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Smarter operations

Levelling up in the knowledge economy

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Much of our future technology will be characterised by cloud-based data storage, with on-demand data being provided for by a combination of terrestrial and space infrastructure.  

With the arrival of global connectivity, the trend in technology becomes not only about speed with reduced costs; it is also about the ability to transform services and level-up resource gaps between regions. New technologies continue to replace older technologies, and offer better performance at lower cost. By exploiting their latest potential to connect everywhere, a transformation of service engagement for the benefit of the end customer is expected. This potential applies to all institutions with an operational model that interacts in real-time with a customer base, and is expected to profoundly affect sectors such as learning and education, health, and the social services. 

The benefits to operations can be divided up into two segments:  

  • benefits to fixed structures or assets (voice and video communication advances, image scans and uploads, high density IoT requirements, real-time IoT, machine learning, digital twin information building and augmented reality technologies) and to  
  • mobile interventions (fixed assets supported by wireless networks, movable assets for transitional solutions and fully mobile scenarios for a workforce or citizen-centric personal devices). 

Essentially, what unreserved data demand technology brings to operations is smarter and quicker outcomes. Underpinned by ubiquitous connectivity to any receiver, fixed and mobile operations will have the ability to timeously resolve and deliver a host of services to all audiences or customer bases without geographical hindrance.  

Operations will become smarter by improving efficiencies, maximising existing technology and reducing costs; whilst being able to engage with a wider audience in real time with a greater range of services.  

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“Medicine is about to embark upon the next generation of healthcare engagement and technology solutions. These solutions will however be reliant on continuous, uninterrupted and on demand data sources.” 

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The possibility of modern medicine for all  

Medicine is scientific and data driven. As technology advances, wireless connectivity within medical facilities may enable machine learning for patient treatment; whilst medical practitioners in the field can instantly draw upon records when required. Equipped with on-demand data, medical knowledge and skills can now be transferred to a wider audience. Across this entire sector, the possibilities for advancement in humanitarian health care are extremely exciting, as well as necessary. A greater dispersion of medical treatment, supported by machine advances in diagnostics and AI, is set to transform customer-facing services for the benefit of future generations, including new potential to increase access to treatment for previously marginalised populations. In fixed medical facilities, unimpeded data connectivity will allow for immediate backup to facilitate advances in machine learning and better diagnostic and treatment outputs. 

The mobile practitioner becomes the expert. With access to data in the field, possibly through a small device, patient records can be downloaded, or connections made to other experts for a second opinion. Equally, these functions can be done by a community nurse or emergency paramedic needing to urgently engage with a doctor or consult with a specialist. In both scenarios, real-time imagery and data can be transferred without the operator having to seek a location with adequate connectivity. Differences in medical treatment between rural and urban settings diminishes as all patients enjoy the same benefits. 

The medical reach that pop-up clinics can offer is also extended. Blood clinics for example could receive data about donors in real-time, but simultaneously screen for health abnormalities and receive immediate results for dissemination. The technology will also allow patients to be discharged sooner when equipped with discharge packages or wearable monitors that record recovery vitals and send alerts when necessary.  

Medicine is about to embark upon the next generation of healthcare engagement and technology solutions. These solutions will however be reliant on continuous, uninterrupted and on demand data sources. 

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The author Richard Dolamore is Communications and Special Project Manager at Satellite Applications Catapult, one of a network of UK-based technology and innovation companies aiming to drive economic growth through the commercialisation of research in the global space market.   

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