Internet of Things has Capacity to Manage COVID-19, says NITDA


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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on Thursday said the Internet of Things (IoT) had the capacity to help the world revolve and manage COVID-19 pandemic.

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Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA, said in a statement she signed in Abuja in commemoration of the World Internet of Things Day.

IoT Council established the day in 2010 which was targeted at celebrating IoT advancement, its adoption and to enable the general public appreciate its capacity towards transforming nations, businesses, among others.

Umar explained that IoT was the interconnection of smart devices such as phones, wearable electronics, automobiles, industrial and domestic appliances over the internet to send and receive data.

According to her, it is an advanced automation and analytics system that leverages the internet, sensing technologies, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence technology to convey complete systems for data-driven product or services.

“IoT requires data to be collected by mobile installed sensors, health monitors, robots and end-user hardware among others.

“The data is then forwarded to central cloud servers for intelligence mining and analytics.

“In the heath sector, IoT could be used to fight Coronavirus outbreak and enforcement of lockdowns where necessary in combination with the Geographic Information System (GIS) and other appropriate technologies.

“Governments all over the world are directing citizens and residence to Work From Home as a means of curtailing the spread of the virus.

“In such a situation, the health sector can promote the use of appropriate IoT solutions and capabilities among doctors and healthcare workers to treat patients via telemedicine,”she said.

She added that IoT could engender virtual treatments, interactions to safeguard the lives of health workers.

She said that innovative IoT devices such as drones could be used to monitor and enforce compliance of government’s directives of social distancing and prohibition of mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

“IoT can also track crowd sizes in real-time, people who might be showing symptoms of the disease, enable law enforcement agent to ensure lockdown compliance and quarantine orders,” she said.

According to Umar, IoT can be deployed to manage patients by monitoring who could be at a high risk enough to warrant quarantine but not serious enough for in-hospital care.

The official, however, said NITDA was making efforts at creating opportunities for the adoption of innovative IoT solutions to address the country’s socio-economic challenges in different sectors of the economy.

She said the innovative IoT solutions by the agency had birthed the publication in international journals on IoT architecture and diversification of Nigeria’s economy through the adoption of IoT for smart and precision agriculture.

“Others of such initiative are the Nigeria Smart Initiatives (NSI) project which is promoted through Nigeria Smart Initiatives Policy Framework (NSIPF) and the implementation of tech enabled NITDA Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture (NAVSA).

“The agency has also developed an IoT hardware platform like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino that can support the development of different smart solutions.

“The Unity Board as an embedded Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics education, Kit to promote technology education at all levels are also parts of the agency’s initiatives,” Umar said.

She, however, called on the youth and practitioners in the Information Communication Technology to be innovative and promote IoT technologies in Nigeria during the work from home order.

According to Umar, the Nigerian technology community has the capacity to harness the potential of IoT in developing solutions to help in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact.

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