BlueEast is in the final stages of designing the product while Orient is gearing up to mass-produce the gates to meet the demand spike once the lockdown is lifted.

Air Ionizers – How do they work?

Since there is no cure for COVID-19 yet, the best way forward is to minimize the transmission through preventive and corrective measures. We intend to use our Air Clean technology consisting of air ionizers in Orient air conditioners to prevent virus transmission through the air.

The Air Clean technology generates and emits the same positive (H+) and negative (O2-) ions that occur in nature. This is one-of-a-kind disinfection technology that suppresses the effects of airborne viruses.

The H+ and O2- ions adhere to the surface of airborne viruses and then change into highly oxidizing (OH) radicals. The OH radicals instantly remove Hydrogen (H) from surface proteins of the virus thus breaking them down. The OH radicals with removed Hydrogen (H) to form water (H2O). The water returns to air harmlessly while the virus is deactivated and breaks down.

A room with ionized air for a sufficient amount of time leads to air touching the surfaces and oxidizing action of OH- radicals start killing viruses on the surfaces.

Calling in all the help we can get!

If you have an idea or a skill that you want to pitch-in to fight COVID-19, we would love to have you on-board.

Please write to us at fight.covid19@blueeast.com

We are in this together!

As we make progress, updates will be shared about the lessons learned so far and the achievements made….