Living in a dynamic world, where almost everything under one’s sight is constantly evolving, seems quite perplexing. This is a technologically-driven process.
And do you have any thoughts on what distinguishes humans from other living creatures? Well, the simple answer is Curiosity.
We, humans, are inquisitive and this ability encourages us to strive in producing new & better innovations every day. The advancements in the field of technology, provided with an improved approach, can be a great deal of assistance in building a better world. And despite all these advancements, a large number of generic problems are left untouched due to various challenges.
But what are those most prevalent issues in society?
Fast-moving technology and entrepreneurship have resulted in a plethora of real-world technology solutions in current times. Today, we have instant access to services in so many areas, from finding restaurants, ordering food, booking movie tickets, shopping online to booking cabs and other services.
Yet, our primary need for basic facilities like improved sanitation, waste management, women & children safety, clean drinking water, differently-abled friendly services, food availability to everyone, cleaner railways, consistent power supply in rural areas, finding a doctor and affordable hospitals urgently are often neglected and we have already seen how terribly the healthcare sector get affected during the lockdown and the present pandemic due to COVID-19.
We know that innovations in technology are making things smarter and simpler, still what real-world problems would IoT phenomena solve? And what problems can it address right now? We must employ technology as an enabler to tackle these problems on a large scale.
So, let’s have a look at some significant issues and how technology must be employed to tackle them on a large scale. Believe me, it certainly requires our closest attention for a better future.
1. Improved & Accessible Healthcare System
Access to appropriate healthcare is the most crucial issue in India that ranks first on our "to-do" list. On one hand, the healthcare sector is experiencing a major breakthrough while a huge portion of India's rural population lacks access to healthcare. Be it finding a doctor, effective medicine, or affordable hospitals, the whole process sometimes can be highly nerve-wracking especially after witnessing a devastating situation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, not all is lost, India has many healthcare firms tackling similar issues :
You have probably heard about these popular startups like Mfine, Practo, Doctor 24/7, etc., where doctors are easily accessible plus Practo also helps in finding your medical records, hospitals & so on.
On apps like PharmEasy, Netmeds, Apollo Pharmacies, etc. you can find alternative treatments & can have pharmaceuticals delivered to your doorstep. Thanks to better tech advancements in healthcare, now it has become feasible to avail of health insurance via all-in-one healthcare apps on a smartphone.
Both the patients as well as the healthcare providers may benefit from new IoT-enabled equipment and devices that give convenient remote access. By early diagnosis, these gadgets are poised to usher in a new era in chronic disease therapy.
Also, the pandemic flu diseases shouldn’t be taken lightly as these viruses reproduce swiftly. Thus, a better technological approach should be followed to fight these viruses effectively.
Read the following article from the National Centre for Biotechnology Information to know more about the Innovative Technological Approach to Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response in Nigeria.
2. Availability of Food to Everyone
Did you know every year, Indians waste food worth 88,800 crores, which equates to INR 244 crore per day? The world’s population is rising at an exponential rate, but the food supply is not keeping pace. The latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 report, which was released in mid-2021, indicated that about 811 people went hungry in 2020. Moreover, India ranks a disappointing 103 out of 119 countries on the Global Hunger Index.
But the main question is, how innovations in technology can facilitate food production and push those figures down? Well, we can adopt the following measures :
One of the primary issues which confront the idea of zero hunger is Food/crop wastage. Around 1.3 billion tonnes of food are being thrown away globally. So, this problem has to be addressed quickly more than increasing food production.
Technology can lead the way in achieving the aim of zero hunger by giving an increased number of channels to exchange information. Also, by creating venues for farmers to readily access financing to diversify their crop output.
In Nigeria, Cold Hub, a storage firm, already uses Solar Technology to preserve and extend the shelf life of perishable items. It helps in mitigating food wastage.
Crop yields hit the rock bottom owing to harsh weather, but genomics technologies can boost yields by 20-30%. Moreover, crops that can withstand severe temperatures can be produced through Genetic Engineering.
Smart technologies, powered by sensor networks, have the potential to refine our food supply chains and drastically reduce waste.
3. Low-cost Energy Production
We can’t deny the fact that many nations are experiencing an energy crisis today due to several factors. Also, the threat of global warming to everyone is very real.
However, out of all the factors contributing to the destruction of the planet, we humans come on the top. But luckily, we are sharp creatures too capable of inventing new solutions to this problem :
To curb this rising issue, the use of renewable energy devices such as solar panels should be increased.
The Smart Grid idea is also gaining popularity across the globe. But now you must be wondering what does it mean? Well, Smart Grids acquire data in an automated manner plus evaluate the actions of electricity consumers and producers. This enhances both the efficiency and the economics of power usage.
Developing smart devices around us like electric cars and home gadgets powered by renewable energy. Smart devices in your house, mainly in your kitchen, will make it easier to switch to a greener lifestyle. These appliances reduce energy consumption.
4. Women and Children’s Safety
According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s annual report, there has been an alarming increase in crimes against women which is highly concerning. As you all are pretty much aware of the conditions of women and children in our country, thus, it is one of the biggest issues which needs our utmost attention.
Governments and startups are already doing exemplary work by developing safety apps like My SafetyPin, bSafe, Life360, etc., screaming alarms, GPS tracking systems, improved patrolling by police, emergency calls, and much more to watch over women and children.
Although, the following initiatives can also be launched :
Apps or devices that can track the possible attackers should be introduced.
In the event of an emergency, smart wearables can alert authorities or the nearest people.
Also, by creating a one-stop platform to connect the rural women and children. It will highly help in reducing crimes and bringing awareness to the remote plus rural areas.
5. Better Sanitation Facilities
Almost all Indian cities and villages suffer from a lack of proper hygiene standards, as you can observe by looking around. In India, around 732 million people lack access to basic sanitation practices.
This is the major problem that can be solved by startups. Although, it requires both public sector and private firms to work together.
This is how the goal of providing proper sanitation can be achieved :
By manufacturing eco-friendly hygienic products and constructing public bathrooms that are accessible conveniently.
By tracking waste collection services.
By providing sanitation solutions that are both cost-effective and sustainable.
You must have heard the story of Sulabh International which tackles the sanitation issues in India, but there are also many startups putting promising efforts through a technological approach. The popular ones are 3S (Sanitation Solutions Simplified), Ekam Eco Solutions, Basic Shit, etc. These firms provide various services, from eco-friendly portable urinals, sustainable sanitation, better-quality bamboo products, and mobile restrooms to cleaning services.
The bottom line after reading all these facts is innovation in technology can do more than this and it will bring a major shift in our lifestyle. The world is evolving swiftly and thus, we need creative innovations, not some “copy and paste” to tackle real-world technology problems. Varied sectors demand different technology requirements.
We hope you found this article insightful and worth reading. There are many other areas where IoT can make a striking difference in solving the concerned issues and making our world more livable like detecting the environmental problems, providing clean drinking water, ensuring safe travel and the list goes on.
Good or bad, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Tell us in the comment section given below.
And if you’re someone from the technology-related field, please share your concerns and experiences in the comments.