Do you remember printing out directions only to find yourself trying to look at them in the dark and pulling over on the side of the road to read the map? Now that we have GPS on our smartphones and other devices, many of us can’t live with at least one IoT device. In the age of Big Data, where all of these devices are collecting information, what good is it all? “Show me the IoT Value,” as Jerry Macguire would say.
In the healthcare industry, it’s not about the technology, but about the use case, combined with the regulations and existing practices standing in the way. With IoT wearables, individuals in control of their own data can make their own decisions on what to do or not to do. But just keeping track of the data is not good enough, so what would be actionable?
From the regulatory standpoint, issues in this realm include who owns the data, as well as the pros and cons of being classified as a medical device or otherwise. Then there’s the huge need to fraud-proof the recorded activities and data.
One possible scenario has sensors on patients that check out of hospitals. In many cases, patients go home in hopes of finishing up a full recovery, but things don’t go well and they end up being readmitted. However, before they can slide downward to the point of rehospitalization, these sensors send any patient information to their doctor so that medical intervention and prevention can take place. Now, how can we take all of the unspecified and non-structured data and remove all the noise to present it in such a way that leads to a reasonably accurate diagnosis?
At the intersection of health and technology, the next set of wearables and sensors will be able to track things that you thought were untrackable. There will be continued strides in value, moving from tracking to advice from which you can then change behavior. When there is enough data such that a manufacturer can refine their algorithms to predict a heart attack with their watch, that will be the big kahuna.
Outside of healthcare, there are many enterprise use cases for drones, such as monitoring construction sites, parking lots, materials depots, and the like. In terms of IoT value, the list of possible use cases is endless both in healthcare and other domains. The big issue is resolving all the implementation and regulatory issues as technology outpaces our legal structure.