Collaboration opportunities between tech and cities during COVID-19 pandemic


The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted cities and communities worldwide. From the loss of lives and interruption of essential day-to-day services, to disruption of the global economy, no one person, organization, or country is spared.
Cities have borne the initial burden of the COVID-19 outbreak. As the number of infections and deaths surge, governments are turning to technology and innovative approaches for help. For example, eighteen countries around the world are using mobile phone tracking and contact tracing methods.
Innovative smart city technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, open data, and analytics, offer the potential for cities to respond to the pandemic more effectively. Existing response activities can be delivered faster, with better quality and accuracy, and with less cost. Furthermore, cities and public health organizations can build on these advanced capabilities to create new services and respond in ways that were not possible before.
However, current efforts to engage the innovation communities are reactive, piecemeal, and have limited effectiveness. Some problems get a lot of attention while others go unaddressed. Many technology companies lack context of how cities and public health systems address health emergencies, and offer solutions that are not relevant. Still other solutions have limited effectiveness because they lack community support or prerequisite infrastructure.
Smart Cities-Public Health Emergency Collaboration framework
 
Based on our observations and experiences, we’ve written a white paper describing a Smart Cities COVID-19 Public Health Emergency collaboration framework. We define a structured approach to broadly consider and maximize collaboration opportunities between the smart city innovation community and municipalities for the COVID-19 outbreak. It integrates the CDC Public Health Emergency and Response Capabilities standards with components of a smart city innovation ecosystem . The CDC defined capability standards are organized into six domains (Figure One). Each domain contains a defined set of capabilities. Each capability has a set of standardized activities associated with it.

Figure One. CDC National Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities
 
The Smart Cities COVID-19 and Public Health Emergency Collaboration framework is shown in Figure Two. Each intersection in the framework represents a collaboration point where the smart city’s innovation ecosystem and digital capabilities can be used to augment the municipalities’ public health emergency response needs.
 
This Smart Cities COVID-19 framework broadly captures and proactively maximizes the full range of collaboration opportunities between cities, public health systems, and the technology community for a public health emergency. The more boxes in the...

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