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Why Video Technology Is Set To Transform The Middle East

Why Video Technology Is Set To Transform The Middle East

New applications of video technology will improve services in education, healthcare, and the government, says Tarek Ghoul, Cisco’s general manager for the Gulf and Levant.

Whichever way you look at it, the sheer scope of video technology and its current application potential is breathtaking, particularly when it comes to the collaborative benefits it can deliver in fields like education, healthcare, and government services.

Encouragingly, the Middle East is ideally placed to tap into this new era of visual empowerment, given the projected global growth of mobile video traffic, which will account for 69 per cent of total mobile data traffic by 2018. Mobile video traffic will increase 14-fold from by 2018 and will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application category.

Today, technology is making it easier to connect and collaborate with colleagues, partners, and customers from any location and reliable, high-quality, interoperable video—as opposed to video that’s webcam-based, unreliable or incapable of scaling—will play a significant role in the collaboration mix.

But there isn’t enough of this technology: industry statistics show that more than 93 per cent of meeting rooms globally aren’t equipped with high-quality video. In this era of the Internet of Everything (IoE), video needs to be available everywhere: from the browser to the boardroom to all the spaces in between, including the other 93 per cent of meeting rooms.

Education – Building 21st Century Collaborative Skills for Students across the Middle East

Few would argue against education being vital force in the region’s sustainable development, and all indications suggest that video collaboration tools are likely to play a noticeable starring role in shaping the classroom of the future.

Scores of educational establishments from schools, colleges and universities across the Middle East are already “flipping classrooms” with students watching video lectures from around the world, before collaborating in the classroom on multimedia projects. Similarly, geographical barriers are being broken down as students connect with lecturers as well as other students from different countries and locations across the globe and are increasingly able to collaborate and share learning experiences utilising real-time video technology.

There is no longer the need for educational experts or trainers to travel hundreds of miles in order to deliver education, today and increasingly so in the future they are and will be available quite literally at the touch of a button. Innovative technology solutions are helping to connect, engage, and empower learners, educators, and leaders to improve learning which will in turn accelerate economic growth, and strengthen social wellbeing. Enabled by collaborative technologies that allow individuals to create, adapt and share content and best practices, in the future, collaborative video technology solutions will help transform the learning environment throughout the ME region by providing a means to bring education to even the most remote locations.

Healthcare – Enhancing Cost, Access, and Quality of Care

With the Middle East facing a growing and aging population, the healthcare sector is in a race to not only adapt to a huge influx of patients, but also increasing pressures to drive efficiency and cut costs. In many parts of the ME, patients in both urban and rural settings often have limited access to health care, particularly when they require specialty services or need care for chronic illness. Healthcare workers are under similar pressures where more is needed from them in terms of information availability, reliable access and inter-collaboration capabilities within the healthcare facility environment.

Video solutions are increasingly also enabling healthcare professionals to collaborate more easily, regardless of location, thereby improving both the timeliness and the quality of care delivered. Subsequently, healthcare institutions and providers are utilising care-at-a distance technology to connect patients in the Middle East with physicians or specialists in the US or the Far East, for example, for vital healthcare consultations.

All of this is far from being a figment of anyone’s imagination. These are applications that are happening right here, right now, and the technology and its use-cases are only going to become more immersive and effective.

Government Services – A New Perspective

One of the biggest catalysts of next generation video technology in the region will undoubtedly be the region’s shift towards the notion of a smart and connected city. As sensors are integrated in virtually every object connected to citywide Wi-Fi networks, Smart Cities will necessarily have video at their very core.

This will enable activities like emergency personnel sending live reports of a fire to determine potential hazards, or police watching CCTV footage of a potential suspect. For Middle Eastern citizens, it means being able to leverage mobile apps to show government agencies what problems need to be immediately fixed, from a pothole to a building in danger of collapse or water main break.

With the GCC boasting one of the youngest and most tech-savvy populations on the planet, the scene is set for decision-makers to aggressively and vividly tap into video’s transformative potential. And, if they can work with the right partners to get the right technologies in place at the right time, the future will clearly look very different – and very bright indeed.

The Network – Enabling Collaborative Video of the 21st Century

Such intelligent and innovative use of collaborative video technology will increase productivity, reduce overall costs and ultimately help transform companies, cities, countries and subsequently, individual lives. The future of video technology in the Middle East region is networked – using the full power of video and mobility, citizens will be able to collaborate, create and share knowledge as well as benefit from new experiences.

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