Research Commentary on IS/IT Role in Emergency and Pandemic Management: Current and Future Research

Research Commentary on IS/IT Role in Emergency and Pandemic Management: Current and Future Research

Wen-Lung Shiau (Zhejiang University of Technology, China), Keng Siau (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR), Yuan Yu (Wuhan University, China) and Jia Guo (Zhejiang University of Technology, China)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/JDM.2021040105
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Abstract

IS/IT plays an important role in our everyday life, especially in today's Internet era. This article discusses the roles of IS/IT in providing services and support on information gathering, analysis, and management during major public emergencies and pandemic crises such as the battle against the new coronavirus. The five selected papers in this special issue introduce advanced methods on data collection and social media user analysis to deal with the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper also presents future research directions on the use of IS/IT in emergency and pandemic management such as IS control and governance, intelligent health care, enhancing people's lives and mental health, and knowledge management.
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Background

It is widely known that IS/IT plays an important role in healthcare, clinical decision support, emergency response and preparedness, and disaster information management and planning (Ryoo and Choi, 2006; Fichman et al. 2011; Yang et al. 2012; Van De Walle et al. 2014; Chen et al. 2019). For example, data mining techniques can provide various data-driven classification systems (Lee & Siau, 2001) for addressing the risk associated with different groups of prostate cancer patients (Churilov et al. 2005). From the post-analysis of major extreme events, it is revealed that information sharing is critical for effective emergency responses (Chen et al. 2013). In large-scale emergencies, IS/IT solutions have been developed to enhance inter-agency flows of information, communication, and coordination (Aedo et al. 2010). However, IS/IT emergency management solutions may not be optimally designed for pandemic cases when the situation is constantly changing and evolving, and decisions need to be made in real-time with incomplete and dirty data. Further, trust, privacy, and ethical issues cannot be ignored during a crisis (Wang and Siau, 2019a, b; Siau and Wang, 2020). For example, the ethical issues related to access to medical services and devices when the hospitals are overwhelmed. We need more case studies, computing models, empirical studies, theoretical articles, mixed-method approaches, and advanced methodologies to understand, explain, predict, and manage pandemic crises such as COVID-19 (Gefen et al. 2011; Shiau and Chau, 2016; Sarker et al. 2018a,b; Chen et al. 2019; Shiau et al. 2019a; Hair et al. 2019; Khan et al. 2019; Chinazzi et al. 2020; Harrison et al. 2020; Shiau et al. 2020). Advanced technologies such as data analytics, data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning can play a critical role in pandemic crisis management as well.

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