IBM has made recommendations, including the use of mobile technology and the analysis of large and complex quantities of electronic information, often referred to as ‘Big Data’, with Pune Municipal Corporation for providing its citizens with improved health and transportation services.
The IBM team presented its plan after completing a three-week pro bono consulting engagement for Pune. 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, the company 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.
Commenting on the recommendations, Mahesh Pathak, IAS, commissioner, Pune Municipality, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to modernize our healthcare and transportation systems for the benefits of Pune citizens. After studying the local issues, IBM has identified the key problem areas and recommended solutions to digitize and integrate different aspects of the healthcare and transportation arena. Their deep insights and global expertise will help us chart a range of concrete strategies and policies for the future development of our city.”
“Pune has always demonstrated a strong passion to re-energize its existing infrastructure towards building a smarter city,” said Mamtha Sharma, manager, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, IBM India. “The Pune Municipal Corporation has supported us with valuable input at every step during our project. We hope that the recommendations made for smarter healthcare and transportation will enhance the quality of life for its citizens.”
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.