The Internet of Things (IoT) basically takes the term 'Inter-Connectivity' to a whole different level. What it does is that it connects the various systems and machines all together through the means of sensors and other tracking devices in order to obtain meaningful information from these systems, the end result being a huge improvement in human productivity and efficiency.
Some examples of the work IoT does are:
- Giving reminders to complete tasks like those such as bill payment or the parking meter payments, etc.
- The lighting on the streets being enhanced by Smart Lighting through the use of sensors.
- Similar to smart lighting, it can be used for the automation of traffic signals.
- IoT enhanced 'Smart Automobiles' that can adapt to the dynamic environmental conditions.
- Assistance in Healthcare Sector through the use of remote administered medication and remote monitoring of patients.
But as the saying goes "With great power comes great responsibility" so does the burden of responsibility come on IoT. In retrospect IoT has one grave challenge and that is security of the devices. The IoT devices are specially designed to reduce power consumption with their limited connectivity, the disposable nature of these devices makes it a challenge for implementation of security measures such as encryption and other robust security options, even through all this, one security threat persists that is cyber attacks.
Now the question arises is that what is it's impact on you?
The new saying for the future is most probably going to be something like "Everything that can be connected, will be connected" But why on earth would you want so many connected devices talking to each other? One may ask. There are in fact many examples for what this might look like or what the potential value of this would be. Let's say for example you are in your can, on way to attend a meeting, now due to the presence of IoT, your car would have access to your calendar and will already know the best path to reach your destination. If the traffic is heavy your car will send a text to the other person and notify them that you will be late, or what if your alarm starts ringing to wake you and then notifies your coffee brewing machine to brew some strong coffee. What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more? What if the wearable device you used in the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working? There are many possibilities, while it would surely make things easier, in the long run, if you think about it, won't it make people more lazy too?
A huge sphere of influence captured by IoT is the Healthcare sector which is called as Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), a fast-paced industry that's growing at an impeccable rate, it's worth is estimated to reach 136 Billion Dollars by the start of the year 2021. There are about 4 million medical devices today that are being used to obtain healthcare information about a patient's body. A benefit of these Healthcare IoT Solutions would be to the elderly and aged population of the world. Think about it, IoMT can help seniors take their prescribed medication on time by reminding them and documenting at what time they took their medications or perhaps portable diagnostic devices can help identify and report the test findings without requiring to visit the doctor's office.
Similar to IoT, the IoMT also has its challenges, these include problems such as: EHR Disintegration, Lack of Interoperability, Lack Of Specificity, Improper Data Security, Hardware Connectivity Fluctuation, Big Data Management, but for IoMT to really be impactful on the industry, the healthcare organizations would need to figure out a way to turn the insights into actions. The path to making this successful is the collective collaboration of administrators, vendors, and manufacturers of Hospitals and Clinics.