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Covid-19 outbreak – Insights on the opportunities for change in terms of Smart City13 March

Covid-19 outbreak – Insights on the opportunities for change in terms of Smart City


In the series of articles about the impact of emerging tech on the world’s socio-economic during the COVID19 outbreak, YellowBlocks would take you to a brighter outlook when Smart city is seizing its moments perfectly and bringing superior perceived-value to the human race.


The global outbreak of COVID-19 has rattled industries in every sector across the world. The impact is wide-ranging, from office closing and production delays to high-profile event cancellations. However, the coronavirus epidemic, in the meanwhile, has changed the landscape of the Emerging Tech ecosystem in an effective way, which contributes to the acceleration of technological initiatives and enhancements.  

1. Public-private partnership has been strengthened

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During the global outbreak – the government is expected to be more open for collaboration, while Tech business has developed capabilities and a willingness to contribute more to public goods. This builds the base of a more professional and transparent collaboration for public agendas.

In December 2019, the Chinese city of Wuhan signed an agreement with the giant Huawei to install infrastructure to enhance its cybersecurity and transportation services, aiming at converting Wuhan into a smart city. The agreement involved mechanisms for swift emergency responses, which could help in containing the city’s Coronavirus epidemic. (see go.nature.com/2uczxpm

According to Reuters, the outbreak could reshape China’s smart city vision away from strict surveillance, which remains concerns about security and privacy, and towards health security. 

In Vietnam, the health ministry in collaboration with the Viettel Military Group’s Viettel Business Solutions also introduced a Smartphone app called “Suc khoe Viet Nam” (Việt Nam Health). Along with providing updated epidemic information, the application also provides a self-assessment guide for COVID19 infection cases. If there is a risk of infection, users can send information to health facilities in their living areas for instructions on self-isolation.

2. Smart city solutions that directly served humans in the prevention and control of the Covid19 outbreak.

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Recently, a team of physicians in Wuhan, China, at the Zhongnan Hospital are using GPU-accelerated software to identify typical signs or partial signs of COVID-19 in suspected patients. To do this, this AI-based software has been trained using hundreds of thousands of lung images collected by hospitals all across China and now has been evaluated and in the process of being adapted by clinics in Europe and the United States.

Originally developed for detecting signs of cancer in lung CTs, the software is expected to alleviate the pressure on overworked medical staff and pave the way for the development of new effective treatments.

According to CNN, in order to prevent the coronavirus from spreading within and beyond the hospital, a man diagnosed with COVID19 in South America is being treated largely by a robot, which is little more than a platform on wheels with a built-in screen, though it does sport a stethoscope, like a real doctor. The staff at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington is relying on this robot to measure the patient’s vitals and act as a platform for video conferencing. 

In Vietnam, owing to the fact that there were no real-time updates on the number of cases in various parts of the country along with fake news about the outbreak kept spreading out on social media, a group of five Vietnamese engineers have created an interactive global map of the coronavirus epidemic (see https://corona.kompa.ai) that uses AI and deep learning to list the official number cases around the world including in Vietnam and provide information about it from trustworthy sources. 

The website has taken the team 12 hours of working non-stop and it was successfully published on January 31, one day before Vietnam officially declared the nCoV outbreak an epidemic on February 1. 

3. Accelerating the process of reaching out to the Hyperconnected City (Smart city 3.0)

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Smart City, holding its promise to make the growing number of cities around the world more efficient, more tech-savvy and more chance of improving the citizens’ quality of life, has gone through two stages (Smart City 1.0 – Technology driven; Smart City 2.0 – Technology enabled, City led) and now currently in the process of advancing to its 3rd generation called Hyperconnected City that focuses on embracing the citizen co-creation to determine how technology can best serve community needs. 

A survey conducted by ESI reveal that the ROI from hyperconnected projects can be acquired through eight areas including public transit, traffic management, water, waste collection and the environment, energy and electricity, public safety, and public health. 

Effectively navigating this next phase of Smart City enhancement will require utilizing the transformative power of emerging technology to accomplish sustainable, flexible, and equitable results, while managing genuine downside including cybersecurity and privacy threats and replacements of humans by machine labor. “As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, becoming a smart city is no longer enough. To unlock the full economic, social, environmental, and business value from technology, cities need to morph into hyperconnected urban centers” – According to ESI Study.

4. YellowBlocks on connecting the dots in the race of building Smart City in Vietnam

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What opportunities for the development of Smart Cities in Vietnam? Our country, with the total urban population of 33 million and the growth rate of 3.4% per year (see GSO), is demanding for Smart City programs that provide ultra-high-speed network and sustainable infrastructure to enhance municipal management and the socio-economic growth rate.

Technology solutions can help Vietnam’s cities and provinces deal with their own urban problems, for instance, support the local government better control in crime surveillance, optimize the real-time traffic flow and utilize the energy resources. 

Recently, some localities have started deploying some basic applications and services for Smart city programs. In the meantime, ministries and agencies are in the process of researching and completing building guidelines, mechanisms, and policies for smart cities.

Linking partners is what we do at YellowBlocks: We connect the connectors. We are Vietnam’s leading ecosystem super-connector that connects those who have the global thought of building and maintaining Smart City in Vietnam to localities and local enterprises. YellowBlocks is honored to be the strategic partner of Vietnam Smart Cities Council and the first strategic partner of the World Smart Cities Forum. We expect to give of ourselves and resources toward the advancement of the new era of Smart City in Vietnam. 


About YellowBlocks
YellowBlocks is the trusted Vietnam tech gateway to provide local insights, premiere networks, and business/marketing/tech strategies for leading companies in emerging tech (ABCD – AI/ML/Robotics, Blockchain, Cloud, Data).

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