The Beijing government is tracking elderly movements to predict services for the older generation.
City residents over 80 are being given ‘Beijing Connect’ cards. They can swipe these when they make payments, enter parks or visit the doctor. Data from its use is pooled together with detailed information on elderly lifestyle habits.
“All of the data we are collecting now, including visits to parks, the use of public transport and [numbers of] shopping trips, will help us to predict whether the elderly will become disabled in the future,” Bai Qiang, the Vice President of Beijing Community Service Association told AP.
The government will be able to monitor if an elderly person misses a doctor’s appointment or makes fewer visits to the park. The government can then predict the disability rate across the city, and set aside budgets and services, Bai said.
The card works as an ID, a payments card and provides free access to public transport and public parks. The elderly can apply for the card in government offices found in every neighbourhood, AP reports.
China’s Cabinet issued a plan last August to promote big data, urging for the share of government data to improve governance. Following that, Guangdong province has called for the collection of population data on the elderly and a “comprehensive analysis” of their needs. It also plans to forecast pollutions, use digital health records and share tourism trends to manage traffic.