These days, smart city stories are ubiquitous. But few are talking about the way smart city technology can affect public health.
As current transportation and infrastructure-focused smart city initiatives find success, many researchers now are studying how those same technologies can help address systemic challenges in health and the environment in major cities around the world. In fact, organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation are providing grants to cities to specifically focus on the issues of resiliency, sustainability and public health using technology.
A key to the recent focus on public health initiatives is the increase in affordability of sensors. High-quality sensors were once too expensive for most cities, but rising demand and improving technology have resulted in the availability of more affordable sensors that are able to collect the detailed data needed to make a public health or sustainability-focused project successful. In fact, according to a recent report from IDTechEx Research, the market for environment sensors is expected to be worth more than $3 billion by 2027.