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Role of IT in environment & Human Health


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The role of Information Technology in environment protection and improvement of human health

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Role of IT in environment & Human Health

  1. 1. Role of IT in Environment & Human Health Presentation by: Tanvi, Harshith & Sruti
  3. 3. Information Technology (IT) • Application of computers and telecommunications and their equipments. • To store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data. • Spans several industries such as- Computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment, e-commerce and computer services.
  4. 4. Information Technology in India • Industry consisting of two major components: IT services and Business process outsourcing (BPO). • Important role in revenue. Employs 2.5 million. Growing at over 9% p.a. • India is one of the biggest IT capitals of the modern world • Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Trivandrum, Noida, Mumbai and Pune contribute to 90% of all the IT export.
  5. 5. IT for Environment • Tremendous potential • Can acquire, store, analyze and visualize satellite data for observation, and protection of environment. • Easily accessible around the world • Dramatically reduces costs, increases speed, improved productivity and opens up new challenges and opportunities.
  6. 6. Databases • The most important application of IT in environment • Collection of inter-related data on various subjects. • Can be retrieved when required. • User friendly and convenient to store large amount of data and analyze the data gathered.
  7. 7. Environmental Databases • US EPA Office of Pesticide Programs has three environmental databases that it uses to assess hazards to the environment; to wildlife, aquatic life and plants. • Ecotoxixity Database is one of them. • UNEP maintains several data sets as national, sub regional, regional and global statistics or as geospatial data sets (maps), covering themes like Freshwater, Population, Forests, Climate, Disasters, Health and GDP.
  8. 8. Databases (contd.) • In India, Ministry of Environment & Forests, GOI compiles a database on various biotic communities. • It also maintains wildlife database, conservation database and forest cover database. • National Management Information System (NMIS), DST compiled a database on Research and Developmental Projects.
  9. 9. ENVIS • The Ministry of Environment & Forests, GOI has created an Information System called Environmental Information System (ENVIS). • Headquartered at Delhi with 25 different centers all over the country. • ENVIS centers work for generating a network of databases in areas like pollution control, clean technologies, remote sensing, coastal ecology, biodiversity, Western Ghats and eastern environmental management, media related to environment, renewable energy, desertification, mangroves, wildlife, Himalayan ecology, mining, etc
  10. 10. Remote sensing • Acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact. • Generally refers to using aerial sensor technologies to detect and classify objects on earth. • New sensors being developed rapidly. • Important for weather forecasts, climate change or natural disasters.
  11. 11. Using Remote Sensing Data • Studies have focused on Mapping and monitoring changes in productivity caused by: 1. Monitoring wind erosion 2. Monitoring water logging 3. Monitoring the condition of remnant vegetation 4. Cereal crop yield mapping 5. Predicting salinity 6. Monitoring rangeland condition • Cost Effective. Can monitor broader areas • Eg. The Land Monitor Project in Australia
  12. 12. GIS • Geographical Information System (GIS) • Designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present all types of spatial or geographical data. • Broader academic discipline of Geoinformatics • Science underlying geographic concepts, applications and systems. • Can use GIS to study the environment, report on the phenomena and model the working and responding of environment to natural and man-made factors.
  13. 13. Using GIS • Manage multiple types of geographical data • Assess relationships such as run-off and groundwater purity • Measure changes in wildlife habitat encroachment • Model events such as drought impact on forest health • Improve workflow processes from data gathering and analysis to publication and distribution of findings. • For example, Project Tiger uses GIS to accurately estimate, track and protect the remaining 1706 tigers left in the country
  14. 14. Overcoming Challenges • Many parts of the world yet to adapt to new technologies and IT sectors. • A large amount of information available. Difficult to process and filter accurate information and infer from the huge data. • Overloading of information and less storage. • Also, increasing “silicon valley” products further generate the problem of e-waste which are difficult to dispose.
  16. 16. Human Health • WHO describes Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. • Innovations leading to converging of IT & Life Sciences creating vast qualities of data. • HIT (Health Information Technology) provides the umbrella framework to describe the comprehensive management of health information across computerized systems. • Helps in exchange between consumers, providers, government, quality entities and insurers.
  17. 17. Databases • Again Databases come to the rescue. • Data regarding birth, death rates, immunization programs can be maintained more accurately than before in health centers due to computers. • Information and statistics about diseases like malaria, fluorosis, AIDS, etc. • DNA databases and genetic information about population, medical records, fingerprints, etc can be stored and accessed.
  18. 18. Biological Databases • NCBI- National Centre for Biotechnology Information. Contains several databases which store genome data, protein data, nucleotide, genotypes, etc • The National Centre for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. • PDB- Protein Data Bank • Several other databases including PCR databases, Metabolic and signal pathways, RNA, Proteomics, Protein Interaction databases, etc.
  19. 19. Global Burden of Disease • GBD is a comprehensive regional and global assessment of mortality and disability from major diseases, injuries and risk factors. • Collaboration of 500 researchers in 300 institutions over 50 countries. • Commissioned in 1990 between hundreds of experts. • Helped in estimating the spread and prevalence of diseases and the major causes of death worldwide. • The whole project was made possible due to increased ease of storing, accessing and inferring data
  20. 20. Biometrics • Metrics related to human characteristics and traits. • Biometric authentication is used in computer science as a form of identification and access control. It is also used to identify individuals in groups under surveillance. • Distinct, measurable to describe and label individuals. • Aadhaar is the world’s largest biometric database in the world. Fingerprint, Iris Scan and face photo along with demographic data of a person is compiled.
  21. 21. Bioinformatics • Inter-disciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data. • Combines computer science, statistics, mathematics and engineering to study and process biological data. • Major applications in sequence analysis, Databases, literature, structural bioinformatics, gene and protein expression analysis and algorithms, statistical methods to assess relationships.
  22. 22. Telemedicine • Use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical care at a distance. • Helps eliminate distance barriers. • Saves lives in critical care and emergency situations. • Benefit remote regions with specialists living far away. • Also eliminates the possibility of transmission in case of infectious diseases. E.g. In MRSA cases
  23. 23. eHEALTH • eHealth is a relatively recent term for healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication. • It can also include health applications and links on mobile phones, referred to as mHealth. • In case of mental illnesses like depression, eHealth provided anonymity to users. It is also easily accessible. • It is gaining momentum in academic research as well as in psychology, clinical work, family and marriage therapy and mental health counseling.
  24. 24. Biomechanics • Robots that emulate or simulate living biological organisms or are inspired by them chemically or mechanically. • Nanotechnology use is also being studied. • Nano-bots are programmed to act as delivery systems within the organism (like blood). • In biomimicry, robots have to be programmed to make the mechanism simpler and more effective. • Research on humanoid robots is also becoming increasingly popular.
  25. 25. Broadcasting • This is another major role of IT and Telecommunications. • IT helps in spreading awareness about diseases and preventive measures to be taken. • One of the best ways to spread awareness about preventive measure is by media. • Recently, Ebola outbreak has been extensively covered and reported. • Telecommunication helped in containment of the disease.
  26. 26. Controlling diseases • Isolation is one of the major step in controlling highly infectious diseases. • In the ongoing Ebola virus containment, spreading awareness was the first step taken. • This reduces panic and provides information about prevention and if infected, treatment options. • Several airports in many countries, screened passengers for high temperature and other symptoms via thermal sensors and computers without any manual labor need. This was possible due to applying IT services in medical fields.
  27. 27. Biological Equipment • Most of the biological equipment (be it Lab or Diagnostic medicine) run on programs and algorithms. • This makes the machines user-friendly and time saving. • Most machines run on pre-designed programs with specific applications which make usage easier. • Additive manufacturing (or 3D Printing) also makes use of programming techniques.
  28. 28. Summary • The rapid growth in IT and the highly qualified man power in India are bound to have a positive impact on the earth’s environment and health care among others. • With the help of IT, we are able to note down the ongoing changes or we can predict things that are to happen in near future.