News & Events

APR 2020 NEWS Aluko & Oyebode

The National Information Technology Development Agency (the ”NITDA”) in line with its mandate to develop, standardise and regulate Information technologies and data interchange has advocated for the use of Internet of Things (“IoT”) in the fight against COVID-19. The collection and collation of data on a real time basis has become critical in the fight against the pandemic, to support effective use and collection of data the NITDA has called on stakeholders in the health sector to leverage on  IoT as a  tool to determine virus indications through the analysis of real-time data collected by tracking individuals’ symptoms and ensure patients’ compliance and/or report breach of quarantine measures..

The NITDA also recognises that other technology such as the Geographic Information Systems (“GIS”) a critical tool for gathering managing and analysing data, can play a significant role in monitoring and ensuring the effectiveness/compliance of lockdowns by providing real time information on citizen’s activities and alerting law enforcement agents through location data and artificial intelligence where there have been breaches of the lockdown orders and government directives such as social distancing and the prohibition of large gatherings.

Other salient points in the statement issued by the NITDA include the use of IoT in during the lockdown as a tool to continue to (i) provide treatment of patients through telemedicine and virtual treatments without endangering lives of patients and health workers alike and (ii) curtail the spread of the virus by limiting visits to hospitals.

A number of countries including China, Taiwan and South Korea have adopted the use of IoT as tool to manage the pandemic. We have also seen the first of its kind with a huge collaboration between two major tech giants such as Apple and Google to help governments and health agency around the World reduce the spread of Covid-19. Whilst this is a welcome collaboration, the need to maintain privacy of users and security remains critical.