“We should reevaluate our social contracts”

As the days go by and blur together in this misnamed ‘New Normal’, a picture is emerging of the kind of society we need to live and thrive in a post-COVID world.

In a new webinar jointly organized by the Industrial Internet Consortium and the IOT Solutions World Congress, Shawna Butler, Nurse Economist; Ruthy Acosta and Silvia Narejos, both Medical Doctors; as well as Montse Guardia, engineer and General Manager at Alastria Blockchain Ecosystem, reflected on the Lessons Learned and the Key Opportunities for IoT and Advanced Technologies within the Healthcare sector.

Conducted by Anna Sort, Digital Health Entrepreneur, the discussion revolved around the specific challenges that need to be solved now that the lockdown restrictions are being eased. The panelists specifically highlighted the need to think about the way we are going to deliver virtual care, do remote monitoring, contact tracing, deliver vaccines or even take care of mental health problems which have arisen or which may arise after two months living under shelter-in-place restrictions. “This is going to be a data problem”, stressed Shawna Butler, who also insisted on the fact that “the trust element” is key for the implementation of structural reforms. “You have to develop trust with the technology”, she said.

In this sense, Montse Guardia enhanced that the Blockchain technology and the IoT is a powerful combination to trace testing results and make sure they arrive to the right person. She knows what she is talking about as Guardia is participating in the COVIDWarriors initiative which aims at bringing to Spain open source robots enabling to ramp up PCR tests while using Blockchain to manage the resulting sensitive data. The challenge is great and for the benefit of all.

In this light, Shawna Butler underlined that “sometimes we confuse confidentiality, privacy and sensitivity”, so “we should reevaluate our social contracts”. Yet, be as it may, we have an opportunity to “be proactive” and “driving new ways to doing things”, she concluded.

Ruthy Acosta and Silvia Narejos, both involved in the Covidwarriors initiatives, emphasized the vital importance of investing in public health systems and put on the table the challenges associated to communication with patients in this coronavirus crisis. They also stressed the need to establish rules to avoid healthcare providers to be overwhelmed and eventually granted that technology is key to hard push on therapeutics and vaccines.

All in all, the panelists agreed that “we can’t let a good crisis go to waste”.

By Anna Solana

Pedro Mier

Pedro Mier holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineer ing from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, MBA from ESADE and PADE from IESE. He is currently President of AMETIC (Association of Electronics, Information Technology and Telecommunications Companies of Spain), Shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of TRYO Aerospace & Electronics, Board Member of the Premo Group and Committee of CTTC. member of Space Angels Network and Member of the Sc ientific Advisory