Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Tech aids Singapore in dealing with COVID19 Pandemic



Since December last year, the novel COVID-19 outbreak began and continues to expand worldwide, resulting in loss of lives, impact on global health, economy and so forth. All nations are tirelessly putting their effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. While this pandemic is hard to control, Singapore is tackling COVID-19 using its strongest weapon i.e. technology. This country seems to be using more digital products than other nations to contain and track the virus spread.

Below are some of the technologies, that Singapore uses to tackle COVID-19.


Surveillance

Singapore was one of the few countries, which successfully reduced the spread of COVID-19 infection via various tools and data. It has already installed surveillance tools like CCTV cameras at airports and public locations.  By combining the CCTV visualization data with the Internet of Things (IoT), authorities monitor individuals who are quarantined.  For instance, the government has made it mandatory that residents returning from abroad should undergo 14 days of self-isolation. Here CCTV instantly reports the residents if and when they go out. Residents who violate the rules are at the risk of either being fined or sentenced to 6 months in jail.

Trace Together     

Singaporean Government Technology Agency (GovTech) has developed a mobile app - TraceTogether.  The app is capturing anonymous data of people who come in proximity, using Bluetooth technology. Therefore a memory data of the people who pass by each other in daily life is stored by the app.  The public of Singapore is encouraged to install this app by its government.   

 How Tracetogether works

When someone is COVID-19 positive, the app helps to tracks all those who has come in contact with the infected individual. While the app generates data to track the spread, detection and prevention of possible local transmissions is done by identifying all those who have come into contact and quarantining them.

Online Screening 

Singapore clinicians and computer scientists have created an online system for the public to self-check if they have COVID-19 infection and to decide if they need medication. This online symptom checker asks the user a series of questions with options such as their age, travel history, symptoms if any, etc. Then the participant’s one-click response to each question is collected. This collected data provides an overview of the public concerns regarding COVID-19 to the ministry of health. The government then addresses the major concerns of people and tries to reduce the panic governing the pandemic.  
 
 Online Screening Tool

Public Advisory

The Singapore government introduced an effective way to communicate with the people using the popular tool i.e., WhatsApp and its verified data transfer methodology. Using this method, one-way WhatsApp messages are sent to the public of Singapore. 

This effective public advisory prevents the spread of misinformation. There are 4 official languages in Singapore – Chinese, English, Malay, and Tamil. The National WhatsApp messages are being sent in different languages according to the person’s choice. This translation of government-approved COVID-19 messages is possible by using artificial intelligence (AI) tool called “Form.sgon delivering verified data to the public, the government can encode the chat to the cloud for future needs. 
             

 
 Singapore Govt Whatsapp forum

Crowd Sourcing

Singapore is also using tech websites to provide supplies to people in quarantine. For example, MaskGoshare provides data on the people in need of supplies. Using their postal code, donors can contribute to the neighboring community. 

Other websites like maskgowhere and ContributeSG the government to segregate and offer information for collecting and donating masks. In addition to this, the website NCovChat is providing answers to COVID-19 queries from the general public refers to verified information. 

Prediction Models

Singapore has made several changes to its health care sector using the data collected from past epidemics like SARS, Swine flu and Zika virus. For instance, the collected data helps in making decisions such as building special wards at the hospital. These experiences of combating outbreaks in the past and having corresponding health care data, are helpings the government to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The Ministry of health releases Corona infection summary and various data depictions online to keep the general public well informed on the situation. 

While we are still learning more about COVID-19 virus spread and preventative measures, innovations in technology can aid in combating the virus spread. If you have an idea for an application that could be of use in the battle against Covid19, contact us to bring it to reality.


Kiruba
Solution Consultant

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