Coronavirus pushes robots to front lines of China's hospitals

The Japan Times

HONG KONG – The deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has pushed the Chinese medical community into overdrive, has also prompted the country's hospitals to more quickly adopt robots as medical assistants. Telepresence bots that allow remote video communication, patient health monitoring and safe delivery of medical goods are growing in number on hospital floors in urban China. They are now acting as safe go-betweens that help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Keenon Robotics Co., a Shanghai-based company, deployed 16 robots of a model nicknamed "Little Peanut" to a hospital in Hangzhou after a group of Wuhan travelers to Singapore were held in quarantine. Siasun Robot and Automation Co. donated seven medical robots and 14 catering robots to the Shenyang Red Cross to help hospitals combat the virus on Wednesday, according to a media release on the company's website.


From selfie taker to lifesaver: The smartphone grows up

BBC News

As the smartphone falls in price while its capabilities improve, it is becoming a valuable tool in the diagnosis of a growing number of diseases and ailments around the world. When Yonatan Adiri's mother fell down a bank and briefly lost consciousness when travelling in China, an initial diagnosis suggested she had a few broken ribs, but nothing more serious. Doctors were keen to fly her to Hong Kong for treatment. But Yonatan's father was worried and took photos of the CT [computerised tomography] scans of the injuries, emailing them to his son. Yonatan showed the images to a trauma doctor, who instantly diagnosed a punctured lung.


China tapping AI, big data to get a grip on coronavirus outbreak

The Japan Times

Beijing – A man who had traveled to Wuhan -- the city at the heart of China's coronavirus crisis -- was surprised when police showed up at his door after he returned home, asking to check his temperature. The man, who had quarantined himself at home in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, said he had not told anyone about his recent trip to the city. But by trawling through travel data from Wuhan, local authorities were able to identify him and dispatch officers to his home a week ago, according to a newspaper article posted by the Nanjing government. As Chinese authorities race to contain the spread of a new virus, which has infected more than 34,000 people and killed more than 700 in China, Beijing is turning to a familiar set of tools to find and prevent potential infections: data tracking and artificial intelligence. Several Chinese tech firms have developed apps to help people check if they have taken the same flight or train as confirmed virus patients, scraping data from lists published by state media.


Chinese gay dating app Blued temporarily halts registration after underage users reportedly contracted HIV

The Japan Times

BEIJING - Chinese gay dating app Blued is halting new user registration for a week, it said Sunday, following media reports that underage users caught HIV after going on dates set up via the world's largest networking app for the LGBT community. China has a vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender scene, though activists say conservative attitudes among some groups in society have prompted occasional government clampdowns. On Saturday, citing academic research, financial magazine Caixin said juveniles were heavily involved in the gay dating app, where some teenagers had even hosted live-streaming. It added that many gay teenagers had unprotected sex through the app and contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In response, Blued vowed to launch a "comprehensive content audit and regulation," and crack down on juvenile users posing as adults and on texts, pictures and groups that involve minors.


Chinese Gay Dating App Halts Registration After Underage HIV Report

U.S. News

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese gay dating app Blued is halting new user registration for a week, it said on Sunday, following media reports that underage users caught HIV after going on dates set up via the world's largest networking app for the LGBT community.