The graphs below show the change of behavior of people in Switzerland during the lockdown period.
That being said, when a part of the population will have been immunized (i.e. those who have caught the virus having developed antibodies), tracking via our smartphones could be used to gradually return to "normal" life. The challenge would be for the entire population to use, en masse, the same application. Using Big Data, the movement of individuals who have or have had the virus could be tracked. People who have come into contact with that person would then receive an alert on their cell phone. Moreover, infected individuals who have recovered could slowly start to move about more freely and return to a more normal lifestyle. We can also imagine integrating several indicators into the system, such as people's age in order to adjust the strategy of lockdown.
This system would enable the lockdown to be lifted only for those individuals who have tested positive and have completed their period of quarantine. To take it a step further, blood tests would have to be conducted on a significant part of the population to check for antibodies; people who have antibodies would gradually be allowed to return to life as normal. Of course this article explains just a scenario of the way the data and the technology can be helpful. The most important thing is to follow the instructions of our authorities.
The Chinese authorities, in partnership with the online behemoth Alibabab, rolled out a similar application in the hardest hit provinces (Lemonde.fr). Each user has a bar code with three colors:
Obviously, this type of solution raises a number of ethical questions linked to the protection of data and privacy concerns. At the same time however, it could really help society to regain a sense of normalcy. It goes without saying that people must be given the choice to participate in the system or opt out.
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Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)
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Dr. Reza Etemad-Sajadi is currently Associate Professor in EHL. He holds a Ph.D. (Management) from the University of Neuchatel, MA and BS (Computer and Communication Sciences) from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne (EPFL).
Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
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