Covid-19 | Innovative technologies in response to the crisis | vision of the future

The first Tech Talk dedicated to the topics of the moment and projected to the future is dedicated to COVID-19: how would have we responded with the technology of the future? Scenarios and projections on the fight against pandemics in the next 20 years.

The talk, moderated by  Jacopo Montigiani, General Manager of JSB, saw the participation of Duccio Micela, JSB Software Project Specialist and Leone Tronconi, Innovation Manager of Timenet Srl.

Looking at the COVID 19 situation at the moment, in all contexts we have great difficulty in understanding data and even collecting them, why?

[Duccio] We have inherited from the past a proliferation of silos systems, which do not communicate with each other , everyone is made with their own structure: a comparison that I like is the building, in which it is evident that the most ancient cities have different evolutions of the town plan, each independent from the previous ones. The result is a list of systems that do not communicate and that create slowdowns in data circulation, just as the above-mentioned zoning plan creates slowdowns in traffic circulation. I read for example that with regard to the number of infected with COVID, in addition to the uncertainty due to the fact that the known cases depends heavily on the number of those subjected to a test, we should also consider the delay in the responses due to the overloading of the laboratories that lead them and therefore the lack of contemporaneity, to mention one of the ALCOA parameters that we have in clinical practice, but also the fact that the same person could be tested several times counting each results as a new case.

What about the infrastructure?

[Leone] Here are some data to understand the problem. We can understand a lot by looking at the MIX traffic statistics or analyze the peak traffic on Whatsapp: in Italy group calls, in terms of time, on Messenger and Whatsapp have increased by over 1,000%. What is happening leads to a comparison between the Internet and the road and highway network: the latter is designed for a medium traffic, what would happen if we were forced to move by car without being able to walk, by bus, train, metro, plane?

And for tomorrow’s sake, “What vision do we have?

[Leone] Surely it will change and in part the habit of using the Internet has already changed. Today, the few companies that still work develop +30% of traffic compared to February. When all activities will reopen, the Internet connections of our companies, which were properly sized for the needs of February, could be undersized. In future we will need more speed for users, more connection between things and also manage priorities natively.

As for the applications we use today, what is the vision for the future? What road or tools do we have to get there?

[Duccio] Having immediate answers thanks to integration between software and consequently automation, speed and security. Basically we have platforms that talk to each other, without having to re-enter the data all the time or worry about reconciliations.

Having an unique platform that allows you to guide the access to the underlying data ready-to-use and protected by a layer of intelligent security, allowing you to extract ad hoc reporting (business intelligence), data mining (explore new correlations between data) and all machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to obtain information inductively from the available data.

Are there other technological aspects that could one day change the way we face a new crisis in 10/20 years?

[Leone] I would analyze for example two aspects: the way of receiving/finding information and the way of tracing the patient: ex-ante (I understand that you are sick); ex-post (I follow your subsequent course).

As regards the first point:

  • today the way to receive or find information is by asking unofficial sources such as web and social media that may present reliability problems or official sources such as toll-free numbers that may present reachability problems.
  • in the future the way to receive or find information will be through the Artificial Intelligence, for example Chat Bot (an experiment under development with Awhy).

In this way also the official sources will have an unlimited reachability (responds a ‘Robot’ and not a human) and there will be an experience of use natural and multichannel (Web/ WA/ Telegram/ FB Messanger).

As for the way of tracing the patient:

  • Today it starts out in a “manual” way: I understand that you are ill, the first diagnosis is left to the subjectivity of the patient, the next to the direct “contact” of the doctor. It is very difficult to foresee I follow your course, which is one of the complicated aspects.
  • Tomorrow the way of tracing the patient will pass through Iot: for example through wearables always connected to the Internet that constantly measure some clinical data (temperature, pressure, saturation, etc.). An example here. In this case I understand that you could be/are going to get sick, I “warn” you (it is not you who warns me), detecting possible outbreaks in real-time.

We were struck reading this article of Nature, seeing the “vote” that Blockchain got, lower than the others, and yet many times we have said that the positive impacts of blockchain on everyone’s life will be very high. Why?

[Leone] The reason is that the article is centered on the point of view “impact on public-health strategies” so from the side of “public health care” it would be equally important and interesting to assess the point of view of the individuals. In this case, let’s take for example the item “Insurance claims”, which has a very low rating, and think that you have a system that simply by entering the medical records data directly triggers the request for insurance coverage (thanks to blockchain). I would say that the positive impact for the patient is obvious and immediate, especially because it occurs during a situation of discomfort and even illness of the individual who is affected, which therefore certainly has other thoughts.

Download the slides shared during the Talk and follow the upcoming #readyfortomorrow campaign appointments on our LinkedIn page.