Forage Tracking

traces2crop

Sustainability Problem:

Waste management is an area that is underdeveloped in many developing countries.  Centralized, government run systems are often inadequate, and initiatives such as recycling usually do not have a formal system in place. Because of this fact, many informal trash and recycling cooperatives have organically formed, whose members seek to gain income from collecting recyclable materials in the city and selling it bulk to industry.  However, there still lacks coordination and a sense of trust between the different stakeholders.  Residents, businesses, and building managers believe these informal systems to be unreliable, which prevents it from being fully integrated into the waste management system of the city.  Moreover, the lack of coordination between recycling cooperatives present issues such as congestion and miscommunication, which can result in wasted trips and missed opportunities.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 21.29.35

Technology:

The Forage Tracking project addresses this issue by creating an integrated, cloud-based communication and mapping platform for informal recyclers.  A location-detecting system is used to analyze how the informal recyclers find and collect material – then the data is used to optimize routes and identify new partnerships and collaborations within the community.

The participatory platform helps to organize activities of the cooperatives, and connect them to the citizens or businesses that require their service.  This system increases the transparency and understanding of the service that the informal recyclers may provide to the system, fostering trust between community members.  Moreover, this platform helps to streamline documentation of the material flows to the local governments, which could be used for other applications, such as infrastructure planning.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 21.29.55

Technology stakeholders:

  • Informal waste and recycling cooperatives
  • Businesses
  • Residents
  • Government

Implementation:

  • Invite more informal recycling cooperatives to use the technology – as the more participants there are contributing to the web-based platform, the more representative the dataset will be
  • Educate and invite more residents, local businesses and building operators to use the system, to foster a greater demand for the service
  • Government to use the material flow data for future waste infrastructure planning, and integrate the system with the centralized waste management system

Sources:

http://senseable.mit.edu/foragetracking/

http://offenhuber.net/forage-tracking/

Uber for trucks?

std

Problem: Carbon Emissions

The trucking industry is composed of small, disparate actors who require brokers to organize shipment routes. This inefficient system often leaves trucks returning to their home bases empty, which is a waste of gas and contributes unnecessarily to congestion, accidents and carbon emissions.
The Solution:
  • Several companies have developed Uber-like apps that send pings to a nearby trucker about a shipment.
  • Like Uber, the trucker can either accept or reject the pick-up.
  • Whereas currently a broker is required to make hundreds of calls to arrange a shipment, the app uses algorithms applied on big data to understand and respond to shipping trends.
  • Ensuring trucks are always full decreases the total number of trucks on the road, which reduces carbon emissions, traffic congestion and accidents.
Stakeholders:
The 3 main companies developing apps.
Trucking companies.
Major shippers (Amazon, Walmart).
Steps to implementation:
1. Expand mobile platforms to span the entire country.
2. Engage more trucking companies and their customers to use the apps.
3. Analyze impacts of apps on trucking routes, congestion, carbon emissions, cost etc.

The IoT: DIGITAL HEALTH TRENDS FOR 2016

Sustainability Problem

The looming cost and labor crises impact the healthcare industry. 1  From the back office to the doctor’s office, how can we deliver more effective, efficient and affordable healthcare?

Technology Article: Accenture transforms nursing practice with digital technologies and process innovation. 

Source: IDC Health Insights, “Business Strategy: How Third-Party Consultants Helped Unify Communications in a Major U.S. Hospital Organization,” by Sven Lohse, June 2015. 

https://www.accenture.com/us-en/success-catholic-health-initiatives-accenture-health-analytics

Summary

This report describes how Trinity Health (Trinity) and Accenture identified and remedied challenges to hospital communications, to remove impediments to care delivery in terms of both cost and quality. The case study supports enterprise-wide efforts to improve and standardize communications processes, implement business rules to prioritize communications, and make better use of technology tools that manage communications across stakeholder groups.

Failures in communication is among the top three root causes of sentinel events. A typical 500-bed acute care hospital will average an annual economic burden of about $4 million due to wasted communication time.2

Technology that was supposed to be linking people was sometimes creating redundancies, interruptions, and getting in the way of quality care delivery. One clinician might interrupt workflows by responding to every interruption immediately, while another might not respond immediately to any messages, impairing clinical decision-making and team communications.

Uncoordinated communications channels in use included landline and mobile phones, voicemail, text messages (SMS), pagers, email, patient-tracking systems, geo-location technology, digital signage, whiteboards, and even hand-carried notes. As a result, cascades of redundant messages followed clinicians to and from the office by phone, text, voicemail, and pager. Unstandardized, uncoordinated communications caused unnecessary interruptions to workflows, misidentified the priority of specific work-related information, and created negative compensatory behaviors, feedback loops, and process workarounds.

Technology Stakeholders

  1. Trinity Health (hospital)
  2. Doctors
  3. Nurses
  4. Clinicians
  5. Administrators
  6. Patients (residents, tourists, visitors)
  7. Caregivers
  8. Government

Implementation

Trinity Health worked with Accenture to plan and implement new processes and technology across their healthcare organization.3

  1. Accenture investigated Trinity’s network to explore similarities and differences that might exist in processes, technologies, and organizational cultures between different hospital departments and their associated technology platforms.
  2. Accenture evaluated and benchmarked communications technology and processes, developed a road map to a future strategy and used cases, and advised on technology and process reorganization to achieve Trinity’s organizational goals.
  3. Through situational observation and shadowing of nurses, Accenture studied separate hospital facilities to identify and remove impediments to coordinated communications.
  4. Accenture documented and analyzed the frequency and duration of communications and technology contacts, categorized the different types of contacts, and determined the impacts of these contacts on care delivery.
  5. The resulting data was organized to expose findings related to patient safety and quality of care (e.g., turning and repositioning), hourly rounding, and patient/caregiver experiences, especially in the operating room and intensive care unit.
  6. Clinicians and Accenture observed the wide range of information technologies that were used in uncoordinated way and identified suboptimal practices as contributing factors in the interruption of workflows, degradation of the quality of information being communicated among clinicians, and delays during unit and shift handoffs.
  7. Accenture studies supported enterprise-wide efforts to standardize communications processes, implement business rules to prioritize communications, and make better use of technology tools that manage communications across modalities and stakeholder groups. The key benefits that Accenture and Trinity are working toward include:
    • Optimizing clinical workflows with improvements to cost and quality of care;
    • Improving the quality of hand-offs between units and shifts, with reduction in time lags and interruptions;
    • Streamlining and prioritizing provider workflows;
    • Improving patient/patient caregiver satisfaction ratings.
  8. Trinity is taking steps at the enterprise level to empower local decision makers to streamline stakeholder communications.
  9. The communications priorities of the organization are now under review and reorganization to facilitate better integration of communication needs at centralized and local levels. More business rules and automated technology are implemented to better manage and prioritize communications across modalities.
  10. Trinity integrated technology into their operations and leveraged digital communications into planning for future patient satisfaction initiatives and into the architectural plans for new hospital facilities.

Other References:

  1. Health Care Costs: A Primer, Key Information on Health Care Costs and their Impact, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. May 2012
  1. The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2013 to 2025, American Association of Medical Colleges, March 2015
  1. https://www.accenture.com/us-en/success-how-accenture-helped-unify-communications-in-a-major-us-hospital

 

 

Hong Kong’s In-town Baggage Check-in

  1. Technology (http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2014/08/every-city-needs-hong-kongs-brilliant-baggage-check-system/378826/)

This technology allows travelers to check in at the Central Hong Kong or Kowloon station, between 24 hours and 90 minutes before their flight. With either a single ticket for the Airport Express or using their existing Octopus card (daily electronic contactless payment card for commuting around HK) travelers can access the check-in area.

The process is similar to that at a typical airport check-in; At the airline desk, travelers collect their boarding card and deposit any luggage. The check-in agent should also provide information about the last Airport Express train for them to connect with their flight at the airport. Once at the airport travelers can proceed straight to security and immigration.

  1. Sustainability Problem

This check-in baggage service helps reduce the trouble of getting from the city center to the airport, located 40km away. The usual options travelers can use to commute to the airport include going by car and traveling by train (e.g. Airport Express).
Often with the burden of multiple pieces of luggage, travelers with the means might choose the convenience of going by car. This comes with its own problems of traffic and high cab fares or parking fees.
The alternative of taking public transportation can be a daunting task, especially when certain stations are crowded or not equipped with escalators or elevators, and luggage is bulky and heavy. For some travelers, this task may be physically impossible, leaving no other option but to pay for private transportation.

As such, the in-town check-in service provides travelers with an attractive and flexible option to take public transportation once they have deposited the main burden of the journey at a convenient location, well connected within the city center. This can help reduce the number of individual car journeys and in turn hopefully ease the traffic as well as the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

  1. Stakeholders

  • Local Government
  • Transport planners and operators
  • Airlines operators
  • Commuters
  1. Implementation Process

The implementation of this technology requires the partnership between individual airline operators, local planners and the transport authority. To connect the new infrastructure with existing public transportation lines, this must be led by the public sector. At the same time, the technology’s success is also dependent on the private airlines to man the actual operation and logistical coordination between baggage checked in the city center, ensuring that it reaches the airport and gets on the correct out-bound flight. In order to ensure that the system is well-utilized, they must maintain a strict standard. Given the high upfront costs of installing the infrastructure, they must make sure that travelers feel secure and trust that their bags will be there when they arrive in their final destination.

Sources:

About Travel, In Town Check in at Hong Kong Station and Instructions: http://gohongkong.about.com/od/hongkongairpor1/a/intown_checkin.htm

MTR, Services and Facilities: http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/services/complom_checkin.html

Hydrogen-Powered Tram

Problem: Greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions are a large contributor to global warming. As the world is trying to stay under the 2 degree mark, we will need to find a way to drastically reduce our GHG emissions.

Article:

The China South Rail Corp developed the world’s first hydrogen powered tram, which just finished production in April. The tram’s only emissions will be water, it can be recharged in about 3 minutes, and has a 100km range. Not only will this tram be more environmentally friendly, but it will also reduce operation costs for the company.

See more: http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/hydrogen-powered-tram/

Stakeholders:

  • China South Rail Corp (CSRC)
  • Engineers
  • City, regional, and national government (transportation authorities)
  • Investors

Implementation:

  • CSRC should negotiate with other neighboring cities to develop trams that can replace the current ‘dirty’ trains.
  • As China also pledges to formally adopt the paris climate agreement, the country could decide to implement clean transportation nationally- CSRC should negotiate with the government to be the official producer of trams for such a project.
  • Increase investment so that the CSRC can produce trams at greater scale

 

 

JUSE: World’s First Solar Nano Smartphone Charger

Juse

1) As smartphone usage continues to grow and devices evolve to support more applications, this represents a large power draw – more devices and more frequent charging. In addition, as mobile phones offer more services for residents in developing countries, these cannot be utilized in areas without consistent access to power.

2) JUSE is the first perpetually powered solar nano case for smartphones.

  • JUSE incorporates the most efficient Photo Voltaic Cells (PVC) available (up to 2-3 times more efficient than the typical cells used in current external cell phone chargers) to store energy in a nano battery
  • JUSE charges your phone automatically, removing the need for traditional charging
  • It takes about 2 hrs of sunlight to charge JUSE to 75%, so combining outdoor light with indoor light provides perpetual power for the whole day.
  • JUSE is designed to work under low light conditions, but shouldn’t be left for 24 hours in a pocket or purse with no light
  • Replaces protective cases purchased by the majority of smartphone users

3) Organizational stakeholders: Smart phone users in both developed and developing nations, NGOs, mobile service providers

4) Steps to deploying the technology:

  • Publish performance results from initial users from Indiegogo campaign
  • Partner with AT&T or Verizon on a promotion to reach new users and fund additional production
  • Consider partnering with several device manufacturers on a revenue share to become the default case/charger

Sensors for Foot Traffic

1) Issue: mobility, crowds, access to services

2) Tech summary

  • Density has come out with very simple, small sensors that can be attached to doorways, walkways, and other architecture to provide insight to foot traffic volume and patterns.
  • The technology is more basic than installing cameras or other technology with larger footprints. This may be appealing to smaller businesses/agencies that don’t have a budget for super-expensive tech.
  • Citylab wrote an article suggesting really simple uses, like DMV lines, coffee shops, or even a whole shopping district if many businesses were using the sensors.

3) Stakeholders: business owners, city agencies with storefronts, city planners, advertisers

4) Steps for deployment

  • Identify agencies/businesses with heavy, inconsistent foot traffic
  • Install sensors and educate public encouraging use
  • Set up data collection and analysis system to see how users change their plans by using the data and how this affects overall congestion at the sites