With the majority of our world’s population residing in cities, nowmore than ever we need to find smarter, more sustainable ways to help urbancitizens live healthier. The time has come to “mainstream health andsocial services” in our cities and leverage the interplay between health andother important areas such as education, urban planning, transportation,environmental stewardship, tourism, e-government services, safety and defense.
That’s why I’m extremely excited about Microsoft CityNext. Its people-firstapproach can help a city optimize its services, processes, and policies to takea holistic approach to promoting healthier living by:
- Transforming a city’s technology infrastructure to better copewith an aging population and the increase in chronic, noncommunicable diseases—byenabling care provision in more ways and places, for example.
- Engaging with citizens on their terms to provideservices in new, easier, more accessible and affordable ways such as with healthand social services mobile apps that are available 24/7.
- Acceleratinginnovation andnurturing a city’s human potentialby attracting students, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are ready to learn newskills, invent, and invest their talent to create new solutions and venturesthat address health and societal challenges.
Through this three-pronged approach, CityNext enables citiesto align their infrastructure investmentswith the reality of how their citizens work, live, connect, learn, and heal. And it helps them to do sowithin tight budgets by doing “new with less.”
So what can cities and their citizens do right now to make a realimpact in health and wellness?
CityNext solutionsfor health and social services offer several ways to not only get startedbut also take a long-term view. Based on Microsoft software, services, anddevices that people love to use, they include solutions for:
- Remote care andcase management to enable more efficient and effective delivery of customized,coordinated care for citizens where and when they need it.
- Social benefitsand administration to help streamline processes and improve the efficiency ofbenefits delivery and administrative procedures.
- Personal healthand wellness toempower people to focus on prevention and to better manage their health byconnecting devices such as digital scales, blood pressure andglucose monitors, and pedometers with health and wellness apps.
- Primary care to make iteasier for citizens to access general care and referralsto specialists, and to make it easier for clinicians to care and cure—while enablingseamless sharing of information along the care continuum.
- Pandemicmanagement tohelp track, classify, group, analyze, visualize, and better manage emergencyepisodes such as disease outbreaks.
- Populationhealth management to help identify trends that affect thehealth of certain populations and provide targeted resources and services toimprove outcomes.
As Neil Jordan mentioned in his blog last week, thesesolutions are based on cloud, analytics, and mobile technologies and areavailablethrough our global network ofpartners. I’ll share some great examples of these solutions in my next blogwithin a week’s time. So check back here soon and I look forwardto continuing the dialogue on the city of the future, which we, at Microsoft,believe will be a healthier place to live.