Global businesses and communities have consistently turned to the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to increase efficiencies and deliver better services. Research supports this sentiment as Juniper predicts that IoT platform revenues will reach $66 billion in 2020, a 20 percent increase over last year’s figure.
More recently, the firm predicted that “businesses seeking greater resilience in areas including supply chain and asset management, against external factors such as the disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, will enable the IoT market to overcome the anticipated widespread economic disruption over 2020 and beyond.”
Coronavirus and Healthcare
As global communities look to leverage IoT technology to help countries and cities provide better community services to its population, solutions with flexible capabilities will continue to be an optimal choice. The global Coronavirus pandemic is putting the healthcare industry under a microscope and there are many instances where organizations are turning to long-range, low power solutions such as LoRaWAN to develop applications that optimize hospital, patient care, and public health workflows through reliable and accurate data monitoring.
One such example is thermal temperature monitoring, which is a safer way to screen patients for high temperatures. Sensor technology enables usage at both an individual level and at a community level. For the individual, a wireless sensor leveraging thermal sensing technologies embedded into long-range, low power devices utilizing connectivity can communicate temperature data to Cloud-based applications for trend analysis.
Alerts can be pushed to mobile devices if temperature thresholds are exceeded, allowing the patient to limit exposure to others and seek medical attention. This type of technology can also be leveraged at a community level in public spaces, which enables public health officials to efficiently and reliably monitor populations on public transportation, at airports, railway stations, schools, shopping centers, large building entrances and more.
Monitoring and Managing
The task of monitoring and managing quarantined and isolated personnel remains a critical challenge. Health services employees, including disease control and prevention teams, are increasingly leveraging smarter applications based on IoT to provide efficient, high-quality care to their communities. Traditional quarantine methods, including camera usage, door sealing and locking, are limited in effectiveness and typically unable to effectively monitor the status of building exits and entrances.
Additionally, these methods require frequent manual inspection, which increases labor costs and exposes maintenance workers to contact with isolated persons. Alternatively, long-range low-power can bring real-time insight into quarantined buildings and replace manual processes. One such solution is for smart door sensors for monitoring the number of people going in and out of a building.
IoT For Good
While the global pandemic has put the spotlight on how technology can be leveraged for good, there are countless examples of how this was in motion long before our current situation. A great example is the work being done to help endangered animals.
The ability to safely monitor wild animals from a distance is critical in protecting endangered species. Smart Parks, an innovative conservation company founded in 2013, put its efforts towards creating technology and tracking methods to do just that. Smart Parks leverages long-range, low power sensor technology to track wildlife and monitor park gates, ultimately providing real-time information about the location of wildlife and other factors affecting the park environment.
One specific example of this is the use of geolocation sensors at Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania to protect the dwindling Black Rhino species. These rhino trackers show the location of the animals within the park, providing park rangers with actionable intelligence. Gate sensors also report open or closed status, aiding security efforts to monitor those entering and exiting the park.
Smart Homes and Buildings
IoT technology can also be leveraged across smart homes and buildings to promote safety and security. Smart sensors in buildings make everyone safer by monitoring and reporting on a wide range of issues, including fire alarms, air quality, chemical detection for industrial buildings, and structural integrity reports.
Additionally, occupants can be equipped with badges to control access and provide presence information. Motion detectors can detect intrusion, while window and door opening detectors can be used to identify open entry points that should be closed. Remote control allows the user to close them without actually setting foot on site.
As IoT technology continues to grow, it also continues to impact a number of industries with the end goal of providing happier, healthier, and safer communities.