How is video conferencing making cities smart?
The present age is the age of information. Undoubtedly, it has influenced the Government sector as well. This is prominent from Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s “Smart City Mission”. The Smart City initiative by the Government of India, is an urban reconstructive program worth around US$ 7.5 billion, to make 100 Indian cities (later revised to 109) citizen-friendly and sustainable.
The Smart City Concept
The concept of Smart City materializes Modi’s catchphrase “Achche Din”, were the initial focus lies on 109 India cities with upgraded infrastructural need. Measures are taken to make these listed cities have all the basic infrastructure and amenities like assured electricity and water supply, improved waste management and sanitation, clutter-free urban commutation, improved Healthcare solutions and easy grievance registration and redressal.
The role of video conferencing is making cities smarter?
Cities need to have technological smartness for earning themselves ‘Smart City’ status. eGovernance, TeleHealth, and Medicine, eLearning forms the very basis of a citizen-friendly city. Video Conferencing is a comprehensive platform that strengthens virtual collaboration among citizens and the authorities rendering amenities for the betterment of the city-dwellers. Here are few instances that the can really ease out the lives of the smart citizens
TeleHealth/Telemedicine - Citizens’ well-being start and end with their physical well-being. Medical scenarios in small Indian cities are still in need of a lot of improvement. Most hospitals in towns and non-metro cities are ill-equipped and lack in highly qualified doctors. Often critical patients are referred to multi-facility hospitals for faster recovery. The patient has to bear both the stress and expense of traveling. The availability of TeleHealth facilities will bring Healthcare to the doorstep of the citizens. Right from eConsultation, Home Monitoring, EHM or electronic report sharing, e-prescription and pre and post-operative counseling, video conferencing solutions for Healthcare can virtualize the entire treatment stimulating the recovery process.
eLearning/virtual education - Education is another amenity that any Government must provide to its citizens. Virtual education induces interactive learning, smart classrooms, where the students can learn from their virtual experience. Visualized knowledge aids in memory retention for a longer period. Learning a foreign language, virtual field trips, cross-cultural collaboration helps students get transformed into better global citizens.
E-Governance - A city is what the dwellers make it into. A smart city houses smart citizens too, who are willing to contribute to government functionalities. They are happy to get a platform that allows them to connect with public sector representatives. Video conferencing solutions for government sectors provides them with the same. Face-to-face, two ways conferencing allows the mass to communicate, collaborate, put up their suggestions and grievances in front of government representatives.
Judiciary - Before smart cities, it is important that we concentrate more on having secured cities. The emergence of eFIR, virtual trials have molded the judiciary much in favor of the citizens. FIRs can be now launched virtually and courts shall have fast-paced and secured virtual trial to ensure smooth functionality of the legal system. Women can now report crimes against them from their smart phones, tabs or PCs in complete discretion, avoiding the uncomfortability of being at the police station personally. This will certainly encourage a greater number of crime reporting, most of which otherwise would not have surfaced.
Video Conferencing market is estimated to see a huge upsurge globally. It is projected to reach up to USD $2.9 billion dollars by 2020 (Strategyr.com). Some of the stalwarts in the field of video conferencing services like PeopleLink Unified Communications are stepping on the accelerator to ensure the benefits of video conferencing are leveraged optimally in upgradation of cities and small towns into a smarter and citizen-friendly avatar.