David Raths at GovTech: “William Gibson, the science fiction writer who coined the term “cyberspace,” once said: “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” That may be exactly the way to look at the selection of disruptive technologies we have chosen to highlight in eight critical areas of government, ranging from public safety to health to transportation. ….
PUBLIC SAFETY: WEARABLE TECH IS TRANSFORMING EMERGENCY RESPONSE
The wearable technology market is expected to grow from $20 billion in 2015 to almost $70 billion in 2025, according to research firm IDTechEx. As commercial applications bloom, more will find their way into the public sector and emergency response.
This year has seen an increase in the number of police departments using body cameras. And already under development are wireless devices that monitor a responder’s breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, as well as potentially harmful environmental conditions, and relay concerns back to incident command.
But rather than sitting back and waiting for the market to develop, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is determined to spur innovation in the field. DHS’ research and development arm is funding a startup accelerator program called Emerge managed by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), a Virginia-based nonprofit. Two accelerators, in Texas and Illinois, will work with 10 to 15 startups this year to develop wearable products and adopt them for first responder use….
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: ‘HOT-SPOTTING’ FOR POPULATION HEALTH MANAGEMENT
A hot health-care trend is population health management: using data to improve health at a community level as well as an individual level. The growth in sophistication of GIS tools has allowed public health researchers to more clearly identify and start addressing health resource disparities.
Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, a Camden, N.J.-based physician, uses data gathered in a health information exchange (HIE) to target high-cost individuals. The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers uses the HIE data to identify high-cost “hot spots” — high-rise buildings where a large number of hospital emergency room “super users” live. By identifying and working with these individuals on patient-centered care coordination issues, the coalition has been able to reduce emergency room use and in-patient stays….
PARKS & RECREATION: TRACKING TREES FOR A BETTER FUTURE
A combination of advances in mobile data collection systems and geocoding lets natural resources and parks agencies be more proactive about collecting tree data, managing urban forests and quantifying their value, as forests become increasingly important resources in an era of climate change.
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation has added approximately 2 million trees to its database in the past few years. It plans to create a digital management system for all of them. Los Angeles City Parks uses the Davey Tree Expert Co.’s Web-based TreeKeeper management software to manage existing tree inventories and administer work orders. The department can also more easily look at species balance to manage against pests, disease and drought….
CORRECTIONS: VIDEO-BASED TOOLS TRANSFORM PRISONS AND JAILS
Videoconferencing is disrupting business as usual in U.S. jails and prisons in two ways: One is the rising use of telemedicine to reduce inmate health-care costs and to increase access to certain types of care for prisoners. The other is video visitation between inmates and families.
A March 2015 report by Southern California Public Radio noted that the federal court-appointed receiver overseeing inmate health care in California is reviewing telemedicine capabilities to reduce costly overtime billing by physicians and nurses at prisons. In one year, overtime has more than doubled for this branch of corrections, from more than $12 million to nearly $30 million….
FINANCE & BUDGETING: DATA PORTALS OFFER TRANSPARENCY AT UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS
The transparency and open data movements have hit the government finance sector in a big way and promise to be an area of innovation in the years ahead.
A partnership between Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and the finance visualization startup OpenGov will result in one of the most sweeping statewide transparency efforts to date.
The initiative offers 3,900-plus local governments — from townships, cities and counties to school districts and more — a chance to place revenues and expenditures online free of charge through the state’s budget transparency site OhioCheckbook.com. Citizens will be able to track local government revenues and expenditures via interactive graphs that illustrate not only a bird’s-eye view of a budget, but also the granular details of check-by-check spending….
DMV: DRIVERS’ LICENSES: THERE WILL SOON BE AN APP FOR THAT
The laminated driver’s license you keep in your wallet may eventually give way to an app on your smartphone, and that change may have wider significance for how citizens interact digitally with their government. Legislatures in at least three states have seen bills introduced authorizing their transportation departments to begin piloting digital drivers’ licenses…..
TRANSPORTATION & MASS TRANSIT: BIG BREAKTHROUGHS ARE JUST AROUND THE CORNER
Nothing is likely to be more disruptive to transportation, mass transit and urban planning than the double whammy of connected vehicle technology and autonomous vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Transportation expects great things from the connected vehicles of the future — and that future may be just around the corner. Vehicle-to-infrastructure communication capabilities and anonymous information from passengers’ wireless devices relayed through dedicated short-range connections could provide transportation agencies with improved traffic, transit and parking data, making it easier to manage transportation systems and improve traffic safety….. (More)”