By Lucas Funes, CEO & Founder
As I kicked-off 2020 I attended some of the most important annual shows in the US to get a glimpse of how the future looks like in some of the most prominent industries. Started with Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, that since 1967 brings the latest technology innovations to the floor, NRF Annual Convention & EXPO, the flagship industry event of the National Retail Federation, and International Builder Show (IBS) the NAHB event that gathers home builders from all over the world. Here are some of my thoughts about what is next in terms of innovation.
It is not news that Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics are becoming the backbone of any decision making in any industry. As I walked the floor it was obvious to me that it comes down to either retail, home builder or consumer electronics: a strategy without the right data infrastructure can no longer be sustained. So if you haven't looked at your BI infrastructure, stop what you are doing and start planning how you will get in on the future.
The retail industry is evolving its processes with very sophisticated solutions for real-time analytics for inventory and supply chain. Retail business BI needs IoT, AI, and machine vision to optimize operations, logistics and supply chain in order to transform the business and fit into the new market trends and consumer demands. One example is a solution that uses drones and walking robots for inventory control and puts an end to many costly processes that have a direct impact on the customer experience, like making sure orders are shipped on time. Access to real-time analytics is key to optimize warehouses and facilities. With the imminent growth of e-commerce, retailers need to make sure they have the right logistics in place and that their operations can scale at the speed of market adoption. The fast-changing patterns in consumer behavior are certainly driving technological change.
The Home Builders industry is also going in the same direction with technological solutions to optimize the construction industry processes and ultimately build more efficient houses, faster. From automated processes and AI to predict supplies, to the visibility of workers' safety and productivity. Almost every critical process in the construction industry is being touched by technology with a strong sense of efficiency but also adding sustainability to the equation. During IBS, Panasonic presented the BUILDER Chowa Concept Home, an idea rooted in the past but aligned with the needs of the future: the spirit of Chowa, looking to evolve a very stalled industry and bridge the gap between what homebuyers want and what the industry can deliver. “The Chowa spirit of life balance, harmony, and connection to nature” looks for advances in areas such as materials selection, construction processes, air quality management and technology integration to create a health and wellness-focused environment, and a more sustainable footprint.
Launched in CES and IBS and powered by Webee Technology, the Panasonic’s Cosmos Healthy Home System brings the possibility to manage the home’s indoor air quality on a 24/7 basis sensing the air for VOCs, fine particles, carbon dioxide, and humidity, and automatically adjust airflow systems to remove air contaminants and bring in fresh, healthy air from the outside.
CES summarized the idea of industries and businesses of any type embracing technology at some point whether it is to offer new innovative customer experiences or to optimize long-time inefficiencies to critical processes that have a direct impact on their businesses. If I compare 2020 edition to my previous years at the show, there is a clear common ground on the use of data, I can see that even though there are many discussions around privacy, we as consumers somehow learned how to embrace it and make the best use of it to improve our daily lives, and we accept that.
The only aspect that we continue to work on is the discussion around sustainability and how we can speed to the use of data and technology to also guarantee a sustainable future. With some industries taking the lead and making tangible progress such as the auto and renewable energy industries we still have a long way to go on making technology and data more accessible and inclusive so that it can be applied to solve some of the most urgent issues towards the future. There is a power to technology innovation and it still needs to consider its role in creating a more inclusive and sustainable future.
Originally founded in Honolulu, SmartYields spans through the world covering millions of acres to connect farms and providing their customers with insights to optimize production processes to reduce food waste and create sustainable farming operations. Through quality data collection they solve major inefficiencies such as the lack of on-time accurate information that can make or break the yield and, therefore, all the hard work. They came me up with a solution to eliminate manual work in extensive lands and ensure clients visibility of the soil and crops to improve the irrigation system. That's where Webee steps in, solving connectivity issues, reaching even the most remote areas.
SmartYields needed a way to integrate what was already in place in their process: hardware and communication system. They just needed them to, in a way, speak the same language and to reach remote areas with no issues, so they could detect anomalies in time to make crop-saving decisions.
See our use case to learn how we made it possible to develop a solution that improve irrigation efficiency to 99%.
By, CEO and Founder, Lucas Funes
For decades, the retail grocery industry has been adjusting to the newest state of normal -- a constant state of flux. While the industry has been known for it's slow pace of change, consumer preferences and industry disruptors are pushing for rapid transformation. For instance, many grocery chains have been changing their brand lines and taglines. One example is Kroger, who in response to consumer demand for healthier food, changed their tagline to "Fresh for everyone."
Unquestionably, brands who choose to ignore the trends will be left in the dustbin of history. Once uber-popular brands such as Blockbuster, Sears, Toys 'R' Us, and even Tower Records are no longer the market leaders or even competing in this day and age.
So then, let's take a look at emerging retail grocery technologies to be aware of in 2020.
1. Delivery driven e-commerce: Invariably, online shopping is not a new phenomenon. But, what's different is the trend of purchasing groceries online. With Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods, Instacart, Walmart grocery delivery, Tom Thumb grocery delivery, and more -- retail grocery chains are really paying attention to the delivery trend.
In fact, Amazon recently announced free grocery delivery for Amazon Prime members and Walmart is offering unlimited grocery delivery. In the digital age, where we can get almost anything with a tap, it seems logical that grocery delivery would take off the way it has.
For retailers who wish to take part, it's critical to invest in the right technologies which enable accurate delivery logistics while ensuring food safety.
Recently, there have been many news headlines around food being delivered beyond their expiration date. Further, in conjunction with salmonella outbreaks, this type of coverage can wreak havoc on a grocery's reputation. With Webee's real-time dashboard, you can avoid the negative press with an alert system which can automate inventory monitoring.
2. Automation: Microsoft and Kroger have partnered to bring data-driven connected grocery stores to the mass market. The systems are powered by Microsoft's Azure cloud platform and are designed to automate and expedite the shopping experience.
In addition, Microsoft and Kroger plan to package this retail-as-a-service (RaaS) platform for use by chains of any size. Then, there's Grabango, which designed technology to digitize every single item in store to facilitate a cashierless store. Four of Grabango's U.S. clients serve around 600 million customers annually.
It is quite clear that automation is inevitable. Amazon will offer a checkout-free solution through Amazon Go. Also, Walmart plans to use robotic shelf scanners, unloaders, and floor cleaners in the near future.
Certainly, repetitive tasks are not the best use of your employee's time and energy. The good news is Webee offers an infrastructure of sensors and software to ensure your staff only makes the most relevant use of their skills. Plus, Webee's alert system will always alert employees of an anomaly so that they can log refrigeration data manually when needed.
3. In-store experiences: The tech-savvy customer has high expectations. In fact, they want enjoyable and personalized shopping experiences across all retail channels -- but, especially if they are in store. Despite the fact that e-commerce is demonstrating a strong showing, 97% of shoppers will still find a need to visit stores in person. Yet, over half of consumers find that the retail environment is still not as inviting as they expect.
As a result, innovative stores are constantly searching for new ways to increase foot traffic such as through samplings, education, rich customer data, and entertainment. With these methods, technology plays a critical role in terms of collection and analysis of customer data.
At Webee we help ensure food items are sold at the highest quality by utilizing both humidity and temperature control. Offering high-quality products serves to improve the in-store experience. Moreover, the demand for better quality food items continues to grow. Every year, hundreds of thousands of consumers are hospitalized as a result of food-borne illnesses.
Although, this daunting statistic can be reduced though by employing robust food safety practices for both fresh produce and frozen foods. Also, the FDA recommends that perishable food, sitting at room temperature, should be discarded after two hours. This leaves little leeway for grocers in terms of keeping foods at their freshest.
4. Changes in shopping composition: According to a Nielson report, consumers are spending less money stocking up on pantry items and spending more money on fresh produce. For starters, this equates to more frequent purchases based on the type of meal they want to prepare for the day. Meal services such as Blue Apron have taught consumers the value of planning daily vs. weekly menus to eat foods when they're the most fresh. So then, retail grocers must stay on top of the food quality they offer to consumers.
It goes without saying that changes in purchasing behavior will impact the quantity and frequency with which you stock inventory. With Webee's user-friendly dashboard, you can quickly view patterns and fluctuations in your refrigerations units. With this meaningful data, you can then be better prepared for inventory and capacity planning to ensure you have the infrastructure in place to keep your inventory fresh and free from spoilage.
The year 2019 has certainly been an interesting year for retail, and 2020 will come with intriguing innovations for grocery delivery, automation, and connected networks. There isn't any doubt, the latest trends in retail groceries will push the technological envelope. With all of these changes on the horizon, retailers should also continue to incorporate food safety strategies into their game plan to ensure success in the years ahead.
Food deterioration is a major point of concern for the Food Industry during its production, handling, storing, food preparation or commercialization. Whether it is about massive losses of stock, health related issues, fighting hunger, or environmental deterioration impacted by production, the lack of quality and wholesomeness affects everyone. In fact, over $35 billion a year is lost due to food spoilage. As a result, it's imperative to understand the importance of maintaining food quality and prevent spoilage.
These recent events are proof of the urgent need for Food Industry organizations to embrace practices that prevent food-borne illnesses and guarantee quality standards.
Consumers' definition of food safety is evolving
A recent Salmonella outbreak in the US, has sickened 10 people and caused one death with people affected in California, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Iowa, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The outbreak is believed to be connected to ground beef.
With more of these unfortunate news consumers are demanding better and more efficient proof of quality. They used to define food safety as consumable items free of harmful ingredients and chemicals. Today, consumers also want clear information on the ingredient list, accurate labeling, and no additional additives. Moreover, they will only purchase from brands they deem as safe.
Restaurants are having food spoilage problems too
Case in point, Chipotle has had quite a few reports of food borne illnesses within their restaurants caused by a bacteria called clostridium perfringens. Between July 26 and July 30, 647 Chipotle customers endured gastrointestinal symptoms. You see, the bacteria form when food is left out and at unsafe temperatures.
What about power shut-offs -- how would they affect food safety?
Recently, PG&E confirmed the shut off power of 17 counties on Oct. 23 in California due to strong winds and the potential for a major wildfire. How can the food industry keep perishables safe during a power outage? To keep many foods safe for human consumption, they must be kept refrigerated to prevent yeasts, molds, and bacteria from growing. You see, without the right moisture, and temperature, control - food would deteriorate at the behest of these types of pesky microorganisms.
Say, for instance, the lack of refrigeration caused E.Coli to proliferate in food. Then, consumers ingested these items and immediately exhibited the symptoms of stomach cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting. Could your organization handle the damage to your brand and business reputation?
The power outages only serve to shine a spotlight on the already-rampant food safety concerns. If food has already been exposed to bacteria and mold, the inability to refrigerate the items would only exacerbate the issue. This could equate to thousands, if not millions, in lost revenue.
How can technology help improve food safety?
As the food industry continues to grow, to meet the evolving tastes and demands of their target audiences, it is critical to ensure visibility in food quality tracking. Not to mention, the right environmental conditions must be met at all times.
What’s needed? Technology can be used to prevent food spoilage, and different food-borne illnesses, with real-time tracking and monitoring features. In fact, the FDA recently announced that it plans to leverage technology to create more traceable and safer food system contributing to the advances being made in FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Are you ready to guarantee freshness? It is not necessary to implement extensive solutions, Webee's user-friendly solution, with a plug-and-play installation, provides real-time monitoring for temperature, humidity, and other variables. Don't be the next food company to receive negative headlines. See it for yourself and sign up for a free trial today.
Amazon has changed the game of retail forever. They not only have innovated new forms or distribution but have changed how consumers buy. From streaming content to same day delivery, Amazon is delivering new and innovating experiences to consumers.
However, this technology and retail giant is experiencing an unexpected selling failure. Recently, the retail has come under sharp criticism for delivering food items well past their expiration dates. While some expiration dates aren't set in stone, it has been discovered that food items have been shipped out that are months or even a year past their expiration date. This comes as a shock to consumers as they begin the question of the retailer’s delivery capability and commitment to quality.
Andrea Wilson purchased Hostess Brownies on Amazon that were over a year past their expiration date - but, she had already eaten one before she noticed. In an interview she shared, "It didn’t occur to me that you could even sell something that was expired. If I had bought it the first time and it was like that, I never would have bought it at all.”
Ironically, if this scenario were to happen at your local grocery store, you might expect a bevy of suits and string of negative Yelp! reviews. The damage to the store’s reputation would have rippling repercussions that could cause them to go out of business.
For a technology company, the lack of oversight points to glaring loopholes in Amazon's logistics system. Expiring items are being sold, and shipped, without much accountability. Amazon's marketplace also continues to grow, which worries consumer safety advocates who believe this will only expand upon the problem. Many are not convinced that Amazon has figured out how to scale the food business.
If it can happen to Amazon, it can happen to you
Despite Amazon's size and financial resources, they are not invincible to the complexities around food safety. Another issue is, that expired food items can leave people sick or worse. In the digital age, consumers demand even more transparency and food safety.
Okay, enough about Amazon. The point is, food safety is everyone's concern. What could Amazon have done better? In what ways can your company improve the way it handles and transports food items?
Let us know what you think about the way companies are making sure they sell high-quality products and how can they use technology to make it happen.
According to the National Resource Defense Council, around 40 percent of America's food is wasted between the farm through the point when it hits the plates. To put it in simpler terms: It's similar to purchasing seven bags of groceries and leaving three in your cart. It goes without saying that food waste has significant implications around financials, social issues, and the environment.
Imagine how many more could be fed if our food producers could cut down on waste. Think about it, 40 percent is the equivalent of billions of dollars of losses for the food industry. Before we get any further, there is a role where technology can offer a solution to the problem. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Determine the root cause of the waste
Much food waste is the result of an inefficient supply chain. A study conducted by McKinsey and Company, with the World Economic Forum, found that around one-third of global food production is wasted. As a result, consumers must pay more for the products as distributors need to make up for the losses. In addition, there are many variables resulting in food waste from error on the farmers' end to something going wrong at the cold chain stage.
Here is the line in the sand: It's difficult to tell where the problems start without having access to data. Even inadequate temperature at harvest can lead to premature spoilage. All produce has a shelf-life. As a result, it is critical to monitor every single stage of the supply chain process with real-time monitoring. It's vital to the industry to know if equipment isn't working properly in real-time to take immediate action.
Set up alerts when there is a power outage, or if a freezer has broken down, or perhaps a transport truck missed its delivery deadline. The important thing is you know exactly what it going on - in real-time, at all times.
2. Cut back on manual processes
Another contributor to commercial food waste are the many manual processes involved that are highly prone to human error and inefficiencies. Instead of having an individual walk each floor, checking on the equipment, it makes much more sense to automate this entire process. You will then end up with less user error and much more efficient reporting. Furthermore, your staff will have more time to work on your organization's core vision.
3. Employ proactive maintenance
It is often the case that food producers spend much of their day "putting out fires," or fixing broken equipment. But, what if you could maintain your equipment well enough so that they almost never break down? This is the beauty of technology, and IoT. Instead of reacting, your organization can start to be proactive. Get alerts that will let you know what to fix and how much time you have to repair it before it stops working altogether.
This is about purposeful IoT working on issues contributing to food waste before we even think about them. For instance, Webee has designed a Cold-Chain monitoring solution that collects, analyzes, and transmits data throughout the supply chain on metrics such as real-time locations, temperature, and humidity.
4. Improve transparency
Again, easily deployable IoT technology provides more accurate information on your assets in real-time. So, you have increased visibility over every area of management while cutting down on redundant manual labor. Combined with analytics, easy-to-deploy sensors can improve food preservation at every step along the way. This is how to sincerely optimize the decision-making process. With increased visibility, you can address hidden issues in real time to truly reduce food waste while enhancing food safety.
5. Optimize profits
Spoilage losses are already absorbed as part of the cost of doing business. In fact, grocers and eateries often purchase buffer stock. Since they consider food waste as something to contend with, little has been done to alleviate the issue - until now. This is where technology can help to increase profits by better preserving produce. With an IoT sensor, food producers receive real-time visibility into how the products are handled.
Moreover, the data can be analyzed to determine how much shelf-life a product has - whether it might be 12 days or eight days. If the shelf-life is shorter than expected, the supplier can change routing to ship it locally instead of cross-country. When you are proactive about food management, across the supply chain, you can optimize profits while ensuring delivery of high-quality products.
In the past, food waste and spoilage was considered unsolvable. Today, IoT sensors can attack every potential area which used to contribute to food waste. So, food producers can deliver pallets of food that are sufficiently fresh and reduce food waste on a continuous basis. Not to mention, IoT sensors are scalable and cost-effective. Like what you've read so far? Ready for what's next? Learn more about Webee's easy-to-deploy solution today.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. They address the most important challenges we face today, including those related to poverty, inequality, clima, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
At Webee, we believe a sustainable future cannot be achieved without the commitment to contribute to progress for future generations. Only by working towards these goals will we be able to achieve a sustainable world for our future generations.
Our vision is to enable technology innovation as a means to help the world move forward. Sustainable industrialization can only be achieved through innovation and technological progress. If industrialization is no longer sustainable, then eventually infrastructure development will have to stop.
Our ultimate goal is to make technology accessible and continue to develop more and more innovative technology for manufacturing and industrial operations, to allow businesses to optimize their processes, increasing resource energy-efficiency and leading to more sustainable operations.
How we support Goal #9: Industry, Innovation, and infrastructure
We democratize access to data through intuitive technologies for connected industrial operations. Our solution overcomes the complexities of IOT and AI for massive adoption: technology fragmentation, specialized engineering, implementation times, scalability and security.
Hailed as a disruptive solution, our intuitive end-to-end platform allows businesses of all sizes to gain valuable insight and optimize their operational processes. The solution can be applied and customized to any type of industry as it can adapt to different environmental conditions and requirements. As a recognition to our mission, Co-Founder Ana Cecilia has been selected as a finalist for the UN SDG We Empower Competition.
We are determined to help organizations all over the world transform their processes and make them more sustainable. Access to technologies that allow data extraction, processing can accelerate the journey to achieve the balance between economic, social and environmental growth. Additionally, it becomes easier for organizations to move towards digital transformation and sustainability.
Learn more about the UN SDG's here.
What You Need to Know About Successful IoT Deployments and Hybrid Environments
While the Internet of Things (IoT) is shaping up to become one of the major technology disruptors over the next several decades, there are still obstacles around security, data storage, connectivity, and overall cost. According to this 2017 McKinsey survey, 62 percent of corporate executives believe that IoT will have a "very high" and/or "transformative" impact on their industry.
There isn't any question that the ability to capture new streams of data, which can then be driven through highly sophisticated analytics platforms, will change the world as we know it. This paradigm shift, and its potential, simply needs the right platform and hosting mix to kickstart the inevitable change.
In 2018, there were an estimated 17 billion devices connected to the Internet. Yet, this number is expected to skyrocket to over 55 billion connected devices by 2025. Imagine the pressure on the current levels of on-premise and off-premise cloud hosting capabilities.
When more industries adopt edge computing, 5G will become mandatory. And then, 5G can enhance edge computing. In fact, higher connectivity speeds would be necessary for specific technologies where computing needs to be performed in as close proximity to the device as possible. Some of these types of technologies include:
Still, worldwide 5G implementation will take several years. Without a doubt, a feasible--and long-term--solution is needed immediately.
As noted above, IoT deployment requires devices to interact and monitor their environments. Currently, there are few providers who are adequately equipped to provide the right platform and hybrid hosting mix to store and secure the data.
Companies need to find effective methods for increasing their server capacity without overwhelming their resources and budgets. As a result, a solution of this sort needs to be multi-level, hybrid in nature, and available on-demand. In every situation, the data collected from IoT deployments is only as reliable as the hosting platform. Nonetheless, there are huge benefits to a successful IoT deployment including:
When IoT first gained a foothold in the disruptive technology vernacular, many companies were transitioning their on-premises hardware and software to the cloud. Given the state of necessary IoT deployments today, that may not have been the best decision. While on-premises software is quite reliable in terms of privacy, security, and performance--it is not as cost-effective in terms of resources and the associated hiring costs for managing the software and hardware.
On the other hand, enterprise companies--with massive amounts of data--can expect exorbitant costs to manage their information in the cloud. While on-demand cloud services do make pricing more competitive, there are other costs which add up such as cloud data storage and the CPU. If your company needs to manage 100 million sensors, the costs of doing so in the cloud will quickly add up.
A Hybrid Solution
To enable a cost-effective, successful, and efficient IoT deployment, companies should consider a hybrid environment of both on-premise and cloud solutions. This option ensures companies are not limited and can benefit from utilizing both types of environments. For instance, Webee's end-to-end solution is designed to incorporate critical facets for on-premises models from local data management to edge computing and security. Plus, the cloud hosting addition can facilitate device connectivity and databases throughout several on-premises environments.
One such example is of an organization who needed to manage 500,000 sensors. Unfortunately, a pure cloud hosting environment became cost-prohibitive. As a result, Webee cultivated an on-premise instance which could run the huge amounts of data. Furthermore, all the data was captured, but only specified portions of the data was sent to the cloud. As a result, this company lowered their overall cloud hosting costs while taking advantage of a secure and efficient means for deployment. Now, they could truly see the impact this unique solution had on their ROI.
Currently, the potential of IoT is underdeveloped. Still, there is quick and widespread adoption of IoT devices. The remarkable potential can already be felt. For successful deployments, businesses need a hybrid and multi-level solution. As you can see, there is no time like the present to use the right mix of platforms ensuring the necessities of flexibility, connectivity, proven ROI, security, and efficient storage management.
By Ana Cecilia Flores, Co-Founder.
June was an exciting month for me as I got the honor to join a group of 42 exceptional women entrepreneurs from all over the world for an in-person training for Vital Voices GROW (VV GROW) in Amsterdam. Outstanding leaders coming from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, Swaziland, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.
VV GROW is a yearly training that helps women leverage vital business skills and knowledge to expand their business. Through mentoring, training and one-on-one coaching from business experts, women who participate in the VV GROW Fellowship have access to personalized business assistance that helps them take the actions necessary to reach their goals.
The in-person training resulted in an experience that went beyond obtaining and sharpening business skills to solidarity and sisterhood among the fellows, and a journey of individual reflection.
Here are some of my thoughts and findings. I hope this can inspire other women entrepreneurs anywhere around the world to create spaces that encourage these types of interactions.
There is magic when women get together.
1. We are all driven by a personal cause. As we got to know each other better and share personal details of our stories and how we got started, I was very impressed to learn that we all were motivated by a very deep personal story that drives change and motivated us to pursue goals that made us stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones.
2. Even-though we all come from very different geographies, running different businesses in completely different industries, I noticed that most of us often limit ourselves by the thought that we are simply not good enough. Even when facts are showing us otherwise, we still experience this feeling of self-doubt that makes it harder for us to go after new opportunities, explore potential areas of interest, and put ourselves out there in a meaningful way.
3. The good part is that courage was overflying the room all the time! The boldness and bravery to face tough challenges. Even when some of us expressed a sense of fear in one or another way, none of the 42 women hesitated for a second that we were going to take the next step, acting without fear of failure.
4. We are all change-driven more than just looking for success. There is this deep understanding that we can become agents of change and use our businesses and leadership to make that happen.
5. Digital is a great enabler to bring the world closer but making the time for personal connections is more important than ever. I met some of the women since the beginning of the year as we shared online training, presented ourselves and exchanged thoughts and ideas. Meeting all of them in person was a game-changer. It created a strong bond and sense of belonging that I feel will last for a very long time. It got me thinking about how many relationships in our businesses and personal lives could benefit from the power of personal interactions.
So for all the women entrepreneurs in different communities, reach out! Create your own networks!
Women have the power to share with no limit and create a sense of sisterhood that helps each of us thrive!
PH: Vital Voices
by Savaram Ravindra from Mindmajix.
We are well aware that IoT offers a range of possibilities across various industries including consumer electronics and cars, healthcare, utilities, food industry, transportation, manufacturing, and so on. Also, Industrial IoT offers a means to obtain insights into business operations.
IoT offers a greater promise in the healthcare sector than in other sectors. This is because the IoT principles are already being applied to enhance the quality of care, reduce the cost of care, and improve the overall access to care. The integration of IoT features into medical devices greatly enhances the effectiveness and quality of service, especially bringing greater value to those requiring constant supervision and elderly patients suffering from chronic illnesses. The IoT has the potential to not only keep the patients healthy and safe but also to improve how the doctors provide care as well.
Few estimates have revealed that, by 2025, spending on Healthcare IoT solutions will reach around $1 trillion, and hopefully, will make the conditions favorable for highly accessible, on-time, and personalized health services for everyone.
The IoT can also enhance patient satisfaction and engagement by allowing patients to spend more time interacting with their doctors. This article will explore some of the major applications of healthcare IoT and the challenges it poses for healthcare today.
Applications of Healthcare IoT
Starting with managing chronic diseases to preventing disease, there is a broad range of applications for IoT in the healthcare sector. Now, let’s dig deeper into each of the major applications.
Providing Constant Attention
The patients who are hospitalized and whose health status requires close attention can be monitored constantly using noninvasive, IoT driven monitoring. This kind of solution uses sensors to gather comprehensive physiological data and the cloud and gateways to examine and preserve the data and then send the examined information wirelessly to physicians for further analysis and review.
This eliminates the need for the doctor having to visit at regular intervals to check the vital signs of a patient, instead offering a continuous and automated flow of data. In this way, it enhances the quality of care via constant attention and lowers the cost involved by eliminating the need for a physician to engage actively in data gathering and analysis.
The connectivity of a healthcare system with the IoT places emphasis on patient needs. This means timely intervention by doctors, enhanced accuracy in case of diagnosis, proactive treatments, and improved treatment outcomes result in a care that is highly accountable and gains trust among the patients.
Remote Patient Monitoring
All over the world, there are many people who face health issues due to lack of access to effective health monitoring. But, with the help of powerful, interrelated IoT solutions, monitoring the patients has become easier than ever.
These solutions can be utilized to capture the health data of a patient in a secure way from different sensors, make use of complex algorithms to examine the data and then share it via wireless connectivity with the physicians who can make proper health recommendations.
With the availability of real-time data from the connected healthcare solutions, the doctors can not only take better care of their patients but also lessen their number of visits to the patient as they can monitor their patients remotely. This decreases the overall health care costs as the costs involved in hospital stays and readmissions are cut down to a greater extent.
Configuring Emergency Alerts
Healthcare IoT allows care teams to gather and connect millions of data points regarding the personal fitness of a patient from wearables like activity, temperature, perspiration, sleep, and heart-rate. As a result, the information obtained from sensors can send out real-time alerts to caregivers and patients so they obtain event-triggered messaging such as triggers and alerts for elevated heart-rate and so on. This will hugely enhance workflow optimization and ensure all the care is handled from home.
Challenges of IoT in Healthcare
The IoT continues to face challenges in spite of the promise of what it can achieve in healthcare. If these challenges are not addressed soon, they could put the IoT at risk of failure.
By intent and design, the IoT devices collect and transmit real-time data. The infrastructure required to receive and process this information should be designed and developed for scale. This means obtaining, processing, and storing data in real-time from millions of IoT devices and applying analytics to gain insights from this data. Unfortunately, most of the providers lack the know-how and infrastructure to access the data.
Also, most of the devices reporting healthcare data suffer from a lack of common security practices or standards. Due to this, many healthcare IT professionals have raised concerns about the risks associated with data breaches and IoT device tampering.
Other major challenges include lack of EHR system integration and lack of adoption of interoperability. Addressing these problems will further revolutionize the health industry as more organizations will start implementing IoT for their healthcare services.
Healthcare IoT is transforming the way the facilities are delivered to patients. In order to derive the true value of healthcare IoT, the interrelated healthcare devices and the processes that are supporting them must work as a joint system that is comprehensive, integrated, and secure. With healthcare IoT facing a few challenges, the healthcare providers are hopeful that the IoT will have a positive impact on delivering valuable data and supporting patient care.
Author Bio: Savaram Ravindra is working as a Content Lead at Mindmajix. His passion lies in writing articles on some of the most innovative and emerging software technologies, digital marketing, businesses, and so on. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.