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November 26, 2020   |   8min read

#PositiveTech: Positive Effects of Technology on Society

Let’s have a look at some examples of positive effects of technology! We did some research and gathered a few amazing innovations that prove positive impact of technology on society.

#PositiveTech has always been at the forefront of our mission, so dive in and get inspired with us by Winterlight Labs (monitoring cognitive health with tablet-based tech), M-Connected (digitalizing medicine packaging), RapidAir (fighting pollution with data), Wayve (changing the way we think of smart-cars) and more!

TECHNOLOGY IN HEALTHCARE

First, tech innovations in healthcare. In the world where we producing and wasting huge amounts of medical drugs, mental health is still a taboo in some cultures and we’re just starting out to understand a bit more about those diseases and how to treat them, here are two awesome initiatives that might drive a little bit of change in the healthcare industry.

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Tablet-based technology for monitoring cognitive health

A Canadian company called Winterlight Labs specializes in computational linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and machine learning. Their award-winning tablet-based technology is designed to help detect and monitor Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. The tool records a sample of a person’s speech describing a picture shown on the screen. After a few minutes of analyzing rhythm, pauses between words, rate of speech and other hundreds of variables, the solution gives detailed data on one’s cognitive health. According to Winterlight Labs, the technology has between 85% to 100% accuracy in identifying Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and aphasia in the laboratory conditions. source: Newswire

Data-powered healthcare

Here’s another example of the positive effect of technology on healthcare—data and machine learning. Memotext is a platform that uses data to help medical and pharmaceutical companies provide the best products and services for patients. Memotext learns and optimizes communications to improve adherence to treatment, care-coordination and sustained behavior change through advanced analytics, voice assistants (Alexa), SMS messaging, IVRs and iOS/Android applications.

Similarly, Velmio, being an advanced mathematical and AI-driven tech, provides digital health monitoring in a mobile device. Thanks to Velmio’s health fabric you can track data related to your health and lifestyle to monitor your wellbeing. Their machine learning system predicts health issues before they happen and a chatbot connects you with top health professionals for better care.

To create a safe work environment for industry workers, the company epyMetrics AG developed the epyTracker which allows managing heat stress thanks to the thermoregulation sensors. The solution detects early signs of heat stress without interrupting the activity of a worker. It measures sweat rate, activity, core body temperature and heart rate in real-time. epyTracker can be integrated into a helmet or a belt that is placed on a user’s torso.

Optimizing medicine waste

On a mission to reduce millions of pounds spent on unused medicine in the UK, companies are looking for digital solutions like the smart packaging. One of them is an IoT company called M-Connected who wants to digitize medicine packaging by embedding GPS technology into labels (printed electronics). It will give information on where a specific drug is in the supply chain and control its production in a more efficient way. source: Chemistry world

Preventing side effects of people with diabetics

Forty-nine percent of foot ulcers appear within the first year in diabetic patients. Orpyx is a wearable tech company that wants to help prevent foot ulcers with their Orpyx SI Sensory Insoles. The custom-made insoles monitor pressure, temperature and activity. All data is sent in real-time to the mobile app that gives the patients alerts and instructions when there’s too much sustained, high pressure on each foot. It’s a great tool for healthcare providers as well, as they can easily monitor patients’ data and guide their care plan more effectively.

TECHNOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

If you ask a random person “how does technology affect the environment?” they’d probably say “badly”. But, here’s a couple of examples that will prove that technology and the environment come together also in a positive way:

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Predicting air quality in cities within minutes

In most big cities in the world air pollution monitors detect the level of pollution only in real-time, meaning they can’t predict when the change in air quality will happen. Being set up in different locations, they also only analyze the air in the close proximity which results in less accurate readings. According to scientists, air quality can change drastically in small distances and periods of time. The RapidAir software wants to solve these issues by collecting detailed data and predicting the air quality in small areas, like built-up streets, where pollution holds up especially bad. The technology can influence how we design and build our cities—with a clear air in mind.

Technology and the sea

Environmental awareness and technology are changing how humans approach and use oceans and seas. A great example here are unmanned robotic boats that explore deep waters and gather data on temperature, waves, pollution etc. This data would be of significant value not only to weather forecasters and seafood companies but also to the oil and gas industry. source: The Economist

Tackling food waste

⅓ of all edible produce is wasted on U.S. farms, according to Santa Clara On-farm Food Loss Report. Full Harvest is ona mission to eliminate food waste. They distribute surplus and ugly fruits and vegetables that don’t fit aesthetic standards. Additionally, their online platform reduces ordering time by up to 95% thanks to great customer service and UX. Using Full Harvest as a business owner or a farmer is a great way to do something great for the planet (and yourself).

Reducing carbon footprint

The issue of carbon footprint is becoming more and more apparent to people. Luckily there are some companies that try to make the commitment to a more green life easier. Persefoni offers carbon footprint management solutions for businesses. Thanks to the platform you can check your team’s entire carbon lifecycle, forecast the carbon footprint, and share reports with your stakeholders for transparency. Persefoni also helps you understand how to reduce carbon footprint—it’s a big endeavour as it requires collaboration across sustainability, finance, operations, and executive teams.

Virimodo app, on the other hand, was designed with private users in mind. You simply upload your energy bills to the app and keep track of your energy usage and carbon footprint. Virimodo gives you energy usage tips and weekly challenges to become a Climate Impacter. The company also finds top clean energy suppliers with the best service and prices.

SMART CITY

The main goal of a smart city is to improve the quality of living of the citizens through technology and the initiatives mentioned below are doing just that.

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Open data for smart cities

There’s a huge flow of data in the public and private sectors of big cities— and most of it goes to waste. Thanks to the open data approach, governments can release useful chunks of data to companies from various sectors like public transport, healthcare, fintech, environment, services, travel etc. This results in more accurate and transparent data in mobile apps, public information, online platforms for everyone in your city! source: hub.beesmart.city

Smart cars and machine learning

Most self-driving cars rely heavily on sensors and maps — very unreliable factors. Wayve—founded by a team from Cambridge University Engineering Department— is developing a different kind of smart car, one that relies on machine learning and is truly…’smart’. By combining reinforcement learning and computer vision, Wayve car can learn how to drive itself and constantly improve its functions. Safe, efficient and…pretty cool!

E-bikes for green cities

Dance was founded with the purpose of having a positive impact across health, sustainability, and livable cities. Which is why they’ve created a subscription model to rent electric bikes. Each user gets their own e-bike to move around the city with a bike concierge included. Why subscription? Dance believes ownership means friction: to buy, to repair, or to protect from theft. You pay for the bike as long as you use it, and don’t worry about the rest.

Connecting communities with street advertising screens

A different take on the positive effects of technology on society—Soofa helps connect the community with screens and signs. Soofa is the world’s first outdoor 42” solar-powered electronic paper display for downtowns, neighborhoods, parks, and campuses. Or in other words—it’s a real-time communication platform that anyone in the area can use for posting about local events, schedules etc. Users can upload their posters and news via Soofa mobile app. They get reviewed by the team and are displayed on one of the screens in the city.

CULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY

In the XXI century it’s safe to say, that technology affects culture and culture affects technology like never before. Holograms, mixed realities, AI, autonomous cars… Just to name a few.

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With artist’s eyes

From November 2017 to April this year visitors of the Tate Modern gallery in London could try out an immersive VR experience at the Modigliani exhibition and visit the artist’s studio in Paris. They could see almost first-hand, the artist’s modest living conditions, his work and learn about the last years of his life in the French capital. VR and AR can encourage young people to know more about art as well as give something new and exciting even to the frequent museum-goers. source: Tate.org.uk

Travels with AI

We already use the benefits of AI while planning our travels—with booking hotels, searching for flights and cool destinations. But AI keeps developing: it will soon enhance the personal automation factor with personal travel assistants like Alexa or self-driving cars. The future is almost here, so it’s about time to figure out all the benefits as well as the perks of this social and economic change. source: weforum.org

What do you think of our list and the benefits of technology? Do you know some other cool #PositiveTech initiatives and products? If so, let us know!

Ula Rydiger

Content Marketing Manager

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