The key to fight the spread: Behavioral change and behavioral data

Probably the coronavirus will be in the chronicles for a long time but the total closure of shops, schools and offices, limitations on gatherings will not be long protracted without having alternatives. Surely the closing periods will be shorter and the isolation will be targeted.
In recent months there have been many opportunities to experiment with different and disparate solutions to manage the containment of contagion spread , from a total closure approach to the management of a restricted inflow.
What is certain is that restrictions on people’s movements were crucial to curb the emergency.

It cannot be said that it was not a creative period but also dramatic. Many attempts were made to recover a normality that probably has to find a new set-up, a normality that will surely have to be remodelled according to new parameters. We will need a behavioral change that we must hope is evolutionary.
Making predictions on the wave of an emergency is never a simple exercise but now the scenario begins to emerge and after this experience the most effective solutions begin to reveal themselves. What undoubtedly proved most decisive in the absence of treatment was behavioral change.

As Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard School said, there are similarities between weather forecasts spread of contagion forecast and social change forecasts, nevertheless there’s a silver line: "we cannot change the weather but we can change the course of the pandemic with our behavior, balancing psychological, sociological, economic and political factors".
While technology and digital have contributed to changing the course of the pandemic, the resulting behavioral change has also been driven by the re-design of many services.

The key to this technological approach is behavioral data. Let’s see how they can be used
Digital has endured a fast growth in terms of adoption and the ecommerce has become the primary purchase channel for many, recording a physiological increase favored by the lockdown, this means performing a deep traceability of the consumption habits.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are finding an application in everyday life and are effective tools to make context analysis useful to have a clear view of the changes in place

For example, during the pandemic, some language analysis systems have contributed in providing geo-localized data to identify the critical areas and spread of the contagion.
By isolating strategic keywords in social conversations it was possible to do spatial analysis to create maps and visual representations. This process of collecting Covid-related hot topic data combined with geolocation has led to identify critical areas or define spread dynamics.
Behavioral tracking has always had a dark side but in this case it has become essential.

Many proximity measurement solutions have been developed and the adoption of a wearable device or proximity and contagion risk tracking app has become spontaneous.
To sum up, the awareness that the data on behavior can somehow be the key to fight the spread of contagion is increasingly evident and people are more and more inclined to give these data also because anonymity can be widely guaranteed.

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