India is going digital with a vengeance. From government agencies to businesses, essential service providers and consumers - everyone wants to go the digital route today.
The year 2017 started on a high note for India, with the government encouraging citizens to embrace digital transactions. With the launch of the BHIM app and other smartphone-enabled transaction channels, people are finding new convenience and potential in digital technologies.
For decades, India lagged behind the developed world in the race to be an industrial power. But, when it comes to the digital revolution, India clearly wants to be seen as a pioneer and leader. This revolution will define India's progress in the decades to come.
Here are 5 bold and bright ideas in the digital domain that are transforming India for the better:
1. For most people, a hospital visit is a harrowing experience because of the administrative procedures and paperwork involved. However, IT/OT (Information Technology/ Operational Technology), has come to the rescue by reducing human involvement in hospital management. Today, major areas like patient care, laboratory services, workflow-based document information exchange, human resources, and medical records management are handled by various software. These software solutions are patient–centric and enable end-users to avail services in a fast and convenient manner. Another example of advanced technology in healthcare is a sensor that can monitor a patient's heart and provide real-time information to the doctor's smartphone in a matter of seconds! Clearly, it's safe to say that IT/OT will drastically improve healthcare.
2. Imagine installing a single app that allows you to buy a Metro ticket, shows you other modes of transport available, and allows you to pay for all of them with your smartphone! That's what the Internet of Things is all about. IoT helps governments provide services like transport, parking, electricity, waste management and water management. It can ensure people's safety, help build smart cities, offer smart health services, and play a vital role in smart manufacturing and smart agriculture! Today, open platforms bridge the gap between IT and OT, ensuring IoT works efficiently to improve the quality of human life.
3. In early 2016, the government brought 20 cities under the Smart Cities Mission. It now plans to add another 48 and 30 cities respectively in the coming two years. Offering features like solar-powered Wi-Fi and end-to-end connectivity, these cities will be equipped to analyse and process big data and use it to provide essential services to citizens. The construction of the Nagpur Metro is an example of how the government is using technology to ensure that residents experience a smart city in its truest sense. From intermodal connectivity via a smartphone app to big data analysis, the Nagpur Metro is setting a precedent for similar projects in other Indian cities to follow.
4. For a long time, the water motor at home was like an albatross around one's neck. If the motor was on, you couldn't leave the house, because not switching it off in time would either lead to overflowing or severe damage to the motor. But these are fast becoming things of the past. IoT has enabled companies to develop water meters that provide real-time data on water consumption and enable consumers to shut off the water supply via an app in case of a leakage.
5. When you send your car to the service centre, you probably don't realise that apart from all mechanical work, the car also undergoes a software update. Yes, just like your smartphone, your car too gets its software updated every time it visits the service station. And, it's only a matter of time before you too will be able to update your car's software through your smartphone. Smart cars will provide real-time data to manufacturers and ensure efficient performance and timely action, in case of any malfunction.
These and other social innovations were highlighted at the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2017, a recent event in Delhi that focused on the digital transformation of India. Hitachi, a dedicated Social Innovation Partner in India's digitisation journey, organised the event in partnership with the Times Network. The event showcased the use of IT/OT, cloud computing and IOT in Urban Transportation (Railways) and Infrastructure (Water Solutions). To know more about the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum, click here.