Two ways that IoT sensors are making business and life easier are through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the Medical Internet of Things (IoMT). We can all agree that sensors surround us every which way we look in many life and work circumstances. They’re embedded in our smartphones, homes, and offices, as well as our hospitals, shopping centers, and airports. Today, people and businesses rely heavily on wireless IoT sensors to help them live and work smarter and more efficiently. And that is exactly what is happening.
Wireless Data Transmission
The idea of wireless data transmission isn’t exactly new, but the way we are learning to use it certainly is. In general, sensors detect changes in an environment. Connecting those sensors via the IoT amplifies their power, enabling systems to adapt based on what the sensors detect.
The ability to receive real-time data helps people and businesses make more informed decisions without guessing (or hoping for) the right answer. Sensors allow us to gain new insights, boost efficiency, and troubleshoot problems before they even arise.
Some of the most exciting applications come from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it’s transforming the way businesses handle everything from automation and efficiency to predictive maintenance. In addition, the healthcare industry is benefiting greatly from the help of IoT sensors. Let’s look at these two industries and how IoT sensors are helping them transform for a brighter future.
IIoT, or Industry 4.0, is disrupting how manufacturers go about their work. While IIoT sensors have already enabled entirely new levels of safety and automation, they are now helping solve one of manufacturing’s biggest challenges: unplanned downtime. This downtime costs factories 5-20 percent of their annual productivity and $22,000 per minute in the automotive industry. The easiest way to minimize this unplanned downtime is to monitor usage and ensure equipment is properly maintained. IoT sensors are helping manufacturers do exactly that.
Medical IoT Sensors
Healthcare has long relied on sensors to monitor everything from a patient’s blood sugar and heart rate to oxygen saturation. IoT sensors are increasingly tracking more conditions, from an accelerometer that tracks Parkinsons-related tremors to insoles that measure foot pressure, temperature, and movement to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers. Medical IoT sensors track insulin levels, medication adherence, asthma inhaler use, and the list goes on.
Plus, more healthcare providers are “prescribing” smartwatches or other wearables to help their patients track exercise, movement, and sleep. A Pew study finds that 21 percent of US adults currently use some smartwatch or fitness tracker, a number that is climbing especially fast among Baby Boomers.
Since these devices are all IoT-enabled, sensor data is fed to platforms and apps that can be managed by the patient or care provider, depending on permissions. That can help patients better understand and manage their own health, such as getting notifications to take their medication or alerts if their blood sugar drops.