Features, TECHNOLOGY

Moscow goes for “smart”

As Invest-Foresight already mentioned, digitalization is one of the few modernisation policy aspects where the Russian authorities are doing quite good. Despite the sanctions, Russia’s capital is among Top 10 Smart cities and it plans to further improve its position. The Digital Technology Department of the Moscow City Government, entrusted with implementing the Russian Federation Digital Economy programme in Moscow, revealed some of the plans for the next year.

RIAN | Maxim Blinov

More smart services

According to PwC, Moscow is one of the five leaders ready to try on the Smart City format. It is leading the way with only Singapore, London, Shanghai and New York ahead.

In terms of virtual services for its residents, Moscow is the leader among the world’s top smart cities. Today 200 public services are available online via a single website mos.ru and its mobile app. You can submit online application for a number of documents like internal passport, passport for travels abroad, driver’s license and others, and pick it up at one of 127 multifunctional centres (MFCs). Pay for any communal services or traffic fines, check your child’s school assignments and scores, get social assistance or make an appointment with a doctor online. The Active Citizen website is the tool for Muscovites to participate in all city referendums, and their choice is saved in the block chain.

However, of 200 online services only 60 are fully operational, though the IT Department planned to make 97% of public services electronic in 2017. Head of Analytical subdivision of the IT Department Alexei Chukarin explained that the regulatory base is not ready yet to opt out of paper documents. For instance, supplementary education institutions still request paper documents after you submit your application online. But Moscow is strongly committed to making all the services electronic.

Apart from that, Moscow City Government plans to move on to SMART services – services that are personalized, easy and provided when needed. For example, your driver’s license is about to expire, and a relevant mos.ru tool will remind you about it.  Moscow IT Department works on making your driver’s license extended automatically if you have no violations registered. The implementation of this service is scheduled for 2018. The residents will also be reminded about the need to change their passport when they turn 20 or 45 years old. Parents of first-graders will get the information about the three schools closest to their residential address, and the same service will be available for pre-schoolers.

In addition, starting from 2018, public services will be upgraded to identify users so that they can get online banking services without actually visiting the bank.

Smart Healthcare

Moscow ranks 8th in the PwC Smart Healthcare rating, lagging behind the leaders due to its low level of readiness to embrace personalized medicine and mobile telehealthcare. Personalized medicine is based on genetic tests that allow for more precise diagnosing of potential diseases.  In Moscow, this service is available only at a handful of private clinics. The world’s Smart City leader (according to Juniper Research and Intel) – Singapore – equipped many of its elderly citizens with mobile gadgets to monitor their health.

However, ten Moscow clinics introduced national breast and lung cancer diagnosing system based on big data, computer vision and artificial intelligence. Compared to doctors, AI allows for a more precise detection of cancer at an early stage because the computer vision is more accurate. Currently, the AI System has over 6,000 computer tomography images and X-rays downloaded into it, and the database will constantly grow. The device will further learn to diagnose lung cancer and other diseases in order to make the necessary clinical decisions.

The IT Department plans to use the Integrated Medical Information Analytical System (EMIAS) created in 2012, to analyse disease and clinical decisions frequency.

 5G, unmanned transport and smart education

Since last year, the Government of Moscow has been in negotiations with private carriers about the implementation of the new generation of 5G wireless networks. These networks can offer 100 Mb/s since this high speed is required by the Internet of Things and for driverless transport. Moscow was the first in the world to test 5G, says Yevgeny Alminov, head of statistics at the IT Department. Installing 5G stations in Moscow is scheduled for 2019-2020 so it can well become the first cosmopolis to switch over to 5G.

But at the moment Moscow lacks any driverless transport development strategy, according to PwC. However, Russia’s major technological companies plan to test driverless cars in Moscow as early as 2018. London, the leader in introducing driverless transport, has plans for 2019 to launch driverless shuttle buses near the city’s O2 Arena.

On the other hand, Moscow completed its pilot VR/AR project for education and plans to spread this experience to all Moscow schools this year. Virtual labs will allow the students to perform experiments that are not possible in real life, like the use of G-M meter to measure radioactivity of uranium or possibility to watch the section of operating combustion engine.  In biology classes, the students will be able to study body systems and viruses using 3D models. Some $300 million will be invested to develop education sector. It is possible that this might become a public-private partnership project, as was the case with video cameras in Moscow installed by communication service providers.

By Natalya Kuznetsova

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