How the Chinese are using Big Data to get the spread of Covid 19 under control
I quickly came up with a formula. Because I am a data guy, and that’s what data guys do! And guess what, it was going to be a lot quicker than I had first thought – something to do with chance and reducing numbers – but I won’t bore you with that.
The more interesting bit is that while doing this my mind made the leap back to what I had read earlier that day about how the Chinese had been able to reduce the spread of Coronavirus through the use of GPS tracking data, face recognition technology and big data analysis.
Now you may have some reservations about all this stuff. A lot of people do – in my experience opinion seems to be split pretty evenly and very widely between those that are terrified by the personal security implications and those that do not give a flyer, because it works, and it can do good as well as bad. Depends what you do with it!
I tend to fall in the latter group – but you won’t find me saying that in front of my wife who falls most distinctly into the former! They say opposites attract!
Leaving aside the potential moral issues (if you can) just think about the magnitude of what the Chinese appear to have achieved.
They have been able to identify practically all of the contacts of every patient diagnosed with the virus and in short time, to have contacted each of each of them so that they could be tested and treated if necessary – thereby drastically reducing the spread of the virus in the early ‘detection’ stage. We will probably never know exactly how many lives this will have saved – but it will be a lot. A very big lot!
Sure, I am certain that this mammoth task also involved a great deal of old-fashioned detective work and feet on the ground (something the Chinese are not short of) but without the big data technology it would have been impossible. Unthinkable.