Article | April 20, 2020

How the Tech Sector is Fighting the Pandemic

Gary Shapiro

Our nation’s leaders are aggressively fighting the spread of COVID-19. And technology innovations are proving essential in mitigating the pandemic’s impact on our health and economy.

Digital health tech remains critical – and CTA members are on the front lines.

Bosch LLC rolled out a new COVID-19 test that can diagnose in less than three hours and help efforts to fight the outbreak.

Johnson & Johnson is working with Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority – an arm of the federal Department of Health and Human Services – to develop and produce an experimental coronavirus vaccine that could be ready for human testing this fall.

Wyze’s iHealth No-Touch Thermometer is a contactless tool for health care environments.

Our member companies are also providing important services to essential workers and helping stimulate the flagging U.S. economy.

• Google provided a $340 million grant to U.S. small businesses and recently announced a new $800+ million commitment to help the World Health Organization prevent the spread of COVID-19 globally.

• Apple and Google collaborated on a tool to track potential exposure of COVID-19 among individuals. And Apple sourced, procured and donated 10 million masks for the U.S. and millions more for the hardest hit regions in Europe.

• Amazon is providing safe and contactless access to groceries and household staples – something more than half of U.S. online homes have used or plan to try. The company has already added 100,000 jobs to the economy – and will add 75,000 more, while implementing industry-leading safety measures for employees such as masks, temperature checks and scalable testing.

Uber is providing 10 million rides and food deliveries to health care workers, seniors and people in need, free of charge.

Airbnb launched a new global initiative to provide free or subsidized housing for health care professionals, relief workers and first responders, typically closer to where they are working.

Tech companies are helping us be safe, comfortable, healthy and productive in our homes.

AT&T is creating a Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund to give parents, students and teachers tools they need for at-home learning.

GlucoseZone is offering its digital exercise therapy for people living with diabetes, for free.

Doctor on Demand video visits help avoid exposure and reduce the risk of being exposed to germs in a waiting room.

Fitbit is joining The Scripps Research Translational Institute to determine if tracking changes in heart rate, activity and sleep, at the individual level, can provide an early indication of a viral illness.

I’m proud of our industry’s response to this crisis. Technology is keeping us healthy, informed, connected, fed and entertained while so many millions of us are staying at home. And our member companies’ innovations have us better equipped to handle public health emergencies, contain the spread of diseases and remain productive and engaged while outside the office.