Cisco’s Berlin “Smart City” effort aims to help digitize citizens’ lives

According to a report in ZDNet, the IT networking giant announced plans last week to invest in digitizing the lives of Berlin residents in conjunction with local government. The focus of Cisco’s Berlin efforts is on three key areas: telemedicine, security and network infrastructure improvements.

The Berlin initiatives are part of Cisco’s $500 million “Deutschland Digital” program, announced on March 8, which strives to accelerate Germany’s digitization.

San Jose, California-based Cisco developed its digitization plan in conjunction with Berlin’s Senate Department of Economics, Technology and Research. Anil Menon, Cisco’s Global President of Smart+Connected Communities, recently joined with Cornelia Yzer of Berlin’s government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Cisco’s investment in the city.

“Digitization is a great opportunity for the city to benefit even more from its attractiveness,” said Oliver Tuszik, the general manager of Cisco’s German branch. “By signing this Memorandum of Understanding, we want to contribute to improving the quality of life for all citizens and give the Berlin economy an additional boost.”

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Cisco’s Berlin approach focuses on health data

Cisco’s Berlin investment will focus on improving the city’s telemedicine program by developing a platform for exchanging health data among hospitals, emergency services and doctors, subject to permission by patients. This platform could also potentially enable health data to be shared for medical research purposes.

Cisco also seeks to develop a similar system for exchanging data among emergency services, such as hospitals, fire departments and the police to boost security for Berlin residents. Information from the Security Operations Center would be integrated into a Cisco platform, that amalgamates environmental, weather and traffic data in order to improve emergency response times.

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Berlin effort will also focus on network infrastructure

The last component of the Cisco plan will focus on network infrastructure improvements, through an open “horizontal networking infrastructure.” This network would include analytics and security aspects, and be based on open international standards.

Digitization benefits countries, cities, and companies by “creating competitiveness, improving public services and better quality of life, ” said Tuszik.

He added that such digitization initiatives are aimed at “creating competitiveness, improving public services and better quality of life.”

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