Happy New Year from all of us at RHE Global!
The area of environmental health is an exciting place to be at the moment, with a global degree of attention and interest that is ever increasing, offering up plenty of food for thought.
Let’s take one example: smartphone apps are like digital viruses; they are small and can be powerful and positively disruptive in their effect on the host organisation. Smartphone apps can act like a virus, triggering process re-engineering from within. This is in contrast to corporate ‘single platform’ ‘front to back’ IT solutions imposed from the top down. The latter usually cost serious amounts of public money and present a significant challenge to adapt to the wide diversity of processes within regulatory and public protection services. Smartphone apps cost far less and can be a driver for real digital transformation.
Our experience with smartphone apps is that where they are carefully targeted at specific processes (think The Noise App or Reportable), they offer flexibility to empower EHO professionals to reshape and transform their services. In the case of The Noise App and Reportable, we have witnessed this many times. We do not stipulate how our apps should be deployed (there are lots of options); rather we have stood back and noted that each client organisation does it differently in order to meet their local service requirements. Our case studies bear testimony to the achievement of our clients working with apps.
This is one example of how bio-engineering teaches us lessons that we can apply to our organisations, but it does not stop there. These revelations can result in a change in how citizens interact with our organisations. Citizen science will become more ubiquitous as this smartphone virus also 'alters the genes’ of citizens, causing them to become more personally concerned and able to be active in altering their environment for the better.
They can now more easily and quickly report situations that EHOs are empowered to remedy. Smartphones are slowly becoming the eyes and ears of the environmental health profession, directly and indirectly.