Technology for the People:

Being a German native and given my personal and professional commitment to helping those who commit their lives to public service, this particular topic of innovation is near and dear to my heart.

It’s all about the end user – the patient, the care provider or the facility administrator – not the technology. An important truism that is nowhere clearer than it is in the convergence of technology innovation and health and wellness. This is not only because health is a part of everyone’s lives, not just early adopters of technology. But also advocacy and care for one’s own health – physical, mental, spiritual and beyond – is probably the most personal aspect of each individual’s life.

However, the fact remains that our lives have been forever transformed through digital technology innovation. Radically transformed and creatively disrupted. In terms of our health, that means we can remotely and dynamically monitor things like heart rate, blood pressure readings, body temperature, glucose, and brain activity. Really like never before in our human history, allowing us to improve how we ensure our communities survive and thrive.

Success Stories:

Today’s narrative frequently gives technology a bad name, blaming it for less human interaction and face-to-face contact. However, there are so many inspirational stories of those who are using technology in new and imaginative ways to help fix large-scale, global issues by enabling humans to act, well, humanely.

As seen briefly in the video, innovative problem-solving and committed partnership paved the way for development of the Refugee First Response Center, which is bringing emergency medical and translation services to the community of Hamburg in light of the current refugee crisis.

And again in Hamburg, the UKE Medical Center remembers its true mission: To create quality of life for its patients. And it does just that for young Thorben. By enabling him to connect with his classroom and classmates, Thorben, and patients like him, can maintain a sense of normalcy and human decency despite their health situation.

In Taiwan, an impressive partnership with Quanta Computer yields a smart, cloud-based healthcare solution that allows health providers to focus on patient well being anytime, anywhere with remote monitoring. And on the flip side, administrators and care providers can worry less with reduced medical risk, minimized personal privacy and security concerns and lowered IT costs.

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither will today’s smart, digital communities. Like any great feat, great cities don’t rush progress – but they never stand still. They embrace change strategically. That means using the right technology at the right time to make communities healthier, safer, greener, smarter places to live, work play, and grow.

Next Up in #TransformationThursday Series:

Stay tuned for next week’s post to discover more information about education and community learning. And be sure to check back each week as we discuss digital transformation in cities, detailing storylines and examples with various social, environmental and economic outcomes.

We’d also love for you to be a part of the conversation by using the hashtag #TransformationThursday and by following @CiscoGovt on Twitter. And for more information and additional examples, visit our smart cities page on Cisco.com.


Cecile Willems

Director, Global Public Sector

Global Sales Organization