Guest blog: how technology can combat COVID-19?

Julian Lageard of Intel and Chair of techUK’s Sustainable Supply Chain Group considers how technology can combat COVID-19 and help society be better prepared for future crises?


The world is facing an unprecedented challenge in the fight against coronavirus COVID-19. If access to technology is accelerated not only can the current pandemic be combatted but also new technology and scientific discovery can be enabled that better prepares society for future crises.

By sharing expertise, resources and technology, we can help to speed up work that is going to save lives and expand access to critical services around the globe. Last week, Intel announced a $ 50 million Pandemic Response Technology Initiative on top of prior donations of $ 10 million given to local communities.

Most of the money will fund the Intel COVID-19 Response and Readiness and Online Learning initiatives. The Intel COVID-19 Response and Readiness Initiative will provide funding to accelerate customer and partner advances in diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development, leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing and edge-to-cloud service delivery. Through the initiative, Intel will help healthcare and life sciences manufacturers increase the availability of technology and solutions used by hospitals to diagnose and treat COVID-19. It will also support the creation of industry alliances that accelerate worldwide capacity, capability and policy to respond to this and future pandemics, building on Intel’s own experience in driving technology innovation in the health and life sciences arena.

The Intel Online Learning Initiative will support education-focused nonprofit organizations and business partners to provide students without access to technology with devices and online learning resources. In close partnership with public school districts, the initiative will enable PC donations, online virtual resources, study-at-home guides and device connectivity assistance. The Intel Online Learning Initiative builds on Intel’s long-standing commitment to technology that improves learning. It will begin immediately in regions with the greatest needs across the United States and expand globally.

Intel has also allocated up to $10 million for an innovation fund that supports requests from external partners and employee-led relief projects, addressing critical needs in their communities.

In the UK, Intel is working with Dyson and medical consultancy firm TTP to supply FPGAs for CoVent, a new ventilator specifically designed in response to the UK government’s request for help. The ventilator is pending regulatory approval and is designed to be bed mounted. In addition to volunteering efforts of UK-based Intel employees through our ‘Intel Involved’ programme, Intel donated a large number of face shields and laptops to the NHS which have been put to good and immediate use on the front line.

Technology underpins critical products and services that global communities, governments and healthcare organizations depend on every day. We hope that by harnessing our expertise, resources, technology and talents, we can help save and enrich lives by solving the world’s greatest challenges through the creation and development of new technology-based innovations and approaches.

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