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IoT and the Greater Good

IoT Expansion Is Engaging Citizens 

IoT, information and operational technology, AI and deep learning… with all of these tech terms knocking about, it can be difficult to see how they truly benefit our world. As technology spills from the virtual into the real world, more and more companies are becoming technological as they embrace IoT in their operations. 

We all know the statistics around IoT, in an issue last year by The Economist states “one forecast is that by 2035 the world will have a trillion connected computers, built into everything from food packaging to bridges and clothes.” Smart manufacturing, or Industry 4.0, is set to make up over half of the IoT connections by 2023, according to this GSMA study

A Trillion Connected Computers, One Global Vision

It is also anticipated that in a couple of years, the IoT as we know it will probably no longer exist because every device and the inanimate object will probably automatically be connected to the internet. In fact, it may well be weird when a device does not connect! It will be the norm to gather data and easily connect with one another, 

If this is the route we are going down, then it is imperative we seek to find how we can better implement safe technological strategies for our communities and people in need. When we usually speak about IoT, it’s in terms of the business benefits such as operational effectiveness, time and money savings through predictive maintenance and remote monitoring, and faster decision making on all organisational levels. In this article, we will be outlining the use cases that can have a positive on our society and those who need our help the most. 

 IoT Making Positive Impacts on Our World 

1. Patient Monitoring 

Even before Covid-19 impact the world, patient monitoring was on the rise as an incredible way to track those who need constant care. This has become an even bigger issue as governments are closing their borders and require a minimum amount of time spent in quarantine. Buildings can now be monitored to ensure only safe individuals can enter and exit in order to reduce the spread of the virus. 

For individuals who need care or live on their own, monitoring can provide insights previously unknown to healthcare specialists. Tracking a patient in their care facility or home shows how often they use the bathroom or what time they usually get up in the morning. Using complex algorithms, these patients’ routines can be tracked over a course of weeks so that if any anomalies occur in their routine, their healthcare provider can then be notified to check that patient. These insights can vastly improve healthcare delivery and create new workflows around how patients are managed and cared for. 

2. Home Surveillance

This isn’t as ubiquitous as it seems! People who live on their own or who may be particularly vulnerable can now install motion and video sensors into their doors and bells to alert them when someone is visiting them. They can use a smartphone app to see who is at the door, which gives them the time to decide whether they deem the visitor safe, or if they need to call a neighbour to help them out. 

These alerts and alarms allow people to make clear decisions, and if they would like to speak with someone they don’t even need to open their door. They can simply press a few buttons on their phone to speak with them. We all know of someone who had an unpleasant or nosey visitor, yet didn’t have to the courage to ask them to leave. Well, now you can answer them from the comfort of your own home and record them for future possible disturbances! 

3. Smart Wheelchair Safety

The wonderful thing about IoT is that it can be applied to pretty much anything in the world; whether it moves or heats up, spins and senses obstacles, there are sensors out there that can bring an object to life. This is exactly what brother Barry and Jered Dean developed for Barry’s daughter, Katherine who needs a wheelchair. 

They developed a device add-on for power wheelchairs that turns them into a smart device. They take technology such as video and ultrasonic sensors that enable her wheelchair to map the world around her in order to prevent collisions and accidents, with wheelchair accidents causing over 170,000 annual ER visits in the States. Handing the power over to the people in wheelchairs is incredible, and is one of many ways IoT is allowing more citizen to take charge of their own lives. 

Although IoT and data tech might be difficult to decipher compared to other industrial revolutions in centuries gone by, it is clear that all of the advancements today will enable people to have safer and comfortable lives for years to come. We’d love to hear about the cool projects you’ve heard about in the IoT space, be it worldwide or even in your community! 


Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO

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