Technology and Community Development

TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

KUMAH ERIC JUNIOR

MARCH 2009

ABSTRACT:

In today’s world, technology has invaded many aspects of human life. From its gigantic influence on our education and professional development, to the more subtle presence of little gadgets littering our homes, technology is almost everywhere.

The reasons for such pervasiveness would boil down to some characteristics that technology by itself possesses. One such characteristic, which is of major interest to many scholars, is the seeming lack of barriers to the spread of technology. It easily penetrates societies and even to remote communities, and once it reaches its destination and catches on, it becomes seemingly difficult to stop its spread. As a result of this, consumer technology like cellular phones, computers, PDAs, radios and televisions have become commonplace in places like Africa, even with all the barriers one would have envisaged.

Sadly, it does not need much analysis to realize that even though technology usage is growing rapidly in Africa, we still have numerous developmental problems in our continent. This is a situation where advanced technology is coexisting with underdevelopment in Africa. With all the power that technology wields, it will be a useful exercise to study the ways in which it can be used to solve some of those very problems it has come to meet. In essence, using our little gadgets to solve our big problems.

This is the background against which this study is undertaken. Asking whether our problems can be solved at all, then enumerating instances where development projects that utilize technology have been put to work, and concluding by examining the cases and drawing lessons from them.

CHAPTER. 1.

INTRODUCTION

The limits to what the human mind can conceive and achieve are increasing. More discoveries have been made, more things have been created, more theories have been proved and disproved, more machines have been made and more problems have been created. Scientific technology has been the driving force behind all these. Science has indeed proved to be a powerful tool which has touched many people and has shaped many communities.

According to the Concise Oxford dictionary 10th edition, technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes. Clearly from this definition we can see that scientific knowledge may exist theoretically but it only becomes technology when it is used in practical settings. For example we may say the knowledge of the rules of up-thrust and buoyancy is theoretical, however practical utilization of these rules to manufacture airplanes could be termed aircraft technology.

Again according to the Concise Oxford dictionary 10th edition, a community is the people of an area considered collectively, while development is explained to mean to grow or cause to grow and become larger or more advanced. By deduction, community development could be explained to be the growth or advancement of a group of people.

Today, the world has become highly technological, and things which in the seventies would have passed for science fiction are now so commonplace that they have almost become necessities. From every corner of the world, technology has global acceptance, it is ubiquitous and has the ability to dramatically change situations.

Any attempt to ascribe reasons for this pervasiveness of technology will have many suggestions, some of which are that machines have been proven more efficient than humans at some tasks, machines are less error prone, impartial and never get tired like humans. Another could be the increased sophistication of humans and the attendant need for equally complicated messengers to help us perform many tasks, which is linked to the interesting nature of technology that once a more advanced way of doing something is found, it becomes almost unthinkable to try to do it by "old fashioned" means.

With such large scale interplay of these and many more factors, there is little reason to be surprised by the sudden emergence of automatic machines to handle the little tasks of old; cleaning floors, washing clothes, cutting bread, mixing cake etc. the list goes on and on.

And that is far from all and the list of innovative possibilities is endless. In truth, some of these innovations have shaped the world and there are many examples to cite. The discovery of electricity and the radio wave both changed the world. Today, computers are changing the world even faster. Now with cellular phones, new opportunities have come and our imagination has become the only limiting factor. We can only wait for the next big thing to be created and who knows what it will be?

The picture of technological advancement is not a completely rosy one. Indeed, there are some minuses to science as well, such as the introduction of new forms of danger which come as a consequence of innovative forms of technology, for example the nuclear bomb came from nuclear technology, unforeseen genetic mutations are as the result of genetic engineering, and the numerous and little talked about chemicals which can destroy the ozone or warm the planet.

The seriousness of the disadvantages of technology have prompted some people to argue that technological advancement, which is an example of scientific development, is making us more of advanced entities but less of humans. In other words, we have become better scientists, bankers and professionals and worse human beings. Martin Luther King puts this argument succinctly when he said "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power, we have guided missiles and misguided men."

The disadvantages that technology brings are issues which require serious examination to ascertain what can be done to eliminate them or at least minimize their effects since technology has definitely come to stay, and it would be to our advantage to learn how to work with it in ways that will be the most beneficial to us.

But despite the disadvantages listed here and the many more unnamed, we have seen that we can still derive many benefits from science and given that we live in, or at least come from, a part of the world where development is still a big headache, we should be the first to start a serious study of this phenomenon and see how best we can use it to our advantage. We may be surprised to see that there is a great viability in using our little gadgets to solve our big problems.

Let us make it clear that the aim of this paper is not to present technology as the magic cure that will clear our multitude of problems in a whiff, technology alone will not solve Africa’s problems because our problems are too complex, too deep and too overwhelming for any simplistic scheme to be successful. We can only achieve success when if have a more comprehensive approach to the problem, to include solid commitment to serious research, establishment of the appropriate structures, and the taking of required initiatives. It will be incorrect to assume that technology in itself is inherently good, and just implementing it alone will be enough to achieve any good result3. Though technology may be able to do anything, people must have the vision to drive it in the right direction.

Only with this knowledge can we make any meaningful gains in the development agenda.

In our particular context, Africa has proved that advanced technology could coexist with underdevelopment. People have satellite televisions whilst there are no teachers in the classrooms, we have mobile devices and pocket PCs and devices but our streets are still not named properly, there is still a large number of illiterates among the people who own and use cell phones, spreading of healthcare information is still a challenge even though a lot of people have access to radio and TV. This sorry list is endless.

CHAPTER 2:

CAN TECHNOLOGY REALLY ADDRESS OUR PROBLEMS?

From healthcare, access to water and life expectancy, to governance, industrialization and even the quality of human life, there are numerous problems confronting African communities.

Today we are said to be living in the information age, an era where access to information is the new driving force of the world. The proliferation of the Internet and World Wide Web has reduced the whole world to a massive audience with unprecedented access to vast quantities of information. This communication is unencumbered and the formation of alliances is unhindered by physical distance, national or political borders4. With all the dynamics that this modernity brings, technology stands tall as a favourite to achieve any meaningful sustainable development for many reasons.

Principal among such reasons is the fact that there is improved awareness of underdevelopment among Africans themselves, which could be due to the information age, and an improved belief that our situations can be turned around. This is markedly different from decades ago when there was a lot of resignation and despair among black professionals. Evidence to support this would be the observation that much more thought is being directed at the Africa integration agenda and greater attention being paid to the Economic partnership agreements (EU- ECOWAS).

Another positive indicator is the growing number of trained and competent technological professionals on the face of the continent. Granted, the improved numbers by themselves will not be a good indicator, but with the holistic approach talked about earlier, one can see a sign of hope which shows that there is very high potential for success in a well though out scheme to utilize technology to solve our developmental problems.

Another good point is the individual work that is being carried out by different groups using different approaches (studies of the indigenous chieftaincy system for e.g.) at trying to solve the same problems. This is clear evidence to state that beyond the level of commitment, there have been actual attempts at problem solving. Even if some of such attempts have not been successful due to the numerous challenges in the way, the experiences have been gained and lessons have been drawn from them which would be utilized for future use.

Finally there are areas where major strides have already been made in Africa. Statistics show for example that there have been remarkable improvements in girl student enrollments in places like Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia5. This is definitely a feather in our cap and such areas may serve as boosters to face the remaining dark spots.

All these imply that we might be closer than ever to solving our problems, and all that may be left will be a few giant pushes forward.

This is where technology comes into the picture. It is the one thing that seems to know no barriers, catches on easily and has the power to transform even the most remotely inaccessible locations on earth to budding business towns. It is ubiquitous. Its innovations accelerate by the month. As a result, it is the most probable tool to achieve anything meaningful.

In the early 90’s, scholars described Africa as being left in a technological apartheid 6. Today however, with increased globalization perhaps a slightly better picture can be painted. Even though Africa is not in the league of the innovators of the most novel initiatives and we may not be making as good use of technologies as we ought to, or as some others are, we would still have something positive to report. For example, in some cases, Africa actually has comparable human and hardware resources. Therefore, "apartheid" would no longer be a precise definition of the situation as it stands.

As stated earlier in this paper, technology alone will not solve our problems. But with very serious considerations using active participation, a comprehensive and well though out scheme that incorporates technology will be a very viable solution.

However taking a look at all the attempts made so far and their attendant challenges and effects if any, one may say confidently that will all the proper accompanying compliments, technology will made very significant gains in spurring the development agenda on.

CHAPTER 3:

HOW IS TECHNOLOGY BEING USED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS?

Across many countries around the world, people have made serious strides at utilizing technological knowledge to solve all manner of problems. Many issues have arisen out of such attempts, and below are very brief summaries of some of those places where practical scientific knowledge has been utilized for the growth of the community.

3.1 ELECTIONS

In Africa’s recent governance history, elections have always been a challenge. It is hard to find a totally free and fair voting exercise, whilst contested elections, unfair processes, non transparent irregularities and simple ineffectiveness are commonplace. With a background of poverty, it is not too difficult to understand why the stakes are so high in African politics and why power is very lucrative in this part of the world.  This not withstanding however, there is a good number of unrests that could have been avoided if any election is proven to be fair, free and transparent to an appreciable degree.

Attaining this ideal degree has proved difficult for reasons of the complex interplay of some factors including, a government founded electoral commission, a winner takes all setting, and no motivation to commit to the right virtues. Knowing that power is so lucrative when you come from this winner takes all setting, it is really hard to let go of control of the electoral process. This is one motivation for the dishonourable acts that unfortunately we see quite often.

Because elections are highly involving and they require elaborate programs that span a series of locations (from a voter’s home to the polling station, the collation center, the electoral commission headquarters, the public domain and back to the voter’s home), It follows that unless you are trying to make public exhibition of your nefarious activity, you would need to be tactical to be successful at such dishonorable acts. The tactics employed may vary but they invariably entail series of acts that are designed to prevent information from getting into the public domain. So that for example, figures could be changed anytime so long as the original and authentic ones do not get into the hands of the public.

If democratic leadership were genuinely understood, there will be no attempt at election rigging. But since we are currently not in that ideal stage, election monitoring is one tool we can exploit to at least cut the ability for cheating.

Mobile phone technology is being used in election monitoring in some African countries under a new system of election monitoring called "parallel reporting". Parallel reporting is simply an approach to election monitoring whereby independent observers spread news of the votes counted at the basic level, which is the polling station. The figures are then relayed to an independent center where they are collated and cross checked with official figures announced by the electoral commission.

One advantage of this scheme is seen that it will make it increasingly difficult for an electoral commission to attempt to fraudulently sway the results in the favour of any of the contesting parties. The spreading or relaying of the results figures are done largely with mobile phones. Senegal is an example of a country where this project has been successful.

3.2       HEALTHCARE

The statistics obtained from healthcare research are interesting. Figures show that a large number of the world’s HIVAIDS afflicted people live in Africa. At the same time, one of the growing markets for consumer electronics such as mobile devices, handheld PC etc may be found here in Africa. This represents a population overlap, and it is only prudent that some amount of research has been directed towards attempting to find ways to incorporating technology in the treatment of the numerous diseases on the face of the continent7.

Tuberculosis (TB) has long been known to be one of the deadliest diseases known to man. Apart from the threat that this highly infectious bacterial disease presents to human life, it also enjoys some additional notoriety for lowering the sufferer’s immune system to make it easy for other diseases, which may have various degrees of harmfulness, to attack the sufferer.

As if that were not enough, TB has a deadly habit of mutating at the least case of drug non adherence. Therefore any TB caregiver knows that a patient who demonstrates non compliance with drug rules is clearly not interested in getting healed. As a result of this, over the years, ways to enforce religious adherence of medication have been tried but success has largely eluded caregivers.

In South Africa, there is a very laudable project, the SimPill’s award-winning Adherence System project, which uses a real-time management system to increase adherence to medications prescribed to treat chronic illnesses – particularly tuberculosis, which is a significant cause of death of people living with HIV.

3.3       SOCIAL ISSUES

Serious projects that utilize technology to address social issues have been implemented in South Africa. One such idea named Fahamu’s Umn Yango (meaning ‘doorway’ in isiZulu) has been implemented to curb domestic violence by equipping people with cell phones as tools to monitor and report abuse. Under this scheme, victims use cell phones to call a predefined and popular number and give details of the abuse.

The fear of being victimized has always made it difficult for victims, witnesses or relatives to step up and lodge complaints to the relevant authorities. There are examples of places where people had reported abuses and had been picked upon by the abuser. We have had friends of a victim reporting an abuse of their friend only to go home to be abused themselves by their spouses as punishment for "poking their noses in other people’s business". These good citizens were made to pay the price for exposing a wrong thing.  

This fear has been totally eliminated under this project because of the provision of anonymity, the telephone call could be made in secret, and even the details of the reporter are not always required. This is a sharp contrast to the situation in the past where victims, neighbours, or witnesses were required to walk into a police station to make a formal report.

Apart from successes chalked in the number of reports that are received, there has also been a reduction in the numbers of abuse cases. This may be partly due to the deterring feeling among would-be abusers that, any passerby holding a mobile phone might just make sure they get a visit from a police detective for spouse battering.

3.4       ANIMAL FARMING

Technology has also been put to good use in farming.

Farmers who rear cattle in small herds, over time, develop a personal relationship with the animals, the farmer knows all of them and can notice a missing animal or a sick one with just a glance. However, because it takes months of careful observation of the behaviour of every cow to know every animal well enough to take note when there is an infection or when an animal does not ruminate properly, this task would be ineffective if it were performed by a human shepherd with a large herd.

To remedy this situation, the technology of vocal tags has been developed in Europe. This project employs a tag, which is a belt fitted with sensors and worn around each animal’s neck. These sensors monitor several indicators such as the animal’s rate of rumination, voice clarity, digestion and breathing and send the data collected to a central computer.

Over time the computer knows what is normal for every cow and will notify the shepherd when something goes wrong with a cow.

The advantage of this project is that a farmer can take quick and specific action like giving treatment to the particular animal involved. This removes the need to give general treatments to the whole herd, which is both time and money wasting.

These are some of the ways that technology is being used towards increased development.

CHAPTER  4

WHAT LESSONS HAVE BEEN LEARNT?

No matter how promising an idea or project sounds, there are bound to be problems encountered in the deployment of the project. In achieving the above projects, following are some of the problems one is likely to be faced with:

In the election monitoring program, misinformation has been identified to be one of the problems starring the program in the face. It is true that when all the information is not localized in the hands of government, then a lot more transparency will be achieved, but it is also true that mass misinformation remains an unpleasant possibility.

Another problem could arise when there is a situation where people do not necessarily trust the degree of independence of the so called independent observers. It may lead to a problem where parties could cast a slur on the reputation of the observers so as to use the resulting mistrust to set the stage for a possible rejection of the results.

Overall this is a laudable idea and if a means of verification were added, the figures would mean much more to a lot of people.

Whilst celebrating the successes chalked, it is important to note that a number of other factors needed to progress before a state could move towards a more democratic model of governance. According to African political expert, Sheldon Gellar, these changes include: strengthening independent media, growing and ensuring freedom of civil society, decentralizing power, ceding more control to local governments, empowering women and improving judicial systems to ensure independence and power to punish.

Governance is one area that is set to reap some benefits of this phenomenon when used judiciously, unilateral rule and arbitrary action may be reduced towards a more participatory approach to leadership in Ghana

Technology could help achieve those goals to some extent, as communication was the key to overcoming oppression.

In some of the cases, such as the election monitoring or domestic violence reporting, the internet could be used to provide communities with means to communicate, to organize and obtain good information which is not controlled by the government. However, this is not practical in Africa since only a tiny percentage of Africans have affordable access to internet.

In the healthcare project, basic mismanagement has been identified as one of the reasons why many projects seem to skid to halt after being piloted. Needed funds are not always available to those who need them.

Another problem observed was that the people who will be using the project are not always consulted in the designing and planning of the ideas, so there is a lack of communication between beneficiaries, health professionals, technologists, and managers.

Another problem was the theft of cell phones. Although cell phones are a relatively low-cost technology, they still hold considerable value in poverty-stricken areas, and are commonly stolen. And, such theft is likely to rise as these devices become more and more complex. However this is quite debatable since some analysts argue that losing a cell phone to a thief is less of a financial loss than losing a more costly machine.

In the domestic violence project one stumbling block was the communication gap between the various parties involved in the system. Feedback was largely missing and people could not tell whether their input was useful – or received, and in some cases, police officers who receive messages reporting violence against women may not be prepared to respond.

Another problem was the unfortunate situation where some unscrupulous people made the work more difficult for the authorities by raising false alarms. This could be addressed by education and the incorporation of punitive measures.

However to use effective punitive measures, even more advanced technology will be required, for example to pinpoint a particular cell phone subscriber, and take action against them like blocking their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Cards etc.

And the usual problem of financing in many projects is ever present as well, and it is the more predominant one in the animal rearing project.

CHAPTER  5

CONCLUSION

Granted, there are challenges that exist in using technology to achieve development goals, but such efforts still hold great potential and the costs of any obstacle will not stand in comparison to the threat of underdevelopment and poverty. So we can only strive to work harder at such solutions.

Our development attempts and efforts should think more seriously about sustainability and scalability. One important consideration in this direction is the affordability of the programmes we plan and develop. The more affordable options have a higher chance of success, so the fact that most of the development projects do not require any extraordinarily complex or new gadgets is indeed pleasant to note.

Also throughout the creation and deploying of any project, enough consultation should be carried out to ensure that there is a general buy-in into the idea from the creators to the beneficiaries. This will make an idea command a common sense of ownership.

The quality of the management should also be improved and measures should be put in place to ensure the right things are done.

Identifying the problem is half the solution. We already now have greater awareness and we have made some attempts at solving them. Putting our acts together to draw the lessons and re-strategizing with a new approach -technology, is definitely the way to go. I am confident of the viability of this new approach.

CITED REFERENCES

1         Steere M. Cell phones promise fairer elections in Africa. Cable News Network [Online]2009. Available from http://edition.cnn.com/europe. Accessed 2009 Feb 6.

2         Wikipedia. Technology.Wikipedia.org[online]2009.
Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology. Assesed 2009 March 27

3         Macha N. Will Technology solve Africa’s problems?. Global Voices Online[Online]2009. Available from http://globalvoicesonline.com/ Accessed 2009 Feb 6.

4         Finnis A.J. Learning in the Information Age.Twinisles[Online]2009.
Available from http://dev.twinisles.com/research/learninfoage.htm. Accessed 2009 March 27

5 Kitetu, C. Gender in Education: An overview of developing trends in Africa.
Available from www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/groups/crile/docs/crile54kitetu.pdf. Accessed 2009 March 27

6 Castells M. Information Technology Globalization and Social Development.[Abstract]. In UNRISD Discussion Paper No. 114.September 1999.p11.

7 Walvaren K. Did you say cell phones for development? Association for Progressive Communications.[Online]2007.Available from http://www.acp.org/en/home. Accessed 2009 Feb 6.

Source: Eric Kumah
technology


How Technology Is Affecting Our Lives

Today’s world is full of pieces of technology that we take for granted, the microchip has truly revolutionised the way in which we live and do business. The world we see would not be recognisable to people of a few generations ago and nowhere is this truism greater than in the world of computing. Hence it is important to stay up to date with technology news; while many may think that this type of news is purely for geeks it is clear that all of us should have at least a passing interest in news of technological developments.

Technology pretty much touches all of our lives in some way and hence technology news is a vital resource that can keep us up to date with developments and ways in which the world will be changing. For instance, the onset of digital television is something that will affect most people; news stories that inform us of the dates for the switch over are vital so the average member of public can understand when their analogue signal will be turned off. In the same way, news of technologies that may make our cars safer and more efficient is important to all those who drive on our roads.

Anyone of a reasonable age will remember the BBC’s ‘Tomorrow’s World; a technological news show that brought us stories of the latest developments and the ways life would be changed in the future. It was as sad day when this news show was cancelled; maybe it meant that people were no longer interested in new technology. If people are less interested they should not be; being up to date with what is coming around the corner is just as important as being informed on the politics of the nation and world affairs.

Any lack of interest has been sidestepped by the internet, which has seen the creation of a platform for thousands of writers who feel it necessary to publish regular news stories on technological developments. It is not just the bedroom ‘bloggers’ however that is publishing detailed news stories. Major reporting institutions are now likely to have a technology dedicated page in order to cope with the huge demand for this kind of news.

The fact of the matter is that technology now covers such a diverse range of subjects that it would be foolish for any reporting company not to write stories on the genre. Technology can apply to elements of the medical industry as well as the automotive industry. It is this diversity that makes technology news articles so interesting to read and why subscribers from all over the world regularly catch up theses stories.

It can be argued that will now live in the ‘computer age’, whether this is true or not is a matter of conjecture but what can be assured is that we live a period where computers are becoming increasingly important to our way of life. Ultimately we are becoming evermore reliant on our computers and without them we would be lost; there are even news stories of some now being addicted to their computers and handhelds. This is the extent that technology has encroached upon our lives that people now do not feel the need to ‘unplug’.

The phenomena is only set to continue, as computers become more powerful and have greater and greater applications it will not be long that we will plan our lives around the computer. This is not an attempt to act as a harbinger of doom, it is just theorising on ways in which technology will impact upon the human race. This is why keeping up to date with news stories about technology is so important, technology is about forward momentum and understanding what is at the crest of the wave is only half of the battle.

Source: Thomas Pretty
technology

How Technology Changed The Face Of Nursing

No workplace has escaped the touch of technology, including nursing. Nursing is still, and will always be, a field where technology has had a huge impact on the way that nurses do their job. While some of the technological advances have made the nurse’s job easier, others have been implemented as a price saving measure, and still others are used to improve patient safety.

Like those in other industries, nurses are often reluctant of using new technologies. With the desire to remain within the process they are familiar with, nurses are often unwillingly pulled into newer technologies. Like most others, once they become familiar with new technology, they grow to like it. One side effect of the new technological advancements in healthcare is the increase in jobs related to the field. Before ultrasounds, there was no need for someone trained to perform them. Respiratory therapy, nuclear medicine and many other branches of healthcare have created new jobs by the advancement of technology.

Improvements in medical care

Advancements in technology have lead to improved healthcare and patient care. Before the development of electronic IV monitors and IV pump infusions, anyone who received an IV had it administered under the watchful eye of a nurse. Because manual IVs were susceptible to stopping or flowing too rapidly, a nurse remained by the patient’s side every time they received an IV. When you consider how common IVs are, it is easy to see how much time is saved with the electronic IV monitor.

All nurses are familiar with the sphygmomanometer. This is the technical name for a blood pressure cuff. Having an electronic blood pressure cuff that also records the patient’s heart beat is probably one of the greatest time saving tools that technology has brought to nursing.

Technologies such as ultrasound and sonograms have given the medical community the ability to look inside of the human body and see unborn babies and cancerous tumors. While a nurse does not perform or read the ultrasounds and sonograms, their effect has touched the nursing community by allowing more invasive diagnostic procedures to fall by the wayside.

Improvements in information management

As important as nursing care is for the patient, it is only one part of the nurse’s job. The nurse is responsible for maintaining an accurate record on each patient under her care. While many hospitals continue to use pen and paper charting, technology can make the record keeping process less cumbersome. There are computerized programs available for medication dispensing, hospital occupancy and insurance and payment programs. Patient records can be maintained in a computerized database which allows the physician, nurse or other medical professional to pull up the patient’s medical history in seconds. Portable computing equipment allows the nurse to update the information on the fly, rather than at the end of each shift. Internet access allows medical personnel to have instant access to databases to search for symptoms and drug interactions.

Reducing the risk of mistakes

Computerized drug management software reduces the chances of a patient receiving the wrong drug, or being given two drugs that should not be given together. Portable defibrillators only work when they are needed and properly applied. Many of the improvements in technology are aimed at reducing the risk of errors and mistakes that can lead to injury or death. This not only makes the hospital a safer place for patients, but helps ease the stress nurses and other medical professionals are under.

Technology and the nurse

As the nursing field becomes more specialized, the need for nurses that are comfortable with new technology will only increase. While many of the therapies for disease involve drugs, a growing number include medical devices. Technology is focused on the healthcare industry right now for a variety of reasons. Recent drug interactions of approved drugs have made more healthcare development firms look at device development as a safer and less litigious area of development.

The growing needs for medical care and the shortage of healthcare workers also drive the development of new technology. Innovations that make it possible for a nurse to perform duties more efficiently, or allow them to hand over duties to an aide or administrative personnel increases efficiency and increase the number of patients that can be cared for with the same number of nurses.

The desire to reduce mistakes that can cause harm to the patient also drive the development of technology. Devices that have built in safeguards that prevent misuse are one example of this technology. In many highly computerized hospitals, a patient cannot be dispensed the improper medicine, because the computer checks current medications the patient is currently taking, and the patient’s diagnosis, before allowing the medication to be removed from the pharmacy. If the doctor wants the medicine, he must manually override the system.

While nothing can totally remove the pressure of working as a nurse, many innovative solutions have made the job much more manageable. While the learning curve is often steep, the savings in time and worry are your compensation.

Source: Josiah Walter
technology

First batch of assembled Xiaomi Mi 6 units are ready to be shipped

This past Wednesday, the Xiaomi Mi 6 was officially unveiled. Now, the next date of importance for the handset and its fans is April 28th, which is when the flagship model will be launched. Already, registrations are soaring in advance of the first flash sale of the device. For example, on China’s JD.com there have already been over 600,000 consumers planning on taking part in the first flash sale this coming Friday. By one estimation, there could be 2 million registrations for the handset across the many different Chinese platforms that are selling the phone.

With all of that demand, we …

Xiaomi Mi 6's official theme song can easily win the Eurovision contest

Although Xiaomi Mi 6 might be a China-exclusive affair, there will be plenty of Chinese retailers that will ship the flagship internationally. To highlight the fact that the Mi 6 is an international product, Xiaomi released the official English theme song of the flagship.

The song is called “Only One,” and it’s been composed and sung by Chinese artist Jiang Han. However, you won’t notice that while you’re listening to the song (it’s that good).

The lyrics of the song have been specially written to match the description of the new Xiaomi Mi 6, which looks …

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 specs leak touts Snapdragon 835 and 8GB RAM

The Xiaomi Mi MIX was one of last year’s great surprises, and its welcome reception demonstrated the tech world’s keen interest in (almost) edge-to-edge design. Naturally, there’s been quite a bit of speculation as to what the device’s successor may include, with a recent rumor suggesting the so-called Mi MIX 2 could offer an even more impressive screen-to-body ratio than the first iteration. Now, a rather premature GearBest listing suggests the next-gen model could arrive with up to 8 gigs of RAM. 

Of course, this information is not confirmed, …

Xiaomi Mi 6 is now official; phone will be released on April 28th with SD-835 and 6GB of RAM

The Xiaomi Mi 6 is now official. Introduced by Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun this morning, the eagerly awaited handset features a 5.15-inch display carrying a 1080 x 1920 FHD resolution. The Snapdragon 835 chipset is under the hood with an octa-core 2.45 GHz CPU, and the Adreno 540 GPU. The handset will come with 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of native storage. A 3350mAh battery is charged with keeping the lights on. Because the Snapdragon 835 SoC is 25% more efficient than the Snapdragon 820, the Mi 6 should provide users with outstanding battery life.

The dual rear camera setup in back …

Xiaomi Mi 6 has a dual camera like the iPhone 7 Plus: Portrait mode and first photo samples

Xiaomi has made a name for itself in China over the past couple of years for its flash sales of phones with great value for the money. And today, it has announced its most important phone for the year: the flagship Xiaomi Mi 6. And it has a dual camera with a special portrait effect just like the iPhone 7 Plus.
What is this new dual camera all about and how good its pictures are?
First, let’s look at the camera system itself: we have two 12-megapixel sensors, one with a wide-angle lens and the secondary one with …

Xiaomi Mi 6 price and release date: more for less

Xiaomi just took the wraps off its long-anticipated next flagship edition, the Mi 6, as a successor to last year’s Mi 5 and its slight upgrade the Mi 5s. What’s new? Well, the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset, for starters, and the Mi 6 will be the first phone with it to launch in China, and seemingly the second worldwide, after the Galaxy S8. It begs the question how could LG skip on the 835 for the G6, but that’s a story for another night.

The next big thing in the Mi 6 is the dual camera with telephoto lens, iPhone 7 Plus style, which will offer 2x real “optical” …

Xiaomi Mi 6: all the official images

The long-awaited Xiaomi Mi 6 is here and it’s everything it was hyped to be – a beautiful phone with serious hardware muscle! Here are all the official images for the handset so you can have a very good look at it before the first hands-on pictures and real-life photos start trickling.
For everything else related to the Xiaomi Mi 6, check out the following articles or visit our Xiaomi page: