IBM makes Pune smarter, with tips on Healthcare & Transportation

IBM shared short and long term recommendations with Pune Municipal Corporation for providing its citizens with improved health and transportation services.
Many of the recommendations involve the use of mobile technology and the analysis of large and complex quantities of electronic information, often referred to as ‘big data’.

The IBM team presented its plan after completing a 3-week pro bono consulting engagement for Pune, which had been awarded a Smarter Cities Challenge grant. These competitive grants fund the deployment of up to six top IBM experts to cities worldwide. There, the IBM team studies locally important issues, then provides the cities’ leadership with feedback.

For this project, the IBM team, assisted by IBM’s India Software Lab, worked with several teams from city departments, the local medical community, academia and citizenry to better understand Pune’s challenges.

For Pune’s healthcare, IBM felt that the use of low cost mobile phones to gather and report information could help officials more quickly identify and resolve both short term events, such as disease outbreaks, and chronic public health issues, such as infant mortality. For example, with the proper consents, citizens could use their mobile phones as a way to automatically update physicians about their health status.
Their phones might also receive SMS alerts when a child is due to receive immunization or when precautions need to be taken during public health emergencies. A single, region-wide telephone number to summon emergency responders would make it easier for citizens to receive assistance for health and safety issues, such as for severe illness, accidents and assaults.

Data from mobile devices was also at the heart of IBM’s recommendations to improve public and private transportation. The experts felt that analyzing anonymous cellphone signals and video camera feeds could help transportation and law enforcement officials better pinpoint and address roadways prone to congestion or accidents. More accurate information about travel patterns would allow planners to model and design more convenient, safer, reliable and faster public transportation routes and modes of travel, such as a metro, auto-rickshaws and buses.  The availability of detailed data would also enable apps to help travelers plan their trips door to door, and receive timely updates about traffic disruptions.

These measures will take on added significance as the Pune population continues to grow.  This has meant a rise in private, motorized transportation and an increase in traffic congestion and accidents.  In fact, it is believed that the amount of motorized traffic will account for over 54% of the daily trips taken by Pune citizens by 2031 — 5,000,000 trips per day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *