New Maryland technology designed to bring social safety net into the 21st Century

Tue, 2017-03-14 06:00 -- Compassionate C...

There are many persuasive examples of how cloud technologies are supporting social services. The UK charity Prince's Trust is using Oracle CX Cloud to reach struggling young people. A pilot that Microsoft and Eccovia Solutions ran demonstrated how cloud-based predictive analytics can help reduce homeless recidivism.  And ZTE's cloud-based trend analysis platform is the technology behind a German city's program to monitor the well-being of its elderly citizens. What next? Read about the state of Maryland's ambitious MD THINK – what Gov. Larry Hogan says is a first in the nation. – Philip Bane

It was after riots in Baltimore that Maryland's administration became focused on the need for a statewide revamp of technology infrastructure to transform how it delivers human services.

A release from Gov. Hogan's office indicates that while the state had data showing areas of poverty, areas of high unemployment and areas with transportation challenges, that data wasn’t able to be used in a way that could help officials determine how to best direct resources.

Provides integrated access
Maryland’s Total Human-services Information Network -- or MD THINK -- is a cloud-based data repository designed to break down traditional silos and data barriers between state agencies. It will provide integrated access to programs administered by a range of agencies involved in human services, including the Department of Human Resources (DHR), the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Juvenile Services and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

For the first time, the release notes, caseworkers will have tablet devices, enabling them to provide services in the field as opposed to having to return to a central location to input data, saving time and resources.

“MD THINK, the first program of its kind in the nation, will completely transform our ability to deliver vital human services to Marylanders and finally bring our service delivery into the 21st century,” Gov. Hogan said. “With MD THINK, we will have the ability to provide help to Marylanders where they are and when they need it through a holistic approach to care that cuts through the bureaucratic red tape.”

Cloud-based platform
The state's DHR was awarded nearly $200 million in federal funds to build the technology platform – described as a scalable, pay-as-you-go, cloud-based platform is expected to deliver significant cost savings, streamline program operations and increase agency productivity. But it's the enhanced data analytics that should help the state better serve its residents.

Phase one of MD THINK will focus on revolutionizing service delivery for the most vulnerable Marylanders -- children in foster care, disconnected youth and families in need.


This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.

Connect with #compassionatecities…
See all the latest Compassionate Cities headlines
Follow Managing Director @Philip_Bane on Twitter
Join us on Facebook
Share your insights in our LinkedIn discussion group