As everyone has predicted, IoT (the Internet of Things), continues to surge forward to adopt new applications, spread to more social/business sectors, and take on an ever-increasing role in shaping what the near future will look like.
Not long ago, IoT was largely viewed as merely a “cool way” to make all kinds of household items improve our lives by offering “little convenience perks,” such as the ability to turn lights on/off automatically or remotely, start the oven before you get home, lock/unlock your front door or work with a home security systems — those kinds of things.
But IoT is finding wide application in major industry venues and is demonstrating that it will bring untold billions of dollars in economic benefits to numerous areas.
Everyone always believed that IoT would play a role in the health care sector, but the advent of COVID-19 catapulted IoT into a new level of relevance in this space. As it turns out, IoT is a potent tool for tracking and tracing as well as bolstering efforts to provide sanitizing and cleaning via automated systems. Wearable devices can automatically inform entities like airports and clinics that a person is fully vaccinated or COVID-tested negative.
Health care industry observers say a huge portion of IoT’s influence in this industry will be its ability to merge patient data from multiple sources. Data integration is a big thing in the management of medical care right now. That means IoT’s ability to allow for unobstructed sharing of clinical data will bolster “optimal decision making” in doing what’s best for patients.
Another significant 2021 trend for IoT will be in the realm of machine connectivity in the manufacturing and industrial setting. Expensive equipment can now be remotely monitored. The latter process became a critical issue after COVID made it difficult to maintain real staff conducting in-person monitoring of critical equipment.
That’s just one application of IoT in handling factory machinery and a large variety of factory/industrial processes. In short, when dozens of different systems, units, devices, and machines are all working in sync via IoT interconnection, the potential for improvements in efficiency and streamlining of the process seems to be all but unlimited.
Other IoT trends attracting great interest will be how much or how little the increased presence of 5G networks will have on making IoT even more powerful and pervasive throughout our lives.