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[email protected]; Tech And Social Change
Technology has the ability to revolutionise healthcare and improve gains in agriculture
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The truth about technology is that it keeps evolving at breakneck speed — what seems futuristic today, may become common place in two years and obsolete in five. Technologies such as 5G and Cloud seem to be a great leap towards the future with the potential to redefine connectivity and positively impact society and industries. But will people see it that way in, say, 20 years, or will it just be a step in the evolution of technology?
Lately, the advancement in telecom technology has had a major impact on customer experience and has helped in opening up new business sectors. This impact will become even more profound as we move forward. We are already seeing how information communication technologies are making a positive impact on industries as well as society. This has the potential to make a paradigm shift to the world we live in.
How does the future look? The 5G era is around the corner — new use cases are emerging as consumers and enterprises get set to work on identifying processes and channels that will boost the efficiency of their lives and their business. Let us look at a few interesting use cases that could be mainstream in future India.
5G in healthcare: From specialist oncology to simple ailment diagnosis, a large percentage of the world’s population cannot reach or afford the healthcare professionals that they need to treat them. This is truer in India where the doctor to population ratio is somewhere around 1:1,600.
Using cutting edge 5G network infrastructure in combination with the world’s most advanced surgical robotics, a team at King’s College, London, has created the ability to allow the remote transfer of haptic, tactile, audio and visual technologies. This enables a surgeon or doctor to perform a diagnosis or even surgery on a patient anywhere in the world. While idea of remote healthcare and robotic surgery are not completely new, the introduction of 5G with ultra-low latency of a few milliseconds and multi-gigabit bandwidth provides a new dimension and enables reliable communication that has the ability to perform mission critical procedures.
5G in agriculture: 5G enables real-time data in amazing ways and when applied to agriculture, it will completely revolutionise the way farming is being done. 5G will enable monitoring, tracking and automation of processes in real time. For example, IoT sensors in farming, enabled by 5G, will help predict the optimum time for harvest that can significantly improve quality and minimise risks for crops.
The data collected from the farms will allow farmers to assess land’s conditions in order to define the optimal time and location for fertilisation, irrigation and use of fungicides. The ability of remote monitoring will give real-time access to farm/ crop data anytime and anywhere.
Cloud robotics: Let us take case of manufacturing sector. Cloud robotics will revolutionise with vast improvements in the performance of a production plant. It will enable preventive maintenance — you will be able to fix a problem before it even happens — and it will support advanced lean manufacturing. By storing intelligence in the cloud, it will be possible to increase the level of automation of a system, regulate on-the-fly processes, and prevent malfunction and faults.
The future seems exciting and will be driven by cross-disciplinary collaboration. As technologies evolve further, many unheard-of use cases will emerge. It is our responsibility to work together to use these technologies for the greater good of the society.
The author is country manager (India), Ericsson
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.