How Today’s Mobile Network Technologies Can Save Lives
Pandemics have historically been part of human existence, as they can be found as early as 430 B.C. The flu pandemic, which occurred between 1918 and 1920, infected a quarter of the worldwide population and killed 50 million people. Fast forward to today, the human race needs to once again fight with another pandemic that is invisible and hard to track, which alters the social and economic landscape of the modern world through isolation and lockdowns. However, despite the battle we are facing, the evolution of science and technology in the last 100 years has surely given us a better fighting chance against this virus.
Network Technologies and Their Advantages
With almost 66% of the world’s population owning mobile phones, we can utilize the power of network technologies and mobile phones to manage, track, and operate these devices for real-time tracking and surveillance to curb the spread of the virus. Regional decision-makers and health practitioners are more equipped to treat lives and control the spread of the virus through granular, accurate data and location intelligence insights.
Some of the advantages of utilizing network technologies are their compatibility with any kind of mobile devices, they are always on regardless of data connectivity, compatible with any kind of network technologies (2G, 3G, 4G, or 5G), and the algorithms are based on standardized mobile network events regardless of device type or function.
Location Intelligence (LI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies are commonly used for engineering, optimization, and troubleshooting, providing powerful geolocation of subscriber’s activities across the network. However, when combined with other core network usage insights, the entire mobile network transformed into a data analytics engine.
By applying data mining algorithms to the engine, insights on network traffic levels, patterns of population mobility, and usage behaviors can be discovered. Not only that, insights from months ago can still be accessed, depending on the historical data that has been stored. With the rollout of the 5G network, LI will be more effective to much denser networks, providing more specific insights into network activities.
When it comes to user privacy, the process of anonymization is of the utmost importance. This is because users’ personal information needs to be protected, while still allowing government agencies to recognize certain patterns for analysis, which is precisely why a 24-hour static ID is the best way to track users’ mobility.
Real-Time Tracking and Analysis of Pandemic Hotspots
The advanced LI analytics are able to track inbound travelers or returning locals from high-risk areas and monitor their locations and interactions in real-time. This will allow other members of the community to get notified of the latest information on the outbreak and keep them away from potential hotspots. The system will automatically identify at-risk individuals, create geofences of quarantined patients, and supply movement and contact history for positive cases. All of which is imperative to minimize the risk of infection. Not only that, hospitals, airports, and emergency services are highly monitored to provide as detailed tracking and updates as possible.
What’s next after the pandemic?
LI and Machine learning are flexible and adaptable to the needs of our society, which means that they are still useful even after the pandemic ends. Challenges that arise as a result of the economic and social strain during the pandemic will be overcome in an easier way with LIs and machine learning on our side. Food shortage, unemployment, environmental issues, economic impact, and social tensions will require the governments to step up and work together with technologies to conquer the new challenges.
Just 100 years after the flu pandemic with millions of casualties, the exponential growth and evolution of science and technology have better equipped our society in fighting the current pandemic. In an invisible and hard-to-track viral outbreak, LI and ML have proven to be helpful in monitoring, analyzing, identifying, containing, and preventing the outbreak. The future looks more hopeful as scientific and technological advancements are changing the playing field in terms of the possibility to detect a new viral pandemic at its onset, track all the infections in real-time, and stop them before spreading.
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