When faced with a global pandemic, nations around the world have resorted to geo-tracking technology and contact tracing to help mitigate the spread of the virus. That is why the French government is giving their StopCovid app another shot.
The StopCovid app is a Bluetooth-based proximity-tracking app that simply informs the user if they have been within close range of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. That person must register that he has been tested positive into the app itself, at which point, those who came into contact with the infected person are then notified. However, the identity of everyone involved remains anonymous, and the data is deleted after 24 hours.
With the country still in lockdown, the French government needs to find a way to allow for necessary travel plans to go ahead safely. The top priority of most governments is to keep their economy running.
“In the fight against Covid-19, technology can help,” said French Junior Tech Minister, Cedric O in an interview with Le Monde newspaper. “Nothing will be decided without a broad debate.”
Unlike other countries, it is illegal to track individual smart phones under French privacy law. This means that registering the StopCovid app is purely voluntary, which, as we’ve discussed in previous articles, may diminish its effectiveness. However, making it voluntary will prevent privacy violation issues later.
“We shouldn’t start a mind-trip over how repressive an application it would be,” O said. “Our scenario is one of a voluntary tool that could be un-installed at any time. Nobody will have access to the list of contaminated people, and it’ll be impossible to know who contaminated who.”
No single solution will provide the answer to the problem but technology of this kind along with other measures will help contain the contagion.
Robotics in the MENA region finds good footing amid virus
As the need for contactless health and safety solutions becomes ever-more essential, robotics in the MENA region is taking off. The forward-thinking startups, students, and entrepreneurial minds have stepped up to meet the growing demand by addressing a complex situation with hands-on solutions.
In the UAE, entrepreneur Aswin Sarang, understands that the demand for robotics in the MENA region is on the rise, and has developed several robots each capable of performing a certain task which include delivering food and medicine, sanitization services, and checking for fever.
“The idea is to sterilize infected areas and surfaces, such as hospitals, endemic neighborhoods and isolation rooms, to prevent doctors, health workers and volunteers from being infected.” Said Aswin Sarang – Head of Robotics & AI at Reliable Robotics.
The company supports healthcare authorities, airports, malls, as well as the private sector.
Recently, Reuters reported on an Egyptian engineer Mahmoud el-Komy who put his healthcare robot to the test with positive results. The robot was made to deliver routine healthcare duties such as taking temperature and testing for COVID-19 all via remote control.
The robot also delivers health information to the patients.
“There has been a positive response from patients. They saw the robot and weren’t afraid. On the contrary, there is more trust in this because the robot is more precise than humans.”
The drive to develop robotics in the MENA region seems to be sparking passion among the youth as well. In Lebanon, two engineering students created a cleaner bot of their own to sterilize indoor spaces like hospital rooms and offices. The cleaner bot costs $700/$800 to produce and can be rented out for cleaning at a fee of $50/$70 per session, depending on the size of the job arabnews.com reported.
On demand sterilization service robotics in the MENA region and around the world may see a similar rise in demand post-pandemic. Performing routine tasks that limit human exposure can be safer and more efficient for consumers and businesses alike.
The multi-cloud adoption boom
As the rapid advancements in tech continue – fueled by the current pandemic – we find ourselves stretching our limits and breaking boundaries. An important area that has gained significant traction this year is cloud computing, and more specifically, multi-cloud adoption.
What is multi-cloud?
For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, a multi-cloud environment Is when an enterprise utilizes more than one cloud platform and delivers a specific function, application, or service. Multi-clouds can be made up of private, public, and edge clouds to achieve a datacenter’s end goals and objectives.
Multi-cloud adoption garnered a significant increase to 70 percent year-over-year in 2020, outpacing the previous year by a whopping 20 percent.
Current State of multi-cloud
The Continuous Intelligence Report The State of Modern applications, DevSecOps and the Impact of COVID-19 from Sumo Logic revealed that customers adopted 3 main vendors to meet their cloud needs; CloudTrail (60 percent), VPC Flow Logs (34 percent) and GuardDuty (22 percent) respectively.
The report is developed from data that is aggregated from more than 2100 Sumo Logic customers that run applications over several major cloud platforms as well as on-premises environments. The report highlighted the importance of securing cloud workloads via the adoption of both cloud-native security technologies and available cloud data sources.
Furthermore, the pandemic has highlighted how important remote work is – and that is where cloud-computing shines bright. The rise in multi-cloud adoption led enterprises to modern cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
It is noteworthy to mention that AWS regional centers in the EU and US were among the top targets for hackers, according to the Sumo Logic’s global intelligence.
What are the benefits of multi-cloud adoption?
- Flexibility: No single cloud can perform most business functions, or at least no single cloud can do everything well. Integrating multi-cloud can allocate the right cloud platform to the right business function
- Proximity: By hosting some workloads through regional cloud providers that operate closer to where the user is, the enterprise would be greatly enhancing a user’s experience
- Failover: As a failover solution, multi-cloud adoption can protect an enterprise from outages by providing readily available and highly scalable backup for data and workflows for systems
Why GovTech adoption during COVID-19 is a must
GovTech is a new term that refers to the modernization and/or digitization of government services for better accessibility and efficiency of public services. A mouth full, but this suggests a need for governments to do what the private sector has been doing from the start: embrace and incorporate industry 4.0 technology. However, to do so on a governmental level is complex.
The tech revolution occurring around the world, accelerated by the pandemic will not wait for governments to search their paper file cabinet for a solution. Citizens’ expectations of speed and efficiency are set higher by the private sector.
Too many authorities in developing nations, and many government-managed institutions in developed nations, are woefully behind on tech adoption within their systems.
According to the World Bank’s definition as stated in their brief, GovTech is essentially about putting people first.
“GovTech is a whole-of-government approach to public sector modernization that promotes simple, accessible, and efficient government”.
Governments who had already begun improving their digital infrastructure before the pandemic, had a better chance of curbing outbreaks after the initial wave with known exceptions. Namely the US and UK.
Examples of GovTech used well during the pandemic can be found more to the east, in Singapore and South Korea among others, where data-gathering and citizen compliance with safety measures worked well to begin with.
Still, in the United states we see examples of GovTech being implemented even before the pandemic.
In areas of infrastructure, 120 Water Audit was recently launched, a cloud-based water management software, that a government on any level and size can use to minimize water waste.
During the pandemic, we have seen companies like BlueDot develop early warning systems to predict outbreaks, allowing governments to react preemptively. These systems used data gathered from numerous data sets from news, medical records and airlines to detect certain trends using their algorithm.
In the future, we should expect better GovTech adoption in public health services. Governments must work with the private sector to secure the right systems and consolidate their systems for better data collection. Undoubtedly, this is a long-term process.
Robotics in the MENA region finds good footing amid virus
Virus keeps Black Friday crowds thin, shoppers shift online
For Big Tech, Biden brings a new era but no ease in scrutiny
Closing the gap in mobile connectivity
5 Reasons Why… Telecoms is Important in Society
Telecom Sales Strategies that will Bring You Success in 2020
NEOM: A $500 Billion smart-city to be built in Saudi Arabia
Advantages and drawbacks of Voice Recognition Technology
- MedTech2 weeks ago
Pfizer and BioNTech develop vaccine candidate against COVID-19
- Press Releases3 weeks ago
Transforming Culture in the Kingdom: How ‘stc’ Focused on People to Compete in the Digital Age
- News4 weeks ago
Walmart abandons shelf-scanning robots, lets humans do work
- MedTech3 weeks ago
AI Against Covid-19 – can your cough reveal your condition?
- Feature Articles3 weeks ago
TelkomONE to become South Africa’s first streaming platform
- MedTech1 week ago
Vaccine warriors: Promising clinical results from Moderna and Pfizer
- Feature Articles2 weeks ago
Three ways Fintech is empowering youth in Africa
- 5G3 weeks ago
The (relay) race is on for CSPs to capture 5G revenue