Application of AI and Big Data

One of the important early action taken by Taiwan was using new data and technology.

Taiwan has leveraged its national health insurance database and integrated it with its immigration and customs database for better tracking, accessing and monitoring.

CECC announced guidelines for contact-information-based measures that ensure the data collected by the government may not be used for any purposes other than outbreak investigations.Taiwan has leveraged its national health insurance database and integrated it with its immigration and customs database to begin creating large data sets for analysis. 

This has generated real-time alerts during a clinical visit based on travel diaries and clinical symptoms to help identify potential cases. The data analysis also took advantage of the travel ticket scan QR codes.

The combination of the factors allowed the state to send an SMS to be shown at the border as a declaration of good health. Those in high-risk areas were quarantined and tracked down via their mobile phones.

Concurrently, Taiwan has implemented active surveillance and screening systems such as infrared thermal imaging scanning (ITIS) in all major airports and ports.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced on March 10 that an online ordering mechanism would be added to the name-based rationing system for facial masks on March 12. The purpose of this new mechanism is to better ensure even distribution and streamline the obtaining of face masks for individuals such as office workers and students who lack the time to go to pharmacies and public health centers. CECC announced guidelines for contact-information-based measures for COVID-19 to protect personal data and facilitate outbreak investigations on May 28.The CECC explains that in order to ensure personal data protection, proprietors of venues where customers’ personal data is collected must designate a person to be in charge of keeping a record of and maintaining personal data collected. Such data can retained at most for 28 days and should be deleted after the specified period of time. Such data may not be used for any purposes other than outbreak investigations. Personal data can be collected or electronically or in writing. If personal data is collected electronically, information security protocols must be implemented. In addition, when collecting personal data, the individual or the organization should clearly inform data subjects of the following: the entity to collect personal data, purpose of collection, types of personal data to be collected, time period of using personal data, entities to use personal data and ways of using personal data, data subjects’ benefits and rights they can claim under the Personal Data Protection Act, and the effect of declining providing personal data.

The government has been working tirelessly with the private sector to develop and test this new mechanism, which serves as an addition to the existing distribution channels, namely pharmacies contracted by the National Health Insurance Administration and local public health centers. The mechanism will allow people to order at a designated website using their NHI card or Citizen Digital Certificate, or through the NHI app. The government has created an online map that shows exactly which pharmacy has masks available and in what quantity, so buyers don’t have to queue or compete with others to get adequate supplies.

Reference: EE Times, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control

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