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1.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 402, 2022 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1709092

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has become a global concern. Iran is one of the countries affected most by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. As a result, the use of information technology (IT) has a variety of applications for pandemic management. The purpose of this study was to develop a conceptual framework for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic via IT management, based on extensive literature review and expert knowledge. METHODS: The conceptual framework is developed in three stages: (1) a literature review to gather practical experience with IT applications for managing the COVID-19 pandemic, (2) a study of Iranian documents and papers that present Iran's practical experience with COVID-19, and (3) developing a conceptual framework based on the previous steps and validating it through a Delphi approach in two rounds, and by 13 experts. RESULTS: The proposed conceptual framework demonstrates that during pandemics, 22 different types of technologies were used for various purposes, including virtual education, early warning, rapid screening and diagnosis of infected individuals, and data management. These objectives were classified into six categories, with the following applications highlighted: (1) Prevention (M-health, Internet search queries, telehealth, robotics, Internet of things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, Virtual Reality (VR), social media); (2) Diagnosis (M-health, drones, telehealth, IoT, Robotics, AI, Decision Support System (DSS), Electronic Health Record (EHR)); (3) Treatment (Telehealth, M-health, AI, Robotic, VR, IoT); (4) Follow-up (Telehealth, M-health, VR), (5) Management & planning (Geographic information system, M-health, IoT, blockchain), and (6) Protection (IoT, AI, Robotic and automatic vehicles, Augmented Reality (AR)). In Iran, the use of IT for prevention has been emphasized through M-health, internet search queries, social media, video conferencing, management and planning objectives using databases, health information systems, dashboards, surveillance systems, and vaccine coverage. CONCLUSIONS: IT capabilities were critical during the COVID-19 outbreak. Practical experience demonstrates that various aspects of information technologies were overlooked. To combat this pandemic, the government and decision-makers of this country should consider strategic planning that incorporates successful experiences against COVID-19 and the most advanced IT capabilities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Artificial Intelligence , Humans , Information Technology , Iran/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Inform Med Unlocked ; 24: 100579, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1210975

ABSTRACT

The pandemics of major infectious diseases often cause public health, economic, and social problems. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), as two novel technologies, have been used in many fields for emergency management of disasters. The objective of this paper was to review VR and AR applications in the emergency management of infectious outbreaks with an emphasis on the COVID-19 outbreak. A search was conducted in MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase, IEEE, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, and related websites for papers published up to May 2, 2020. The VR technology has been used for preventing or responding to infections by simulating human behaviors, infection transmission, and pathogen structure as a means for improving skills management and safety protection. Telehealth, telecommunication, and drug discovery have been among the other applications of VR during this pandemic. Moreover, AR has also been used in various industries, including healthcare, marketing, universities, and schools. Providing high-resolution audio and video communication, facilitating remote collaboration, and allowing the visualization of invisible concepts are some of the advantages of using this technology. However, VR has been used more frequently than AR in the emergency management of previous infectious diseases with a greater focus on education and training. The potential applications of these technologies for COVID-19 can be categorized into four groups, i.e., 1) entertainment, 2) clinical context, 3) business and industry, and 4) education and training. The results of this study indicate that VR and AR have the potential to be used for emergency management of infectious diseases. Further research into employing these technologies will have a substantial impact on mitigating the destructive effects of infectious diseases. Making use of all the potential applications of these technologies should be considered for the emergency management of the current pandemic and mitigating its negative impacts.

3.
Inform Med Unlocked ; 23: 100558, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1176755

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: COVID-19 has become an international emergency. The use of digital solutions can be effective in managing, preventing, and overcoming the further spread of infectious disease outbreaks. Accordingly, the use of mobile-health (m-health) technologies has the potential to promote public health. This review aimed to study the application of m-health solutions for the management of the COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS: The search strategy was done in Medline (PubMed), Embase, IEEE, and Google Scholar by using related keywords to m-health and COVID-19 on July 6, 2020. English papers that used m-health technologies for the COVID-19 outbreak were included. RESULTS: Of the 2046 papers identified, 16 were included in this study. M-health had been used for various aims such as early detection, fast screening, patient monitoring, information sharing, education, and treatment in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. M-health solutions were classified into four use case categories: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and protection. The mobile phone-based app and short text massaging were the most frequently used modalities, followed by wearables, portable screening devices, mobile-telehealth, and continuous telemetry monitor during the pandemics. CONCLUSION: It appears that m-health technologies played a positive role during the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the extensive capabilities of m-health solutions, investigation and use of all potential applications of m-health should be considered for combating the current Epidemics and mitigating its negative impacts.

4.
Inform Med Unlocked ; 21: 100475, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922007

ABSTRACT

Emergency management of the emerging infectious disease outbreak is critical for public health threats. Currently, control of the COVID-19 outbreak is an international concern and has become a crucial challenge in many countries. This article reviews significant information technologyIT) applications in emergency management of COVID-19 by considering the prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery phases of the crisis. This review was conducted using MEDLINE PubMed), Embase, IEEE, and Google Scholar. Expert opinions were collected to show existence gaps, useful technologies for each phase of emergency management, and future direction. Results indicated that various IT-based systems such as surveillance systems, artificial intelligence, computational methods, Internet of things, remote sensing sensor, online service, and GIS geographic information system) could have different outbreak management applications, especially in response phases. Information technology was applied in several aspects, such as increasing the accuracy of diagnosis, early detection, ensuring healthcare providers' safety, decreasing workload, saving time and cost, and drug discovery. We categorized these applications into four core topics, including diagnosis and prediction, treatment, protection, and management goals, which were confirmed by five experts. Without applying IT, the control and management of the crisis could be difficult on a large scale. For reducing and improving the hazard effect of disaster situations, the role of IT is inevitable. In addition to the response phase, communities should be considered to use IT capabilities in prevention, preparedness, and recovery phases. It is expected that IT will have an influential role in the recovery phase of COVID-19. Providing IT infrastructure and financial support by the governments should be more considered in facilitating IT capabilities.

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