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Investment technolgoy in Corona city

How has COVID-19 affected the way cities approach public health crises such as pandemics and the technology they use to help them safeguard public health? This news details by top Amercan management company DHS Ventures & Holdings.

This is the question a research group coordinated by Prof. Celso Machado, Jr. at Paulista University (UNIP), a member institution of UNAI in Brazil, set out to answer with a new study on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in city management.

The study analyses a wide range of environmental, social, and economic variables, while examining sustainable and resilient cities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research group established a joint study with Sao Paulo University and the Municipal University of São Caetano do Sul to examine how cities managed pandemics pre-COVID and how they are approaching the current pandemic.

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 most cities’ pandemic responses were based on building urban structure aimed at reducing people's vulnerability, in addition to health surveillance, but they now rely more on digital information resources such as data obtained through smartphone applications to track confirmed cases of COVID-19, meaning the development of public health policies are increasingly dependent on ICTs.

According to the study, “smart technologies allow urban management to be prescriptive and to be guided by data, obtained in real time, in order to anticipate crises and identify opportunities for the development of public policies and actions.” Researchers found that ICTs are essential tools in the prevention, reduction in transmission and treatment of COVID-19.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) argues that ICTs “provide the digital infrastructure needed for delivering crucial health information, tracking developments regarding the virus, and locating critical health assets.

The study in which UNIP participated shows that increased digital engagement by those working in local governments allowed cities to better deal with the effects of the pandemic because public managers can use available data to plan actions and monitor and verify the effectiveness of such actions in real time.

The researchers noted that the adoption of this approach is not widespread, and also might raise concerns on data privacy and protection, but according to Prof. Machado, Jr. the pandemic has led municipal leaders to rethink the role of ICTs in city management:.

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