IBM and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are using medical equipment, satellite communications and remotely supported electronic health-record technology so residents of Tristan da Cunha—the world’s most remote inhabited island, in the south Atlantic—can receive care from medical experts anywhere in the world.
According to the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, global counterfeit drug sales will grow at almost twice the rate of legitimate pharmaceutical commerce by 2010. IBM is providing technology that can make every bottle of medication traceable from the manufacturing floor to distributors, pharmacies and hospitals.
Water seems to be the most abundant resource available on Earth. Actually, 97 percent of all water is saltwater; 2 percent is held in snow and icebergs; and only 1% is freshwater. One of every five people on the planet lacks ready access to safe drinking water. The United Nations warns that that figure could grow to one in every three by 2025. IBM is working to optimize water usage and management as part of its Smarter Planet initiative.
IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, a corporate version of the Peace Corps, sends teams of 8-10 employees from around the world to emerging markets for a month. By 2010, 1,500 employees will work pro bono with local organizations and small businesses to provide skills necessary to improve the local economy and foster job creation.
IBM has established a Global Center of Excellence for Water Management in Amsterdam to help governments develop enhanced prediction and protection systems for low-lying coastal areas and river deltas. Also, IBM and Cisco today are teaming on a pilot to help the Dutch utility Nuon and the city of Amsterdam make smarter use of energy by enabling consumers to make more informed decisions about their energy consumption. The pilot program is part of the Amsterdam Smart City initiative, in which citizens, governments and companies are working together to make more efficient use of energy, water and mobility to create a more sustainable city.
IBM is partnering with New York-based Tumblr to launch the Smarter Cities Scan , a social media project in crowdsourced research and open knowledge exchange. The initiative is using advanced IBM analytics technology to scan participants’ input to build a public blueprint for Smarter Cities. The output will be available to cities and grassroots groups to use as a foundation for projects to make urban centers smarter via a Smarter Cities Open Model .
IBM is collaborating with more than 250 universities in 50 countries that are offering courses or degree programs in Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME). SSME is a new academic discipline designed to produce students with the combined business and technology skills needed to enter today’s work force ready to contribute immediately to their countries’ economic and innovation agendas. SSME educates people about these complex systems and networks that serve customers better, creating what IBM calls a smarter planet—building a smarter health care system, smart grids and smarter cities.
IBM, the City of Shenyang, and China’s Northeastern University are working on a “smart city” collaboration effort focused on enabling Shenyang to improve the lives of its citizens by meeting its environmental responsibility goals. The team has established the Shenyang Eco-City Research Institute-Collaboratory-to advance technology solutions that enable cities to conserve natural resources, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthy environment in which citizens can live and work. A Collaboratory is a laboratory where IBM researchers co-locate with a university, government or commercial partner to share skills, assets and resources to achieve a common research goal.
IBM has created an advanced, integrated network video monitoring systems for Chicago’s Navy Pier. The project increases video security capabilities at Navy Pier and integrates new and existing safety resources to safeguard people and property. IBM’s Smart Surveillance Solution (SSS) technology developed by IBM Research allows video analytics to monitor the waterway and alert security personnel when unauthorized boats approach restricted areas. In addition to local monitoring from the Pier’s command center, the complete monitoring environment is also accessible by the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), the City’s 911 and incident management center, and by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) Marine Unit, the City’s first responders for water-related incidents.