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On the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak and the Smart City Network: Universal Data Sharing Standards Coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Benefit Urban Health Monitoring and Management

The authors of this is paper, inspired by the context of the current pandemic, attempt an exploration on urban resilience. Within the reality of smart cities, they outline the importance of seeking standardization of communication across and among them. One month after detection and during the outbreak, they surveys the virus outbreak from an urban standpoint.

The paper advances how smart city networks should work towards enhancing standardization protocols regarding the increased data sharing in the event of outbreaks or disasters, leading to better global understanding and management of the same. The authors also highlight   the need of democratization of the smart city technology sphere to encourage equity and transparency amongst stakeholders. Data protection and the absence of adequate policies is a matter that concerns them.  


Virus outbreaks transcend urban safety and impact upon all other facets of our urban fabric. While effective protocols in regard to sharing of health data is emphasised, urban data, on the other hand, specifically relating to urban health and safe city concepts, are still viewed to mainly benefit a nation’ s economy and its economic and political influence.

The position of this paper is the advancement of the integration of technologies, like the use of smart devices through IoT networks and wearable devices, data from mobile apps and others, towards the improvement of the outcomes for better cross disciplinary and more resilient protocols and policies.

The inter-combination of data collected through healthcare system and smart cities applications could prove vital in front of pandemics. The authors recognise as an important step the equal access to data resources and a global approach on data protection and sharing.  

According to the paper, geopolitical issues are expected on the technological front. The threat of exclusivity and inequality in the response and access to tools is prominent. At the same time, the threat of exposure and misuse of personal data is a sector that should be prioritised.

Within scenarios like the present Coronavirus outbreak, that not only impact upon the economic status of cities, but also affect their social standing, this paper highlights the importance of the adoption of universal standards for data sharing. It argues that the lack of standardisation between smart city technology suppliers can lead and is leading to non-communication between cities and data platforms. Such can, and is, resulting in a non-productive system in the case of virus outbreaks because early detection and management of the same can become increasingly dependent upon the technological backbone of smart cities.

Find the paper here