How IoT Is Supporting Critical Infrastructure And Public Services


IoT has the potential to transform our personal lives but what about the services that support society?

While connected technology is proving highly valuable for personal use and the domain of the home, there are many ways it’s doing greater good for the world. In particular, Internet of Things (IoT) innovation is making the world safer and more sustainable through the rise of the smart city.

Governments and public sector organisations are constantly looking for ways to streamline operations and produce better results for citizens, and Internet of Things devices are becoming highly beneficial tools for them to do these things.

This lucrative technology sector is helping to relieve pressure on the health system, support emergency services respond to serious situations, aid police in catching criminals and make cities safer.

Vodafone Met Police Tablet 2

Transforming emergency response

Public sector services are increasingly under pressure, whether it be demand from the general public or government budget cuts. Emergency services, in particular, are finding it impossible to cope. There are more people calling 999 than ever before, and responders are struggling to attend to every situation quickly.

The job of firefighters, paramedics and police is made a lot harder when incident cases are ambiguous. They need plenty of information to be able to deploy the right support quickly and efficiently. However, connected tech can help.

Read More: How public safety will be transformed with data-driven communications

Capita, in collaboration with the West Midlands Fire Service, has developed a smartphone solution that enables emergency callers to send live footage and images of incidents to emergency controllers. By doing this, they add context to developing situations.

The service, called 999EYE, is relatively simple. With the caller’s permission, a text message containing a URL is sent to their smartphone. Once they click the link, a one-use-only live stream appears. It allows them to send footage or images directly to the emergency call room.

Steve Taylor, area commander of the West Midlands Fire Service, says: “Our fire crews currently take an average of just 4 minutes and 40 seconds to reach emergencies in which people or buildings are in danger. Responding to incidents safely, quickly and assertively is key to reducing casualties and damage to property.

“We’re proud to be at the technological forefront with 999EYE. It will help to ensure that people get the most appropriate response, complementing the skills of our expert control staff in obtaining information from callers.”

 “Conceived by West Midlands Fire Service and jointly developed with Capita, this is a ground breaking solution that has the potential to deliver significant benefits to blue light services and the general public,” added Chris Jones, CEO, PageOne, Capita

“In addition to fire and rescue services, this technology could advance the way 999 calls are reported and dealt with by the Police, Ambulance services, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Mountain Rescue services across the UK.”

Improving modern healthcare

Healthcare is another crucial public sector, although it’s also going through a string of complex challenges and expectations. Like there’s enormous strain on emergency responders, health professionals are experiencing similar issues.

The NHS has seen a rise in patients over the last few years, but there just aren’t enough doctors and nurses to provide quality care. As a result, hospitals and care organisations are exploring the possibilities surrounding digital and connected technology.

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