The UN has defined sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be achieved by the year 2030. These goals focus on reducing social inequalities in healthcare, education, income, and promoting environmental sustainability. SDGs can be advanced by developing ICT (Information and Communication Technology) that complement local needs and resources in lower income countries. However, large scale social programs have not emphasised or included ICT for three major reasons:

a. Socio-economic: Majority of SDGs target population lives on less than $2.5 a day, are illiterate and subject to poor living conditions. Meeting the requirements of affordability, usability and sustainability puts the target population out of reach for many technology developers.

b. Natural calamities: Typical SDG populations are at high risk to natural calamities due to climate change. Communities become unreached due to suddenness of flood, earthquake, and droughts resulting in the local availability of food, healthcare, transportation and energy becoming severely compromised.

c. Political will: Policy issues do not include ICT due to geographical disparity of skilled resources.

SDGs address economic and social challenges facing all countries. In developing nations, unproductive eco systems and unclean energy are detrimental to thriving livelihoods. In developed nations, the demographic changes – the ageing society – will place strain on social services. In all nations, climate change increases the severity of natural calamities and may lead to continued disruption of infrastructure. The current social information infrastructure needs to be redesigned. New action oriented, concise and universally applicable ICT solutions need to be developed.

Areas of Research: Remote Healthcare, Mobility as a Service, iFarm

A. Remote Healthcare

Build Efficient Remote Healthcare System for Rural and Ageing Community

Research topics
1. Usability of the system considering low-literate and ageing community
2. Portability of the system considering the interoperability issues of many hospitals and clinics
3. Visualisation of healthcare data for easy and error-free explanation to patients, doctors and family members
4. Consumer behaviour of the remote healthcare systems
5. Analysis of healthcare BigData for knowledge discovery and to develop decision mechanism
6. Error detection of remote healthcare data
7. Social business models to maximise social impacts

Expected social impact
1. Reduce morbidity
2. Serve unreached community and ageing population

B. Mobility as a Service

Build a new car-sharing model for rural community and urban congested areas in developing countries

Research topics
1. Design a car sharing algorithm to maximise the car usage and reduce idle time
2. Design a scheduling system for multiple number of social services (Healthcare, Education, Learning and Purchase)
3. Impact analysis of college bus service for female high school students

Expected social impact
1. Improve the mobility conditions of rural areas
2. Reduce congestions and environmental pollutions in urban areas

C. iFarM (ICT based Farming and Marketing) system
Smart agriculture system to generate extra income for small farmers

Research topics
1. Design farmer-friendly communication tools: farmer to farmer, farmer to expert and farmer to business
2. Design and implement Farmer-friendly e-Commerce system
3. Design voice navigation system for uploading farming information
4. Quality monitoring system for healthy vegetables

Expected social impact
1. Generate extra income for farmers to reduce poverty
2. Provide healthy and safe vegetables to the consumers

Social Tech Lab. は、技術による世界的な社会課題の解決を目指すプロジェクトや、日本での活用(被災地域や限界集落の支援など)も視野に入れたプロジェクトを展開しています。これまでにICTを活用した農村情報プラットフォーム(GramWeb)、農家の所得向上プロジェクト(iFarM)、ICカード式電子通帳(ePassbook)、農村部の健康促進(ポータブル・クリニック)、車搭載型社会サービス (トヨタ-Social Services on Wheels)などに取り組んでいます。


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