Skip to Main Content

Strategic Business Insights (SBI) logo

Medical Monitoring and Surveillance Technologies P1508 June 2020

Author: David Strachan-Olson (Send us feedback.)

Governments and organizations are using monitoring and surveillance technologies to help manage the spread of the coronavirus.

Abstracts in this Pattern:

To help limit the spread of the coronavirus responsible for coronavirus-disease-19 (covid-19), governments and organizations are adopting various monitoring and surveillance technologies, such as computer vision and robots. Such technologies can monitor how well people comply with social-distancing and lockdown orders and detect individuals who have common symptoms of covid-19.

China has been one of the countries quickest to adopt monitoring and tracking technologies to help control the spread of the coronavirus. For example, small autonomous ground robots from ZhenRobotics (Beijing, China) are seeing increasing use in China because of the pandemic. A mall in Shanghai, China, is using one of the company's robots to identify bare-face shoppers and remind them to put on a mask. Facial-recognition cameras were common in China before the covid-19 pandemic, but companies have quickly updated the cameras' technology to scan crowds and identify people who are not wearing a mask and people who have a fever—a common symptom of covid-19. For example, contactless temperature-detection systems that SenseTime (Hong Kong, China) and Beijing Megvii Technology Co. (Beijing Kuangshi Technology Co.; Beijing, China) have developed are already in use in community centers, schools, and subway stations in several major cities in China. Drone companies are also modifying their technologies to support monitoring and surveillance applications for use in combating the spread of the coronavirus. For instance, MicroMultiCopter (Shenzhen, China) is equipping its drones with thermal cameras so they can scan crowds and detect individuals with a fever.

Although China is leading the way in the deployment of monitoring and tracking technologies for use during the covid-19 pandemic, other countries will likely develop and deploy similar technologies. For example, Tunisia's Ministry of the Interior (Tunis, Tunisia) recently began using Enova Robotics' (Sousse, Tunisia) PGuard security robot to patrol the streets of the nation's capital in an effort to aid in enforcing the government's lockdown order. The robot uses multiple infrared cameras, a thermal camera, and an omnidirectional audio-acquisition system to detect negative behaviors—in this case, people's violating the lockdown order—and sends alerts and videos to authorities in real time.