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


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.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Artificial Intelligence , Humans , Information Technology , Iran/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2