Digital technologies will help build resilient communities after the coronavirus pandemic

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has a negative impact on the health and economic system, a positive phenomenon is also taking place - the pandemic has provided opportunities for businesses, universities, and communities to innovate.

Digital technologies are at the forefront of high-impact activities around the world. Community and public health leaders manage tasks in a timely manner and meet urgent needs with accessible technologies that do not require much technical knowledge.

There are digital technologies such as Social Media, mobile applications, cloud computing and analytics that help communities cope with the pandemic. Also, digital technologies can be effectively implemented during each phase of a crisis.

Phase 1: Signal detection

Being able to identify potential threats from rivers of data is no easy task. Readily available digital technologies such as social media and mobile apps are useful for signal detection. They offer connectivity any time and anywhere, and allow for rapid sharing and transmission of information.

Phase 2: Prevention and preparation

Readily available digital technologies such as cloud computing and analytics enable remote and decentralized activities to support training and simulations that heighten community preparedness. 

Phase 3: Containment

Although crises cannot always be averted, they can be contained. Big data analytics can isolate hot spots, limiting exposure of larger populations to the virus. Taiwan implemented active surveillance and screening systems to quickly react to COVID-19 cases and implement measures to control its spread.

Phase 4: Recovery

Readily available digital technologies can help a community get back on its feet by enabling people to share experiences and resource information.