Healthcare and education will become important elements of future smart cities, according to ABI Research.
In a new report, the research firm says that while most of the activity around smart cities remains focused on infrastructure-based initiatives — such as smart grids and metering, smart street lights, smart waste management and smart bins, smart parking, smart kiosks and smart utilities — cities also need to address the ‘softer’ aspects of livability linked to healthcare and education.
As well as improving life for people who live and work in the city, extending the rollout of disruptive new technologies to education and healthcare drives economic growth.
Advanced smart cities like Singapore and Dubai are leading the transition from legacy smart cities practices to next-generation healthcare and educational reforms, leveraging smart home and mobile technologies, AI, robotics, 5G, blockchain, sensors and remote monitoring platforms to promote e-learning and e-health, the report explains.
“Common to both healthcare and education, the provisioning of remote, online services is transforming service industries in cities,” said Dominique Bonte, vice president of end markets at ABI Research. “The centralised ‘brick and mortar’ approach of providing standardised education and healthcare at physical locations and at discrete times is giving way to virtualisation characterised by real-time, adaptive, continuous, flexible and intelligent monitoring and guidance.”
Smart education helps prepare the younger generation for their future role in the economy and also supports re-education and life-long learning. Not only that, it has indirect benefits related to inclusion and reduction of poverty.
Meanwhile, healthcare is being integrated into a wider ‘wellbeing’ environment of healthy lifestyles, safety, and preventive attitudes, blurring the boundaries between traditional healthcare and overall smart city liveability objectives. According to ABI Research, by 2028 the number of patients monitored remotely will exceed the number of those monitored on-site in medical facilities.