Vietnam sets up technological centers to combine healthcare, ICT to fight Covid-19
The establishment of technological centers at central and local levels will help connect knowledge and experience of the health care and ICT sectors in deploying measures to prevent and control Covid-19.
A new approach for Covid-19 prevention and control has been defined by the PM, which is a harmonious, reasonable and effective combination of prevention and attack. Attacking is the important and breakthrough solution, while preventing is a regular, strategic, long-term and decisive measure.
Also, it is necessary to prevent the pandemic from afar and early, before outbreaks occur, strictly following the ‘5K plus vaccine and technology application’ principle. The three directions of Covid-19 attacks include proactive testing, compulsory technology, and vaccines. Of these, the vaccine is the decisive direction of attack.
On June 4, the national technology center for Covid-19 prevention and control was established with nine core members who are healthcare and technology experts.
The center has two major tasks, including gathering technology and knowledge forces, uniting the strength of forces; and synthesizing data, applying big data analysis technologies and artificial intelligence in analyzing, processing and forecasting the pandemic situation.
The center runs with close cooperation of leading experts in the healthcare and ICT sectors, as well as the participation of Vietnam’s leading technology firms.
In order to ensure a quick response to the complicated developments of the pandemic, the center operates under a flexible model, with key members and the Help Team always at a high 24/7 level of availability to handle all situations related to problems related to technology solutions as well as traceability.
Currently, the key members of the center have a meeting at 7 pm every day to review and overcome technical problems arising during the operation, as well as find new solutions to help optimize and improve the efficiency of medical professional processes.
According to the center’s representative, just after 10 days of operation, the center has completed the integration of information systems to support pandemic prevention and control. The system is capable of supporting tens of thousands of people tracing infections at wards and communes and serving millions of users.
“If localities strictly observe MOH’s instructions on using health declaration apps and detecting close contacts, if business points, working offices and entertainment places, head offices of agencies and crowded locations all control the entry/exit with QR Code, the information systems will help trace and localize F0 and F1 cases quickly, just in seconds or minutes,” he said.
Establishing medical and technological connection points
Bac Giang is one of Covid-19 epicenters in the fourth outbreak in Vietnam. In an effort to deploy technological solutions uniformly to help stamp out Covid-19, the provincial authorities have established a technological center for fighting Covid-19 in the locality.
The center gathers technology forces for a 24/7 operation serving Covid-19 prevention and control in Bac Giang province. It is located in the headquarters of the Bac Giang Department of Information and Communications and managed by the department’s Deputy Director Nguyen Gia Phong.
This is the focal management point that coordinates agencies, organizations and businesses to participate in technical and technology-related support and cooperation to support the pandemic prevention and control in the province.
The Ministry of Information and Communication has recently proposed that HCMC set up a technology center or a taskforce to prevent and control the pandemic at the local information and communications department. It would operate with the co-chair of the local health departments under the spirit “technological force and medical force are one; technology serves health”.
This center or taskforce would connect closely with the national center to quickly and effectively implement the technological measures to fight the pandemic.
“Covid has been spreading with no administrative boundary. If localities develops their own apps, they will only have local information. The national center has data of the whole country, so it will be more effective,” MIC said.
In an urgent Directive No 10 issued on the evening of June 19, HCMC Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong assigned the Department of Information and Communications to set up a technology working group with the presence of Department of Health officers, which will connect with the national center to work on ICT measures to prevent and control the pandemic.
Explaining the role of the national and local centers, Do Lap Hien from the national center said the central technology center is the convergence point, where the two sectors of health and information and communication co-chair the deployment of technology application to fight Covid-19 nationwide.
Meanwhile, the local centers in cities and provinces are the model of coordination of activities of the two sectors of health and information and communications in the localities.
“The national center will build apps, give technical guidance and support nationwide, while local centers will deploy technological solutions in their localities and supervise the application in the society,” he said. “The central center is in charge of ensuring the common operation of the systems, while local centers are in charge of exploiting and using technological solutions to combat the epidemic in reality."