As governments across the globe continue responding to COVID-19’s devastation, the mobile sector is playing a crucial role in tackling the pandemic and enhancing health services’ response to it, a newly released report from GSMA says.
While the report found that the pandemic had upended people’s lives, health, and business sectors, people were using technological innovation to adapt to new ways of doing things.
“In this unprecedented situation, people are quickly adapting to innovative ways of connecting and doing business empowered by connectivity, and digital transformation is no longer just a question but an action for many industries,” the report said.
According to the report, during the construction of two new hospitals in China to treat COVID-19 patients, mobile operators including China Telecom and China Mobile working with Huawei deployed 4G/5G communication networks which resulted in adequate mobile coverage in the hospitals.
It added that the deployment of 4G/5G networks assisted with remote consultation and telemedicine as mobile operators were able to construct up to eight 4G/5G network sites in less than 30 hours following the construction of the hospitals.
In African countries like Uganda, Nigeria, and South Africa, information and communication technologies have been at the forefront of ensuring that social and physical distancing measures are observed, the report noted.
Recently, South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, spoke about the importance of technological innovation in tackling the virus while receiving Huawei Cloud, Artificial Intelligence diagnostic systems, and four thermal scanning systems.
“The Al-empowered diagnosis tool assists medical workers to ascertain if someone has COVID – 19. The accuracy for this tool is over 98 percent with CT scan review times reduced by over 80%,” the GSMA report stated.
The report also revealed how Ghana was using ICTs to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, this month launched an app designed to help in tracing people who have come into contact with COVID-19 positive individuals and link them to health professionals.
The pandemic “has changed fundamentally” the way people communicate, work, shop, learn, and entertain, as life moves from offline to online, the report pointed out.
“In this unprecedented situation, people are quickly adapting to innovative ways of connecting and doing business empowered by connectivity,” it said.
Thus, the report said digital transformation “is no longer just a question but an action for many industries.”