From innovative solutions to data-based policies, we tell you why the smart city takes the lead to tackle epidemics
Over the last few months, health has become a major player in public policies and has made cities around the world to review how they offer and manage some of their basic care services. In Brazil, while WHO predictions show that the country will only reach the pandemic peak in August, with up to 80,000 deaths, other countries have already set the example and proved that it is possible to fight the virus.
Singapore, Finland, Germany and Japan are some of the cases considered positive by specialists: they not only managed to slow down the spread of the disease, but also presented a low proportion between the number of cases and the amount of the population. What do they all have in common? They bet on data analysis, either with the massification of tests or with a strict monitoring of the most vulnerable population. Singapore, for example, relied on a sophisticated and extensive tracking program to map the virus’ chain of transmission from one person to another, thereby identifying and isolating potential patients before they acquired the disease.
Such a strategy requires an organized and quite complex task force to become effective. But it is no coincidence that Singapore has achieved it: the city-state is listed as one of the most smart cities in the world. This means that it has an accurate data network, capable of mapping its main problems and solving them quickly and efficiently with the use of innovative urban technologies.
But after all, what makes a city a smart city? And how it is related to health? Below you can find everything you need to know about smart cities and learn why Bright Cities is the fastest and easiest way for your city to become one too!
What is a smart city?
The smart city is capable of offering public services in a better and more efficiently way with the use of technology. Through the development of innovative and integrated urban projects, these smart solutions help the urban management and guarantee a better quality of life for the population.
But for these solutions to work in a more integrated way, that is, acting in all different areas of a city, it is important to have as much data as possible: with these information, public managers are be able to understand what services need to be improved, the dimension of the problems encountered and where actions needs to be made. For this reason, smart cities are also those that are able to map, in real time and in a precise way, information that ranges from the daily activities of the population to government areas. It is through this ecosystem of connected digital data that the monitoring and analysis of urban life becomes efficient.
Create a data network that collects information in real time and adopt technological solutions for urban problems requires resources, experience and time – that is why planning is so importante. The good news is that Bright Cities consolidates, in just one place, all these steps: our platform offers accurate diagnoses and innovative solutions to make any city smarter!
How does a smart city improve the health area?
The smart city sees health not only as a service, but as a basic right that needs to be guaranteed to the entire population. For this reason, its hospitals, outpatient care and assistance programs are, if not free, completely accessible. As a result, the smart city is one that has a high life expectancy, a high number of doctors per inhabitant, responds quickly to emergency calls and has sufficient ICU beds to meet the population’s demand, among others.
It is also the one that, with data analysis, knows how to identify who and where the most vulnerable people live, prepares in advance to combat disease outbreaks and monitors the incidence of the most different types of accidents in its territory. In times of a pandemic, like the one we live in today, it is easy to see why a smart city is so prepared to guarantee the safety of its population.
When Bright Cities diagnoses a city, one of the ten urban areas analyzed is health. For this, we collect data about the town’s performance and, using an algorithm, analyze the results obtained. In a complete diagnosis, we map and identify what needs to be improved in the municipality’s health.
How can we evaluate the health services in a smart city?
It is only through the collection and analysis of data that a smart city is able to evaluate the results of its services and the quality of life of its population. Hence the importance of indicators, which are nothing more than quantitative or qualitative information that express the performance of a given process. In the case of cities, they are the ones that analyze public services and policies.
When we talk about health, we must take into account several factors that impact the well-being of a given population in a city: the air quality, the number of doctors available or even the access to services such as sanitation and clean water.
Criteria like these must be properly analysed using indicators, like Bright Cities does. Our platform uses 160 international indicators to carry out a complete diagnosis of the municipality, 11 of them being directly related to the health area. Examples are: “Average life expectancy”, “Number of doctors”, “Number of mental health professionals”, “Child mortality under the age of five” and “Number of hospital beds”.
It is through indicators such as the latter, for example, that a city can evaluate whether or not it is prepared to attend potential patients with covid-19 in its hospitals. Using our database of cities and the health indicators used on the platform, we carried out an unprecedented survey about the number of available ICU beds in 5,570 Brazilian municipalities.
What are the smart solutions for health?
There are countless smart solutions available on the market, offering good results for the most different problems, budgets and sizes – and most of these technologies are free and already part of our daily lives! We can mention mobile apps, for example, that can perform simple tasks such as monitoring a user’s physical activities or even calling an ambulance in case of an emergency.
Bright Cities platform owns the world’s largest database of smart solutions and good urban practices, with more than 1,000 registered initiatives. Available online and free of charge, our database is constantly updated and never stops growing, always including solutions recommended by us after a complete validation process.
Many of the registered solutions are directly aimed at improving the health of a city. That is the case of the Pulse Point app, which already works in three thousand municipalities in the United States. Through a geolocation system, people with adequate first aid training are registered in the system and called in case of an emergency in the neighborhood, providing a first aid until the ambulance arrives.
Another smart solution that you can check on our platform is Resident Safety, a system that, with a waterproof wrist tag, allows a continuous distance-monitoring of the patient. The solution was pointed out by Yahoo’s website as an important tool for monitoring patients with COVID-19.
Want to know more smart solutions for health? Access our database and check the “HEALTH” box in the search filter. In the midst of the pandemic, Bright Cities also mapped its bank of smart solutions and made several alternatives available online to be easily accessed and implemented by mayors and public managers to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus. To get to know them, access our database and type “CORONAVIRUS” in the search field.
How can Bright Cities make my city smarter?
With a quick and complete methodology, Bright Cities identifies the main problems of a city and indicates the best and smarter solutions to solve them.
First, we evaluate all indicators to carry out a complete diagnosis of the municipality. Through an algorithm that analyzes the data obtained, we study areas such as health, education, environment and urbanism, indicating which ones need improvement and which stand out in relation to other cities. Our database has indicators from cities all over the world, allowing us to draw comparisons and present benchmarking cases.
Once the diagnosis is done, we then develop a roadmap of smart solutions. Knowing the budget and the calendar of a city, we map which technologies exist on the market today and which ones are the most suitable for a given problem. When included in our database, these technologies go through an extensive process of analysis and validation. Since all of them have been previously installed in other cities, our team is able to measure the impact and efficiency of its technologies in different urban contexts.
How can Bright Cities help my city improve healthcare?
The diagnosis carried out by Bright Cities platform is based on the analysis of 11 health indicators and more than dozens of other urban indicators, all of them collected from official sources such as IBGE and DATASUS. After this complete analysis, we then check out our database of smart solutions to solve each of the identified problems.
Why choose Bright Cities?
From the diagnosis to the roadmap, all the information collected and analyzed is gathered online in our platform to create a unified way of visualization and access. With an easy and intuitive interface, public managers have complete access to the city’s data and to smart solutions in just one place.
Thus, (1) we identify which areas need more data for an in-depth analysis of the city; (2) we gather and make available the results in one same place – our online platform; (3) we enhance the work of public management by gathering data from different departments, allowing a complete and comparative analysis of all different areas in the city; (4) we update the results of these indicators as new actions are implemented, allowing public managers to measure their impact over time.
To learn more about our disruptive methodology and how your city can become smarter, register on the Bright Cities platform. Upgrade your city today!