NITDA advises on IoT in managing the COVID-19 pandemic 

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has joined the global community in celebrating the World Internet of Things (IoT) Day.

The IoT Council in 2010 set aside the 9th April of every year to mark the World IoT Day. The day is aimed at celebrating IoT advancement and adoption as well as to enable the IoT community, world-wide to recognise and appreciate the capabilities of IoT in the transformation of nations, communities, manufacturing, businesses and individual’s lives. It is also a day set aside to reiterate the impact of IoT in all fields of human endeavour.

According to a statement issued by NITDA, “IoT is the interconnection of smart devices such as phones, wearable electronics, automobiles, industrial and domestic appliances, etc., over the Internet, to send and receive data.

“It is an advanced automation and analytics system that leverages the internet, sensing technologies, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence technology to convey complete systems for a data-driven product or service.

“Data is collected by mobile installed sensors, health monitors, robots and end-user hardware among others. The data is then forwarded to central cloud servers for intelligence mining and analytics”.

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NITDA said the significance of IoT, particular in this trying time of the COVID-19 pandemic, cannot be overemphasised.

“It is unfortunately experienced in recent times that the COVID-19 outbreak is a global crisis, impacting almost all human endeavours, particularly the health sector.

“In the health sector, IoT could be used to fight the virus outbreak and enforcement of lockdowns where necessary in combination with the Geographic Information System (GIS) and other appropriate technologies.

“Governments all over the world are directing citizens and residence to “Work From Home” as a means of curtailing the spread of the virus. In such a situation, the health sector can promote the use of appropriate IoT solutions and capabilities among doctors and healthcare workers to treat patients via telemedicine.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic resulted in the loss of many medical doctors and other healthcare workers through physical contact with infected persons. This therefore means that virtual treatments and interactions can go a long way in safeguarding the precious lives of our healthcare workers”, NITDA said.

NITDA further said innovative IoT devices such as drones can be used to monitor and enforce compliance of government’s directives of social distancing and prohibition of mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They can also track crowd sizes in real-time as well as coughing and temperature measurements to determine COVID-19 symptoms through analytics from the real-time data generated. In the case of breach of any compliance directives, the IoT devices can intimate the law enforcement agents for necessary action”, NITDA added.

Furthermore, NITDA said IoT can be used to ensure patients’ compliance or breach of quarantine etiquettes through remote monitoring by healthcare workers.

The data generated therein, NITDA said it could be used to track down who else can be vulnerable as a result of a breach.

“Patient management is another area of IoT application. It can enable monitoring of all patients who are high-risk enough to warrant quarantine but not serious enough for in-hospital care against the current practice of manual door-to-door patient checking which could be contagious”, it said.

“Therefore, we have every cause to celebrate IoT day with the rest of the world. As we commemorate this all-important day, NITDA is calling on the Nigerian youth and the key practitioners in the ICT industry to be prepared to take their rightful places to promote IoT technologies in Nigeria.

“We are confident that the Nigerian Tech Community has the capacity to harness the potentials of IoT in developing solutions to help in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic as well as help in cushioning the economic impact of the pandemic.

“All citizens and residents are advised to remain safe, stay and work from home and innovate while enjoying the 2020 World IoT Day”, NITDA added.


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