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Big data can help fight covid19

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Colm Imbert –

BIG data can help government efforts to curb the spread of covid19 in Trinidad and Tobago and bring relief to those who need it most.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert made the comments when speaking on Wednesday during the second day of the UN-TT Big Data 2021 virtual forum.

Big data is defined as extremely large data sets that can be analyzed by computer to reveal patterns, trends and associations, especially with respect to human behavior and interactions.

“There is no denying that the unprecedented disruption caused by the covid19 pandemic has accelerated the need for digital transformation. The pandemic has also demonstrated how interdependent people are and how essential and useful data is in their daily lives. “

Big data can help efforts to curb the spread of covid19.

Imbert said: “Predictive modeling can be used to generate updated coronavirus spread maps, so the public can see which regions are expected to experience an increase in cases of covid19 infection.”

These models, he continued, are very diverse. They may include exploring people’s reactions to covid19 on social media, generating data-driven models to assess covid19 interventions, monitoring bed capacity in hospitals, and working on genome sequencing of the patient. virus to assess what we know about covid19.

Predictive mapping technologies that involve big data can also be used to position healthcare workers, supplies, field hospitals, and other resources, where they need it most.

Imbert also said: “Analyzing big data in the public sector will allow us to identify double payments and double charges, in order to eliminate waste and duplication. ”

He said this was helpful in ensuring the delivery of assistance to those who needed it most, especially during the pandemic.

Imbert said the Department of Social Development and Family Services, the government department responsible for delivering social services to the public, is implementing an Integrated Social Business Management Solution (ISEMS) to improve its operations at this regard.

“This ministry ensures the effective and efficient functioning of the (social services) sector by providing a network of integrated and accessible social programs and services.

He added that big data can help identify bad stuff in the system.

“This is essential because we have to make sure that the people who need help are those who receive it.”

Aside from covid19, Imbert said big data has other applications that the Department of Health is currently pursuing. These include geospatial applications to identify the location of people with respect to mosquitoes and airborne viruses, and using this information to contain epidemics in communities and implement a system of health information (HIS). The SIS will provide a centralized repository for all patient records and is based on the “one patient, one record” concept. Imbert said the SIS is expected to be implemented in the new Point Fortin and Arima hospitals as a first step, before expanding to other TT hospitals.


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