By Taqee Khaled
Gartner predicts the number of connected things in use will hit 14.2 billion this year, and nearly double to 25 billion by 2021.
The rapid evolution of enterprise IoT pilot initiatives and subsequent implementation trends is due — in part — to advances in manufacturing that have increased processing speeds, decreased physical size and lowered costs of core technologies. Barriers to adoption have also decreased as more and more senior leadership teams having gained familiarity with IoT’s value proposition to the core business.
The most meaningful new frontiers will emerge at the intersection of IoT and AI. As data is analyzed through smarter, learning-oriented systems, more information will be generated easily and accessibly, ultimately fostering better informed business decisions and worker experiences. Here are four sectors where intelligent and opportunistic IoT adopters are poised to reap the benefits in the year ahead.
Healthcare will be one of the deepest areas where IoT will expand in 2019, equally impactful across both payers and providers.
Among payers, IoT presents a distinct avenue to enhance smarter population risk management and accompanying reimbursement rate adjustments. For example, IoT-enabled long-term care facilities can negotiate better reimbursement rates if their sensor data support mitigated fall risk or likelihood of infection. Additionally, the multi-platform ecosystem of wearable fitness devices is increasingly subject to third-party tools performing secondary data analysis that help insurers recognize members who are taking steps to actively change their individual risk profile.
For healthcare providers, IoT enablement will be leveraged toward the Triple Aim of cost, quality and population health. Simple, embedded digital tools are already being piloted at large scale to mitigate infection risk around replaceable medical instruments, while smart threads and sticker/patch sensors have improved in their fidelity, tracking everything from cardiac readouts to body chemistry and sleep patterns.
IoT technologies supporting patient medication adherence, in particular, will bridge across both payers and providers toward major cost-saving and health improvement opportunities, as will IoT devices that speak directly with electronic health records (EHRs).
This year, IoT’s acceleration within manufacturing will build upon the momentum we saw in 2018, like delivery drones and 3D printing.
It won’t be long before most manufacturers use IIoT to move their whole facilities online, fully connecting their factories, warehouses and distribution centers. In some cases, data will be used to add to pilot blockchain ecosystems that will help ensure more complete assurance around production and tracking. As AI interacts with these sensory ecosystems, whole facilities can ‘learn’ to moderate energy consumption and improve efficiency based upon the identification of hidden trends in production data.
Despite individual tragedies in driverless car technology, IoT will continue to enhance the way traditionally driven (and driverless) vehicles interact with their users based upon real-time data, beyond the basic function of the display panel.
In 2019, engine, oil and gas tank indicators will not only be available in dashboard readouts, but they will also interact more actively with users’ phones (or Alexa), making the total management and awareness of vehicles more commonplace and engaged. As IoT becomes prevalent in more vehicles, these devices will start to speak with smart grids outside the automobile and provide more meaningful information about road conditions, like traffic and accidents.
In the public sector, IoT will become more complex and relevant than we’ve seen in the past. Smart cities will leverage IoT to increase in complexity and relevance beyond widely seen smart grid implementations we’ve seen over the past decade around water and electricity.
As alternative energy sources are layered into communities actively, whether through district energy or community solar, AI-driven grid management will accelerate in value by managing systems proactively. Beyond energy and utilities, more local initiatives will connect residents with their neighborhoods and regions, redefining smart cities as also being comprised of smart neighborhoods where local city councils and townships invest in information-connected enhancements to help residents engage with local traffic, school buses, outages, walkability, weather, or trash collection, to name a few possibilities.
Early stages of IoT work, where new value concepts and business model change frameworks are built and tested, can benefit from external partnerships that accelerate movement rapidly. Visit our IoT Services page to learn how Nerdery can move your project from concept to reality at speed.
Published on 02.05.19