Impact of Emerging Technology (Essay Sample)
the instructions read in part as follows: Define a current socioeconomic problem in one of the three countries you previously selected in the Topic 2 globalization presentation assignment. Refer to the “Socioeconomic Problems” resource for samples of socioeconomic problems. Who is affected by the socioeconomic problem? Where are the affected individuals located within the country? What are the resulting socioeconomic costs of the problem to the affected individuals?
What global or local technology is emerging that could be used to solve the problem? What are the costs associated with implementing the technology solution?
Adoption of SCOPE CODA Technology to Fight Malnutrition
One of the greatest socioeconomic problems facing the world is the issue of child malnutrition. The problem is compounded by the growing population and shrinking resources particularly in densely populated urban areas. The challenge therefore is to provide adequate food for poor families living in urban and rural areas. This problem resonates particularly with Nigeria, a country that is working hard to become a middle income nation, yet a significant population lives in poverty, which in turn contributes to child malnutrition.
Recent reports indicate that although progress has been made to address malnutrition, about 25% of infants are born with low weight in Nigeria. Data also shows that about 32% of all children below the age of 5 years suffer from stunted growth (Soetan 2). Taken together, this points to a worrying trend of child malnutrition in Nigeria with most of the affected population living in poor urban neighborhoods and villages. Lack of jobs and reliable income is a key contributor to malnutrition in urban areas. In villages, malnutrition can be attributed to lack of rain, poor hygiene and food conditions, coupled with long distance to urban centers where health facilities are located.
Besides the health implications, malnutrition can have far-reaching socioeconomic effects on the affected individuals and the economy as a whole. To begin with, malnutrition can result in intergenerational ramifications. A malnourished girl will grow up to become a malnourished mother, hence increasing the risk of giving birth to a malnourished baby. The malnourished baby is in turn at risk of repeating the cycle. The loss of income associated with chronic malnutrition propels the cycle by keeping generation after generation in poverty.
Studies have also shown that malnourished or stunted children experience economic losses as adults in various ways. Unlike their peers who achieved full growth, stunted children end up experiencing decreased cognitive abilities, decreased physical productivity and increased medical costs linked to weak immune systems. It is believed that stunted children earn about 20% less as adults compared to healthy peers. The Nigerian economy as a whole also suffers due the socioeconomic issue of malnutrition. For instance, the mortality and morbidity associated with malnutrition leads to a direct loss in productivity and human capital for the economy. The reduced educational attainment and consequent lower skill-level of workforce linked to child malnutrition often delays the development of a country. Persons with stunted growth are equally susceptible to many non-communicable diseases later in life, leading to increased health costs and a strain on the country’s health system (Victora et al. 6).
Improving the nutrition of the affected families is therefore crucial to fight poverty and accelerate the economic growth of Nigeria. Government initiatives to fight malnutrition in Nigeria are often hampered by continued reliance on paper-based recording systems for data collection and analytics processes. Such manual methods can be ineffective, inefficient and usually results in errors, including duplication of entries and difficulties in processing the collected data. In turn this limits decision making and contributes to the vicious cycle of malnutrition. To resolve these problem, a new technology dubbed “SCOPE CODA,” has been introduced to enhance data management in malnutrition treatment interventions. SCOPE CODA is a cloud-based application that enables clients to be issued with a digital identity and tracks nutrition and healthcare services, thus replacing manual records (World Food Program 4).
The technology allows frontline workers to use smartphones to record routine malnutrition treatment procedures from the point of registration to the distribution of medicines and other health products. The information collected forms a holistic electronic health record. Even in remote areas where there is no internet connectivity SCOPE CODA allows healthcare workers to collect and input the information offline. Once connectivity becomes available the smartphones syncs and saves the information to the cloud. The cloud information is then analyzed and sent to relevant government institutions to provide current and accurate reports aimed at improving nutrition program planning. Ideally, SCOPE CODA aims to enhance client’s care and nutrition outcome through improving decision-making for frontline professionals and applying the data to produce evidence on best practices.
To implement the SCOPE CODA technology, financial resources will be required for the hiring of staff that will help in the implementation, service delivery as well as maintenance of information system. Financial resources are also needed for the purchase, delivery and installation of information technology (IT) equipment for implementation of the technology. Money is equally needed for the training of personnel on the system and managed roll out of system in early stages of implementation. Financially resources shall also be deployed throughout the lifecycle of the technology for maintenance, upgrades and to fix bugs.
As an emerging technology, SCOPE CODA has a potential for exponential growth through digitization. In this regard, instead of being used only to fight malnutrition in Nige
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