HKUST’s All-Round Efforts to Help Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

HKUST’s All-Round Efforts to Help Fight COVID- The unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 since December 2019 has been sweeping across continents, with confirmed cases surpassing 220,000 and death toll exceeding 8,000 worldwide to date. This highly contagious virus has quickly flared up elsewhere and become an unforeseen global challenge. The entire HKUST community as a global citizen has a role to play in the concerted response to this significant public health threat. P revention Hong Kong is one of the world’s major destinations for tourists and business visitors, which poses a high risk of the novel coronavirus being transmitted from inbound travelers. Body temperature checks on inbound visitors is the first step to identify febrile subjects, as fever is one of the apparent symptoms of COVID-19 infection. A team led by Prof. Richard SO developed a novel smart fever screening system that tracks human faces to detect body temperature using AI and deep learning. The device, being set up on the HKUST campus and in 16 Hong Kong boundary control points, enhances our defense against the spread of the disease and our ability to detect early symptoms of fever for timely medical assistance. P revention M itigation Additionally, a research team from Dacang Robots, a startup incubated at Blue Bay, the incubating arm established by HKUST R and D Corporation (Shenzhen) Ltd., combined infrared temperature measurement and AI algorithm technologies to develop a rapid long-distance multiperson body temperature screening system with a parallel measurement approach. With 0.05 degrees Celsius accuracy, the device has already been deployed in multiple locations including supermarkets in mainland China. P revention The 14-day compulsory quarantine order imposed on people from overseas has incurred high monitoring cost to the Hong Kong government. To offer a smart and cost-effective solution to save manpower resources, a research team led by Prof. Gary CHAN developed an automated geo- fencing technology that applies machine learning and data analytics techniques to analyze multifarious environmental signals such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular in a particular place of the home confinee to achieve accurate monitoring. The technology has already been adopted by the government. Since the start of the outbreak, many hospitals and hotels in mainland China have been turned into isolation wards for quarantine purposes. To prevent cross-infection through minimizing human contacts, hundreds of robots, developed by a company founded by our alumnus Felix ZHANG, were sent to more than 100 hospitals and quarantined spots across 20 provinces in mainland China and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong for serving food and medication to patients under treatment.

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