Home Health Systems and Big Data: What will a “Global Pandemic Warning System” look like?

GEAB 144

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Apr 2020

Health Systems and Big Data: What will a “Global Pandemic Warning System” look like?

For the past few weeks, the planet has been in a state of emergency; people are locked into their homes and the economy is in a state of hibernation. As stated in last month’s GEAB, our team sees this as part of the transition towards the “world after” and it is significant that the event that is causing this dramatic shift is not a major natural catastrophe (volcano, tsunami, meteorite, …) nor a nuclear world war … but a pandemic. The old sick system has been broken by a health crisis, so health is now the centre of attention.

Practically all major countries are currently struggling to make it through the peak phase of the pandemic. The nature of the virus is forcing them to take exceptional measures, unimaginable just a few weeks ago. The point of the globally implemented social distancing (including the near complete shutdown of global transport of people) is to prevent a situation where our health systems get completely overwhelmed.

Without these drastic measures, the combination of both the contagiousness and the nature of this illness would result in dramatically more people having to be treated in ICUs in a short period of time. ICUs not only require ventilators, but also other resources – most importantly, trained doctors and nurses and specific measures to ensure their “safe” operation. What we are aiming to prevent is an implosion of our national health systems, which could be so severe that it would jeopardize the healthcare of populations for years to come.

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Contents

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