How Digital Tech Can Help Address the COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis

jJonathan Cordwell – Principal Analyst, UK Health & Social Care TechnologyThe COVID-19 pandemic is quietly damaging the mental health of everyone across the world. During the coronavirus outbreak, we have been laser-focused on black-and-white statistics such as the death toll to measure the gravity of the outbreak, but what about the grey areas in between? Not only must we deal with the immediate threat to life but we must also ready ourselves for the mental health fallout caused by lockdown measures. Continue reading “How Digital Tech Can Help Address the COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis”

COVID-19: Five Reasons Why NHSX Should Consider Switching to Decentralized Contact Tracing

J. Cordwell
Jonathan Cordwell – Principal Analyst, UK Health & Social Care Technology

A test version of NHSX’s new COVID-19 contact-tracing application, created in conjunction with VMWare’s Pivotal Labs, hit the Apple and Google app stores this past week for an initial trial run in the Isle of Wight. However, its rollout may be delayed or even scrapped as the NHS has tasked Swiss company, Zuhlke, to evaluate its current centralized approach in comparison to the decentralized API model endorsed by tech giants Apple and Google.

Whilst the two approaches share some similarities, they also differ in key areas. Although both models use Bluetooth to register a user’s contact with others nearby, the decentralized model relies heavily on the devices to operate privately, referencing a central server but ultimately delivering alerts between the two parties. In contrast, the centralized model that NHSX had originally opted for would rely on a central database to issue these alerts. It is also worth noting that, whereas the NHSX app is its own entity, Apple and Google are simply providing an API that can be tailored by governments all over the world.

The UK is one of only a few countries to attempt the centralized model. Germany originally favored this approach before it made a sudden U-turn, whilst France has received a letter from hundreds of security experts urging it to switch to the decentralized model. One can only assume that the UK has faced similar pressures, which have led to the appointment of Zuhlke to assess whether a German-style U-turn may be worthwhile.

Despite some initial positive feedback that the NHSX app was lightweight, unobtrusive, and intuitive, many would agree that it would be wise to reconsider and adopt Apple and Google’s decentralized API approach instead and so, without further ado, here are five reasons why NHSX should consider making the switch: Continue reading “COVID-19: Five Reasons Why NHSX Should Consider Switching to Decentralized Contact Tracing”

COVID 19: Keep Calm and Corona On – A Global Perspective

Jonathan Cordwell – Principal Analyst, UK Health & Social Care Technology

Summary Bullets:               

  • Companies that have yet to jump on the remote working bandwagon may have their hand forced due to the self-isolation and social separation measures put in place by their respective national governments.
  • We will undoubtedly see an uptick in the adoption of telehealth technologies, including remote monitoring.

 

On the 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a pandemic. As of writing, there have been over 130,000 cases reported across 123 countries, areas or territories and almost 5,000 deaths from the virus, which emanated from Wuhan in China. We have witnessed a wide variety of responses to the threat including mass self-isolation in Italy, travel bans, fiscal stimulus packages, health insurance policy allowances, business and school closures, and the cancellation of large events such as Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and HIMSS20 in Orlando, at which U.S. President Trump was scheduled to address the situation. Continue reading “COVID 19: Keep Calm and Corona On – A Global Perspective”