It’s been used by governments to gauge effects of the pandemic, but how have data analytics practices been used to aid COVID-19 recovery?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the sociological and economic effects become evident, and thus, many nations, businesses and individuals are exploring coronavirus recovery strategies based on data analytics. What must happen to get things back on track, and which efforts might pay off more than others?
People often discuss data analytics and COVID-19 as a combined concept these days. Scientists and public health officials face a novel coronavirus, and the race is on to learn as much about how it affects people as possible. Those are undoubtedly valid efforts, but there’s also a shift toward analysing data to facilitate improvements during and after the coronavirus outbreak.
Finding new, efficient ways to help businesses recover
Some people speak of the coronavirus as an invisible enemy. They discuss how the people affected by it must behave as if fighting a war. The world has bounced back after wartime before, but has never dealt with this type of coronavirus. Thus, previous efforts to aid recovery will not necessarily apply as people try to find the best ways forward.
Rolls-Royce had that reality in mind when it invited data experts to work together on a project to propel economic recovery by analysing information. The idea is to identify the top indicators of economic recovery cycles, plus determine what industries, individual businesses and governments could do to minimise economic recessions.
The parties participating in the alliance will also attempt to pinpoint how COVID-19 changed people’s behaviors and what those alterations may mean for future coronavirus recovery strategies. The group will make its findings freely available, allowing anyone interested to learn from them.
Collaborating to explore increased and improved data-driven methods
Some data experts also realise how collaboration is the key to effective economic recovery. They’re sharing data with relevant parties, then letting those entities offer insights to aid everyone involved.
Government ministers in Australia recently met via teleconference to talk about new ways to use data. They recognised that traditional means of delivering services to the individuals or businesses needing them is no longer feasible as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. A question brought up during the meeting concerned how parties could engage in data sharing more frequently while securely providing people with necessary assistance.
Receiving information from several jurisdictions across Australia instead of only looking at content from a single source could help officials better determine which areas are struggling the most. The data could also illuminate what kind of help officials could offer people in particular locations.
A more specific example of working together with data to encourage coronavirus recovery strategies relates to the aviation sector. One project between the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) and a company called Aireon examines Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data from 66 satellites to determine the pre- and post-COVID-19 impacts. Airlines and cargo companies could use it for improved flight targeting to enhance profitability.
CANSO director general Simon Hocquard explained: “Aircraft are still flying and quite a lot in some parts of the world. As with any crisis, confusion reigns supreme, and only through timely and accurate data and analysis can we find our way out of the crisis. Now more than ever, we need data to help, to understand the current crisis, and charge our way through it.”
Digging into data to learn about the needs of particular populations
Health officials often rely on geospatial data to learn about how COVID-19 affects certain regions and communities. For example, some public-facing tools let people input their symptoms or report their well-being so medical experts can learn more about at-risk groups or cities. Plus, industries such as telecommunications, retail and insurance used geospatial data to make more accurate assessments before the coronavirus. Such evaluations could spur recoveries, too.
For example, telecommunications companies could determine which areas would benefit most from an infrastructure upgrade that enables more enterprises to use high-tech options, like connected equipment and apps, to get their businesses running again. By comprehending the links between data analytics and COVID-19, people in positions of power could make more confident decisions about how to spur noticeable, beneficial recoveries.
QuadMed, a company specialising in employer-sponsored health options, recently announced its partnership with a data analytics provider to learn more about COVID-19 risk factors. For example, looking at how a patient’s age or health conditions may make COVID-19 more or less likely to affect them enables scientists to see which segments of people may be at an increased risk of contracting the disease.
Companies using QuadMed for their employee health care needs can also employ a home-based COVID-19 care kit. It contains monitoring equipment, such as a pulse oximeter, to gauge a person’s recovery. When those in power have information about COVID-19 risk groups, it’s easier to provide supplies to reduce negative consequences, thereby facilitating speedier recoveries.
Developing a long-term response to the pandemic
Medical experts warn the coronavirus will threaten society for a while. Curbing the spread of the virus eases the burden on health services, but doesn’t make COVID-19 go away.
The Italian health system uses data analytics in various ways, such as determining complications, allocating resources and identifying clues in medical records. The hope is that studying the data could personalise the efforts made to help each patient recover and predict the length of their hospital stays. Artificial intelligence algorithms could also get smarter with use and aid health care professionals in making more effective decisions for sick patients.
Scientists are also looking at data analytics and COVID-19 while tracking what happens with ongoing clinical trials. For example, one project lists more than 600 studies and allows people to filter the results by treatment administered, virus severity and more. Such databases give crucial information to help decision-makers learn about the effectiveness of specific interventions versus others.
Progress Is Possible
The sheer global impact of the COVID-19 crisis understandably makes some people feel both hopeless and powerless. As this overview shows, however, data analytics are paving the way to positive outcomes.
Author: Kayla Matthews