Global Positioning System also knows as GPS is a tool that can benefit in the fight against COVID 19. This is done using the GPS available in the cell phones of the citizens and various other supporting software and data.
The plan being laid out by the government is being used by Tech companies like FleetRoot to move and work safely.
While the government needs to use the data, there is a risk of data privacy. The software used to collect the data and the backend database must be secure.
The usage of data must comply with the country’s policy for identity and data protection. In case the data needs to be shared with any private company, they must ensure secure transactions, protection, and fair usage.
Countries are using the GPS to track the citizens with or without COVID 19 symptoms and treatment history including location, movement, and close contact tracking. The GPS facility is available on smartphones and can track phones that come in close range.
To demonstrate the practical application of GPS, we could use an example of the application being used by the Indian Government that does the tracking and send the data back to the government authorities.
Below listed are many ways GPS can benefit the government in these testing times.
1.Contact tracing is one of the main applications of GPS
Using GPS in the phones, the organization gathering this type of data can get to know who all came nearby of a person. In real life scenario, if a person has been diagnosed with COVID 19 and has recovered, there is a chance that he can still get the virus from a person who though is not affected by the virus himself could be a carrier.
2. Vehicle location can be tracked using GPS
It could be either GPS of the driver’s phone or a GPS in the vehicle.
Information on the vehicle’s location can help track the movement of people, packages, etc.
Tracking being the main purpose, the organization can get to know the location of an ambulance, medical personnel, or medicines and can update with the recipient of the service.
3.Blocked Roads information is very vital during the pandemic in the logistic industry, especially if medicines are to be delivered. As many countries entered a lockdown, the drivers need to have information about blocked roads to avoid them while delivering essential goods.
When the local authorities mark a road as blocked in the master database, that information is made available to everyone who needs to travel in that direction.
Avoiding such roads would save a lot of time which is very important when delivering essentials.
4. Containment Zones or Hotspots are being marked and sealed by the local government authorities to prevent the spread of viruses outside the sealed area.
The data about the blocked addresses are then uploaded in the central database. Any company using the GPS gets information about these areas while searching for a destination and can plan their route accordingly.
This is very beneficial for the logistics industry who has to deliver food and other packages in the city and can avoid these areas with the help of their GPS.
5. Medical data for any particular area or location can be helpful for the medical staff.
Using GPS, the companies can get data about the way viruses could spread in a particular area.
The companies providing this kind of service can help the medical team and government by providing the spread of the virus in different demography.
This data can be used to analyse the rate at which the virus is spreading or the areas where there is less impact.
6.Information about the nearest hospitals, doctors, or pharmacy is very vital for people who need them urgently.
GPS can help in arranging the search result based on the distance from the phone.
7. Identifying the high-risk zones.
As the virus spreads, it very essential for the drivers to know about the places that are not containment zones or hotspots but have multiple people getting affected.
These places can be marked in the maps and the driver using the GPS can make use of the data to avoid them. The GPS not only can show the high-risk zones but also track an alternate path for the driver which makes the data transaction bidirectional.
8. During COVID 19 it is very essential to keep a track of people who have symptoms or were recovered.
Information about their movement, contact with other people, places they visit is very important and can be gathered via GPS monitoring.
This data can be saved for future reference if the medical team would need to track the people who came in close contact with the patient or virus carrier.
9. Providing the driver’s location to the fleet manager is another benefit of GPS is used to guide the driver should there be a need.
The application is rich enough to accept the modifications made in the route and sent by the fleet manager and updating the changes while the driver is already on the way to the destination which happens in seconds.
10.GPS is also effective in no or low network areas.
It tracks the progress of the driver on a particular route and sends the updates to the main application when the device comes in the network again. It is strong enough to even track the close contact devices in no or low network.
11.GPS can be easily implemented in the existing software which is needed to track the movement.
It could be logistics management software or a patient movement tracker. The data required from the GPS can be programmed in the application.
GPS tracking system is helping the government of many countries to record and use the data in the fight against COVID 19. Without tracking, it will be next to impossible to track the spread of the disease and count of people infected. How is your country using GPS to fight COVID 19?