According to an analysis report by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Accenture, there is $1.5 trillion of value at stake for logistics players and a further $2.4 trillion worth of societal benefits as a result of digital transformation of the industry up until 2025.

It’s high time for industry stakeholders and leaders to come together to prioritize digital transformation initiatives given the potential for significantly higher value to be created for society than for industry. 

Keeping that in mind, the aim of this blog is not to highlight a particular Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform and their capabilities but to inspire you with some real-life innovative cognitive automation solutions/ideas built by thought leaders and RPA developers. Some of these projects have made a significant societal impact on human lives as well.

1. NHS Hospital Implements A Bot for 24/7 Monitoring of Crucial Oxygen Supply

An automation solution requiring no human intervention assists in monitoring oxygen supply 24/7 at Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust is one of my favorite and most inspiring RPA automation stories of all time not just because patients’ lives depend on it but also because it mitigated the clinical risks for hospital staff.

It works like this: A bot built using Automation Anywhere RPA platform in just 12 hours of time could now log into the oxygen supplier’s website where a reading is sent from the tank, then data is automatically input into their system. The bot goes into the system, extracts the last reading, updates a spreadsheet, and then updates a dashboard that provides regular, instant updates to the incident room. The ‘always on’ capability of this automation and 100% accuracy freed up 1,500 hours for staff to focus on other important work. 

Read more about this use case at: NHS Uses RPA to Monitor COVID-19 Oxygen Levels | Automation Anywhere

2. HOPE – A Multi-Sensory Loss Supportive App for People with Disabilities

Disability is any continuing condition that restricts everyday activities. According to an analysis report by National Health Portal (NHS) of India, over 1 billion people, about 15% of the world’s population, have some form of disability. In India itself, according to the Census 2011, 2.2% of the population had some form of disability. The proportion of different types of disability among people reported as: (i) seeing 18.8%, (ii) hearing 18.9% (iii) speech 7.5%.

Given the magnitude of the problem, two young innovative developers, Ishmeet Bindra & Shrippad Mhaddalkar, as part of a UiPath hackathon HyperHack – Automation for Good, decided to tackle a social challenge to develop an app that could give people with disabilities some HOPE, and hence the app name.

The application allows the users with a multi-sensory impairment (such as vision and hearing loss) to do the following:

  • Access to the Wikipedia search engine
  • Access to read the news 
  • Learn from online content (such as BYJU’S)
  • Convert Music XML to Braille Script for accessibility

Here is a visual of how the software functions along with different technologies in place:

Among 350+ participants from 38 countries in the hackathon, the app received the most traction and won first place.

3. Initial Disease Detection with AI

 Given the COVID-19 situation we are/were in, healthcare facilities were/are in tremendous pressure. In fact, the number of doctors and nurses were insufficient for normal healthcare practices.

What if an AI-enabled RPA solution can offload the healthcare professionals involved in the process of initial disease diagnosis? Well, this is what the following use case performs: an automatic detection of provisional disease based on the symptoms provided by patients.

“The symptoms will be collected through patients’ registration form (digital/handwritten) during the registration of a patient in a clinic. After receiving the registration forms, the symptoms are extracted with the help of a Document Understanding (DU) module. On receiving the symptoms, the AI application diagnoses a disease for those symptoms. The diagnosed disease is then stored in the output file as the provisional diagnosis for assisting the doctors in the treatment process”. – UiPath.com

Read more about this use case at: Initial Disease Detection with AI Center, Document Understanding, and Action Center (uipath.com)

4. AI-Enabled RPA Project Deployed in Aircraft Manufacturing Industry Saved 40,000 Hours of Work

Aircraft Manufacturing Industry is one of those few industries where any service interruption delay with the aircraft of more than 15 minutes could cause a hefty amount on the manufacturers’ part. In the case of any technical problems with an aircraft, the manufacturer receives a large volume of data from the various operators which needs processing. Not only is this a manual process that requires human intervention, but is also a repetitive and laborious work.

Here the work scope is to manually review input text data and related fields, and manually classify various output fields that help in decision making related to:

  • Warranty payments for non-working components
  • Design incorporation into future versions of systems based on issues seen in current versions
  • Improve existing process to enhance customer experience

Prakash Narayanan, who is currently the Head of Digital RPA & Automation CoE at Cyient led this cognitive RPA project. One of the biggest challenges of classifying text for various decision making was automated using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques in Python. Machine learning models were created to extract meaningful and required information from the text and thereby classify text into required output fields. The final verification and validations were done by human users before sending the classified data to the jetliner manufacturer. This project was developed using the UiPath RPA tool.

The benefit of this automation was it saved 40,000 hours of manual work, increased operational efficiency by 70% & annual cost savings of USD 500K, requires low-training time, to just mention a few.

5. Labeling Support Tickets Using AI

Most companies use some sort of ticketing systems for internal development and external customer support. However, most of the times incident tickets are not routed to the right team and the tickets keep roaming round and round and by the time it reaches the right team, the issue might have widespread and reached the top management inviting a lot of trouble.

The tickets need to be labeled to keep track of which tickets are important and which team the ticket task belongs to. Now with the increase in the incoming tickets, here comes the boring and repetitive task – the person labeling the tickets needs to read through the whole ticket before deciding which class the ticket belongs to, or how urgently it needs to be addressed.

Here AI plays a significant role in label classification. It uses the historical data on how the tickets were labeled in the past and deduces how the new incoming tickets should be labeled. Human intervention is minimal and only required when AI couldn’t predict the correct label for a given ticket.

Read more about this use case on the Robocorp website: Machine learning with Robocorp and Aito.ai

Final thought: Through these real-life examples, we saw how the first three automations could be utilized in building a more resilient society.

And, not to mention, RPA is already reshaping the ways organizations are able to operate. And, if implemented correctly, it can dramatically transform your business operating models to improve the customer experience, increase successful business outcomes, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. AI-enabled RPA, the powerful duo can help organizations boost team productivity, speed up business transformation, and do more fulfilling work.

P.S: Have you leveraged AI and RPA for innovation? I‘d love to hear your thoughts.

By Bablu Kumar

Bablu Kumar is a technology writer with a focus on cybersecurity and the IT domain at large. The topics he writes about include AI and automation, malware, data breaches, exploits, and security defenses, as well as research and innovation in information security. Feel free to connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/hacback17/

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