Impact of Digital Twins on Smart Cities: Healthtech and Fintech Perspectives – opportunities, Challenges, and Future Directions

Impact of Digital Twins on Smart Cities: Healthtech and Fintech Perspectives – opportunities, Challenges, and Future Directions

Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3833-6.ch004
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There are several industries that have shown significant advancements in using digital twin capabilities. Healthcare, life sciences, and fintech constitute a powerful trifecta that can profoundly impact society at a global scale. The design and deployment of digital twins is complex and intimately connected to other digital technologies. However, in order to be successful, we will also need to overcome some of the challenges faced with any emerging technologies and mitigate against the risks of maleficent use. Specifically, ethics, cybersecurity concerns, and cross-industry standards will be on the agenda of most enterprises wishing to deploy digital twins. By leveraging a combined deployment of digital twins with other emerging technologies, we could potentially build a highly performant global digital twin ecosystem. Futurists would even venture to envision the existence of state-of-the-art smart cities where digital healthcare twins, digital life sciences twins, digital finance twins would be part of our daily lives.
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Digital twin technology is foundational to smart city deployments as they can serve a dual role. One role can be to create digital twins of smart cities to assist with the design, implementation and maintenance of the complex smart city strategic roadmap, as they are a powerful tool that can expedite the lifecycle of the smart city deployment. The other important role is their ability to offer key strategic intelligence for the adequate deployment of all other emerging technologies utilized in creating a fully operational smart city architecture and infrastructure. While there are numerous definitions of smart cities, one of the common denominators for all of them are:: leveraging technology and improving the quality of life for citizens. To be future-ready, we must strive to build inclusive, diverse, and equitable smart cities and digital twin technology can be a powerful catalyst in measuring our ESG impact. Given the global workforce trends predicted to occur by 2030, we must also strive to design and build smart communities for smart global citizens that will be connected by a smart global business ecosystem. This global ecosystem was valued at USD 1,226.9 billion in 2022 and is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.8% from 2023 to 2030 in a recent report published by Grandview Research.

According to IBM, a digital twin is a virtual representation of an object or system that spans its lifecycle, is updated from real-time data, and uses simulation, machine learning, and reasoning to help decision-making. Their business impact is remarkable as the global digital twin market size was valued at USD 11.12 billion in 2022 and is projected to exhibit a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.5% from 2023 to 2030 as highlighted in a recent report by Market Research.

We are currently at the cusp of the 5th industrial revolution. Several emerging and frontier technologies are driving this new era and are foundational in building the smart urban metropolis of the future. Digital twin technology is one of the major technologies that can have a profound impact and act as a catalyst in designing safe, inclusive, diverse, and sustainable smart cities.

Other essential technologies include IoT, IIoT, 5G and 6G, satellite internet, biometrics, edge computing, cloud computing, spatial computing, distributed ledger technologies, quantum, brain-computer interfaces, AR, VR, XR, and the complex artificial intelligence portfolio. All these converging technologies can be embedded in complex smart technology architecture and can be enhanced by leveraging the data intelligence derived from digital twin technology either for safety, efficiency, research or to attain a higher degree of human-centricity. The literature reviews conducted and published by several authors (Filipe et al., 2021; Pintoa et al., 2022) provide an ample illustration of the combined power of distributed ledger technologies, the internet of things, and digital twin technologies. This review also showcases the people-centric attributes of DLT-IOT architectures.

For both healthcare and fintech, the powerful hybrid of digital ledger technologies and digital twin technology can offer increased operational efficiency, reduced overhead costs, reduced insurance premiums, enhanced auditing capabilities, optimized cyber-defense systems, as well as reduced fraud, waste, and abuse. When digital twin technology are coupled with federated learning capabilities there is an exponential benefit due to the ability to provide strategic intelligence for multiple stakeholders while maintaining data encryption.

Figure 1.

Digital Twin Technology for Smart Cities -Domains

Figure 2.

Digital Twin Technology for Smart Cities-Layers, Science Direct


Key Terms in this Chapter

Omniverse: Collective set of metaverses.

Personalized Medicine: Emerging practice of medicine that uses an individual’s genetic data or other unique biomarkers to customize their treatment plan.

Digital Twin Technology: A virtual representation of a real-world object, process, entity or a city.

Robo-Advisors: Online applications that provide automated advice and pre-determined services.

Federated Learning: One of the artificial intelligence methods that allows computing without decryption of data.

Human-Centricity: Focusing on self-sovereignty, self- determination, self-governance, autonomy, or agency.

Precision Health: Medical discipline that leverages genetic, behavioral, and environmental data to generate customized treatment approaches.

Metaverse: A shared virtual environment that aims to replicate the physical world and offers individuals novel experiences related to agency, social presence and share spatial awareness.

Smart City: A technology-enabled urban area that collects and processes data with the intent to improve the efficiency and quality of life for its citizens.

Distributed Ledger Technology: Technology infrastructure and protocols that are consensually shared, allowing simultaneous access and validation of transactions.

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