Healthcare sectors across the globe are in tremendous pressure today as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) upended world economies and everyday lifestyle. While leaders are probing for measures to contain the spread, the pandemic continues to highlight the shortcomings of the healthcare system around the world. Although we can all agree that there is no country fully prepared for an unprecedented crisis like COVID-19, the past few weeks have proven that some countries may be at higher risk compared to the others.
As of 26 March 2020, the global infection has crossed half a million cases, claiming the lives of 23,000 people worldwide. Underdeveloped countries, such as India and the Philippines are facing major disruptions to their lives as they look to contain the pandemic through measures such as extreme lockdowns. Meanwhile, several leading smart cities are adopting a ‘business as usual’ attitude – employing their digital smarts to ensure accurate contact tracing, while ensuring that work continues despite the social distancing measures taken to limit spread.
Singapore’s recent launch of the TraceTogether app is one such example, and since its launch less than a fortnight ago has already garnered about one million downloads – roughly just under 20 percent of the city’s population. The app which automates the recording of data between users who come into close proximity, will prove to be a potent tool in the smart city’s quest to optimise contact tracing procedures. Singapore plans to open source the technology in order to allow other nations and cities to adopt its solution – underlining its massive contributions on the global and regional stage despite its size.
Singapore has not been the only nation in the headlines for innovation, and COVID-19 has been a major driver for digital transformation in many parts of the world. A start-up from Italy recently 3D printed replacement ventilator valves for a hospital facing shortage – and is a great…