Five global challenges that digital can help solve

about 1 year ago
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In this blog we look at five current global challenges which digital technology is helping to solve.

1) Helping Home Care - Konnektis

With a growing elderly population there is an increasing demand for home care support. Konnektis is a digital communications platform that aims to enhance home care through the use of new technology. The business was inspired by co-founder Mark Howell’s Grandad, who as he got older suffered from a range of conditions, including dementia and, like many older people, wanted stay in his own home for as long as possible. It was from here that Konnektis - a collaboration platform for carers that runs on a dedicated, secure 3G internet-enabled tablet that stays in the older person’s home and becomes the hub for real-time information to enable delivery of high quality person-centred care, was created.

Originally trialled in Bradford, the system is now being rolled out to local authorities across the country.

2) Fighting Flooding - Lorawan IoT Network

With the current heat wave gripping the country, flooding feels a distant memory but the impact of heavy rainfall and floods on 26 December 2016 in the City Region highlighted this impact. The Lorawan internet of things (IoT) network is helping communities minimise the consequences of flooding by providing a low power, wide area network of sensors that monitors and collates information on water levels, which can then be used in prevention or as an early warning system of potential floods.

3) Waging War On Waste - Smart Bins

In professional kitchens all over the world there is a crisis with food waste, throwing away up to 20 per cent of the ingredients they buy. Smart bins are tackling this by tracking the waste – the kitchen staff catalogue the bin visit, the weight and the items digitally using a touch screen. This information is then reported back to the head chef. Bill Owen a head chef using the technology told the BBC, “It’s made everyone a lot more conscious and aware of what they’re throwing away. They’re a lot more aware that ‘Oh actually I can use that, I can turn that into this, that trimming I can puree and we’ll make arancini.’” Makers of the bin have reported in some cases you can cut food waste in half

4) Tackling Social Isolation Through Digital - Rock and Roll Farming Podcast

Will Evans has gone from farmer to digital innovator. Over the last 12 months Will started a weekly farming podcast (Rock and Roll Farming), has interviewed the industry’s most prominent figures and built up an archive of more than 60 entertaining and informative chats – including Michael Gove, secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs.

His podcast has covered topics such as depression and in his own words is helping to battle isolation in the industry:

“I think social media and digital media give farmers the chance to communicate what we’re doing straight from the farm.”

“It’s been a game changer in terms of reducing social isolation. We’re working more hours, there are less and less people working on farms.

“My grandad says in his day there was always lots of people around but many of us can go days and weeks on end without seeing anyone. Just being able to pick up the phone and connect with like minds is really important.”

5) Making Smart Devices Into Medical Devices - Healthy.io

Everyday millions of people have their urine tested – it’s the world’s second most common diagnostic test. The process is however time consuming and inefficient, enter Healthy.io. The company uses image recognition and artificial intelligence to turn smartphone cameras into clinical grade scanners. Having launched in the UK the company is simplifying the urine analysis pathway for 100,000 Multiple Sclerosis patients.

What global challenges do you think digital technologies can help solve?

Comment with your thoughts below or join in our "digi-talk" discussion forums.


Categories: digital, digital strategy
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Ben Tongue 12 months ago
Hi everyone, I think there is a key challenge missing from this list. That is climate change, this current heatwave is being sited by many commentators as evidence of global warming in action and the environmental sustainability of the digital eco-systems we are creating are not generally considered in the same way that we now do with say BREEAM and the Built Environment.Here are a snapshot of statistics from the UK Data Capability Strategy - - Recognises globally … - 90 % of the world’s data was created in the last two years - Daily increase of 2.5 billion gigabytes of data => equivalent to 27,000 iPads per day - IT now consuming 10% of global power with 6% likely consumed by DCs - Energy is usually the largest single element of operating costs for data centres, varying from 25-60%*https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-datacapability-strategy The digital revolution can however have a positive effect on carbon reductions - Smart 2020 claims that digital technologies alone could give a 15% cut in carbon emissions by 2020.https://www.theclimategroup.org/sites/default/files/archive/files/Smart2020Report.pdf This however will not be simple; this article from The Guardian shows the depth of work required to analyse and improve the environmental footprints of digital ecosystems - https://www.theguardian.com/global/blog/2015/nov/13/digital-revolution-environmental-sustainableCentral government for some time has been feeding information on ICT use and related environmental sustainability improvements actions in line with the greening government commitments. There is a big opportunity for this process to be rolled out to other sectors.The methodologies and reporting processes are all there, but it all needs testing in other contexts and we’re looking for people to help us to this. It’s a fantastic time to get involved as a review is soon to take place which gives an ideal opportunity to quickly build pilot findings into the processes. In addition the aim is to try to start to measure the sustainability impacts / improvement of switching to digital also.If you're interested in working with us please get in touch!Thanks, BenBen TongueSustainability Manager, NHS DigitalPhone - 07850 938274ben.tongue1@nhs.net