Taiwan used crowdsourced data and technology to control COVID-19, says GlobalData

Taiwan’s success in keeping the COVID-19 numbers low compared to other countries has been possible, in part, with the use of technology and crowdsourced data, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Taiwan created a pool of big data sets and generated real-time alerts for healthcare providers by tracking the 14-day travel histories and symptoms of its citizens. This enabled proactive screening of patients for infection and monitoring of quarantined people. In addition, the government quickly reacted to the technology solutions provided by the private sector. For example, it quickly approved an ‘online real time-map’ that showed the availability of critical supplies such as masks.

GlobalData’s report, ‘CountryFocus: Healthcare, Regulatory and Reimbursement Landscape – Taiwan’, reveals that Taiwan offers myriad opportunities in health-tech sector with an aim to emerge as one among the world’s most advanced technological nations.

Pratibha Thammanabhatla, Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Mobile phone tracking helped the Taiwan government to minimize the transmission of infection to an extent. Phone signals of home quarantined people were monitored and local officials were alerted if patients break the quarantine. The government also offered perks to patients, who followed quarantine rules and penalized the ones who did not. The success of this method helped in keeping the number of confirmed cases to low as there were only 488 confirmed cases and 7 deaths by the end of August 2020.”

Taiwan also used social media to crowdsource data and this has helped in understanding the disease dynamics, draw conclusions on the extent of social distancing and engage citizens into the legislative decision-making process by giving digital questionnaires with an option to provide their comments, suggestions and/or rating. This shows the commitment of both the government and population in monitoring and mitigating the pandemic.

Ms. Thammanabhatla concludes: “Taiwan managed to control the disease by being prepared and by using digital channels to communicate transparent and correct information to its people. This is a testament to the nation’s clever and sensible approach to healthcare and disease prevention”.

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