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IoT: An enabler for connected government

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By Gopala Krishna Behara

The vision of any Connected Government in digital era is to develop connected and intelligent IoT based systems to contribute to government’s economy, improving citizen satisfaction, safe society, environment sustainability, city management and global need. IoT has data feeds from various sources like cameras, weather & environmental sensors, traffic signals, parking zones, shared video surveillance service. The processing of this data leads to better government-IoT agency coordination and the development of better services to citizens.

Role of IoT in Connected Government
IoT can increase value by both collecting better information about how effectively government servants, programs, and policies are addressing challenges as well as helping government to deliver citizen-centric services based on real-time and situation-specific conditions.

The following diagram highlights the various government domains and typical use cases in the connected government.

Health
IoT based applications/systems of the healthcare enhance the traditional technology used today. These devices helps in increasing the accuracy of the medical data that was collected from large set of devices connected to various applications and systems. It also helps in gathering data to improve the precision of medical care which is delivered through sophisticated integrated healthcare systems.

IoT devices give direct, 24/7 X 365 access to the patient in a less intrusive way than other options. IoT based analytics and automation allows the providers to access the patient reports prior to their arrival to hospital. It improves responsiveness in emergency healthcare.

IoT-driven systems are used for continuous monitoring of patients status. These monitoring systems employ sensors to collect physiological information that is analyzed and stored on the cloud. This information is accessed by Doctors for further analysis and review. This way, it provides continuous automated flow of information. It helps in improving the quality of care through altering system.

Patient’s health data is captured using various sensors and are analyzed and sent to the medical professional for proper medical assistance remotely.

Education
IoT customises and enhances education by allowing optimization of all content and forms of delivery. It reduces costs and labor of education through automation of common tasks outside of the actual education process.

IoT technology improves the quality of education, professional development, and facility management. The key areas in which IoT helps are:

  • Student Tracking, IoT facilitates the customisation of education to give every student access to what they need. Each student can control experience and participate in instructional design. The student utilizes the system, and performance data primarily shapes their design. This delivers highly effective education while reducing costs
  • Instructor Tracking, IoT provides instructors with easy access to powerful educational tools. Educators can use IoT to perform as a one-on-one instructor providing specific instructional designs for each student
  • Facility monitoring and maintenance, The application of technology improves the professional development of educators
  • Data from other facilities, IoT also enhances the knowledge base used to devise education standards and practices. IoT introduces large high quality, real-world datasets into the foundation of educational design.

Construction
IoT enabled devices/sensors are used for automatic monitoring of public sector buildings and facilities or large infrastructure. They are used for managing the energy levels of air conditioning, electricity usage. Examples being lights or air conditioners ON in empty rooms results into revenue loss.

Transport
IoT can be used across transport systems such as traffic control, parking etc. They provide improved communication, control and data distribution. The IoT based sensor information obtained from street cameras, motion sensors and officers on patrol are used to evaluate the traffic patterns of the crowded areas. Commuters will be informed of the best possible routes to take, using information from real-time traffic sensor data, to avoid being stuck in traffic jams.

Smart City
IoT simplifies examining various factors such as population growth, zoning, mapping, water supply, transportation patterns, food supply, social services, and land use. It supports cities through its implementation in major services and infrastructure such as transportation and healthcare. It also manages other areas like water control, waste management, and emergency management. Its real-time and detailed information facilitate prompt decisions in emergency management. IoT can automate motor vehicle services for testing, permits, and licensing.

Power
IoT simplifies the process of energy monitoring and management while maintaining a low cost and high level of precision. IoT based solutions are used for efficient and smart utilization of energy. They are used in Smart grid, Smart meter solution implementations. Energy system reliability is achieved through IoT based analytics system. It helps in preventing system overloading or throttling and also detects threats to system performance and stability, which protects against losses such as downtime, damaged equipment, and injuries.

Agriculture
IoT minimises the human intervention in farming function, farming analysis and monitoring. IoT based systems detect changes to crops, soil environment etc. IoT in agriculture contribute to:

  • Crop monitoring: Sensors can be used to monitor crops and the health of plants using the data collected. Sensors can also be used for early monitoring of pests and disease
  • Food safety: The entire supply chain, the Farm, logistics and retails, are all becoming connected. Farm products can be connected with RFID tags, increasing customer confidence
  • Climate monitoring: Sensors can be used to monitor temperature, humidity, light intensity and soil moisture. These data can be sent to the central system to trigger alerts and automate water, air and crop control
  • Logistics monitoring: Location based sensors can be used to track vegetables and other Farm products during transport and storage. This enhances scheduling and automates the supply chain
  • Livestock farming monitoring: The monitoring of Farm animals can be monitored via sensors to detect potential signs of disease. The data can be analysed from the central system and relevant information can be sent to the farmers.

There are many opportunities for the government to use the IoT to make government services more efficient. IoT cannot be analyzed or implemented properly without collaborative efforts between Industry, Government and Agencies. Government and Agencies need to work together to build a consistent set of standards that everyone can follow.

Connected Government solutions using IoT are used,

On domain front:

  • Public Safety departments to leverage IoT for the protection of citizens. One method is through using video images and sensors to provide predictive analysis, so that government can provide security to citizen gathering during parades or inaugural events
  • Healthcare front, advanced analytics of IoT delivers better and granular care of patients. Real time access of patient’s reports, monitoring of patients health status improves the emergency healthcare
  • IoT helps in content delivery, monitoring of the students, faculty and improving the quality of education and professional development in Education domain
  • In energy sector, IoT allows variety of energy controls and monitoring functions. It simplifies the process of energy monitoring and management while maintaining low cost and high level of precision. It helps in preventing system overloading, improving performance of the system and stability
  • IoT strategy is being utilized in the agricultural industry in terms of productivity, pest control, water conservation and continuous production based on improved technology and methods.

On technology front:

  • IoT connects billions of devices and sensors to create new and innovative applications. In order to support these applications, a reliable, elastic and agile platform is essential. Cloud computing is one of the enabling platforms to support IOT
  • Connected Government solution can manage the large number of devices and volume of data emitted with IoT. This large volume of new information generated by IoT allows a new collaboration between government, industry and citizens. It helps in rapidly developing IoT focused preventive and predictive analytics
  • Optimising the business processes with process automation and prebuilt integrations across multiple departmental applications. This opens up the new opportunities for government to share information, innovate, save lives, make more informed decisions, and actually extend the scope of machine and human interaction.

(The author is a Senior Enterprise Architect in the Global Enterprise Architecture Practice division of Wipro, with 23 years of IT experience. He can be reached at [email protected])

Disclaimer
The views expressed in this article/presentation are that of authors and Wipro does not subscribe to the substance, veracity or truthfulness of the said opinion.


If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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