4 technologies to be ready for COVID 19 and beyond

The coronavirus has disrupted operations for public health systems, making it extremely difficult for them to deliver the services that citizens need to stay safe and healthy.

Best practices from past outbreaks like the SARS and MERS have proven to be inadequate, but effective use of digital technologies can help fight the current and future public health crises more effectively.

This paper discusses four technologies that can transform operations for public health agencies, enabling them to respond early to contain any epidemic and deliver the right services to the population that demands the most care during crisis.

  • Process automation – Bots can be programmed to take care of repetitive functions like provider enrollment, identity verification etc. and allow public health staff to do more with limited resources. Process automation can also be used to share real-time information about testing etc.
  • Big data, artificial intelligence, and automated data science – Pathogens like the Coronavirus generate a lot of data that gets captured through a variety of devices and systems. This multi-source, multi-format data can be turned into actions through use of automated data science technologies.
  • Internet of things (IoT) and mobility – A lot of patient generated data is transmitted through mobile and IoT devices. In an epidemic or a pandemic situation, these devices can provide several functional capabilities such as real time data capture, case detection and contact tracing.
  • Blockchain – From replicating, sharing and synchronizing data across systems to tracking and verification of essential supplies, blockchain technology can help public sector organizations assure service delivery.