Application of IoT (Internet of things) in healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, education, and other fields has hundreds of amazing use cases, and no single article can contain them all. IoT-improved manufacturing or IoT-supported logistics – each industry has its technological wonders. Let us check just a few of those IoT applications to make sure the groups of smart, interconnected devices are capable of making our life easier.
IoT Applications In Healthcare: Just What The Doctor Ordered
One of the recent use cases of IoT in healthcare is an excellent demonstration of how yesterday’s sci-fi becomes today’s lifesaver: six funny robots called “Tommies”, the robot nurses, are saving lives in one of the Italian hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak. These robots are used for remote equipment monitoring and attending rooms full of COVID-19 patients.
Owing to robots, doctors and hospital staff are less exposed to the risk of catching this dangerous disease. They also help patients to communicate with nurses and doctors remotely without direct contact, so the chances for healthcare personnel to contract the infamous virus are essentially decreased. That allows keeping doctors healthy (unfortunately, about 4000 medics have been infected, and 66 doctors have died in Italy since the beginning of pandemic). It also saves valuable masks and protective costumes.
The robots are used as IoT hubs for the medical equipment, so the doctors can distantly control important indicators, and if something goes wrong, a robot sends an alerting signal to the medical supervisor, so people physically enter the scene only when it is necessary.
Besides it, modern hospitals are just stuffed with high-end equipment, and this abundance of electronic devices needs to be properly maintained. If all medical devices are connected to a single hospital system, it creates impressive opportunities for:
- Consolidated data analysis
- Early prevention of hardware failures
- Remote health monitoring and diagnostics
As said above, it is highly important to keep medical staff safe working with contagious disease patients. For example, when it comes to routine daily check-ups that can be reduced owing to remote health monitoring.
IoT healthcare is already widely used in many top-notch hospitals around the world. Still, now more technology comes to daily life: wearable sensors for chronic illness patients monitoring their heartbeats, blood pressure and chemistry, body temperature, and so on. All that contributes to building a next-gen public health system focused on fast response and early prevention.
IoT Applications in Manufacturing: Robots Do It Better
Manufacturing and industrial processes are already highly automatized. In essence, large factories across the world are taking steps in the IIOT4.0 shift. They operate as fully autonomous systems involving a significant number of mechanical devices, production lines, robotic vehicles, driverless forklifts, industrial lasers, assembly lines, and robotic arms that are errorlessly putting details together 24/7. Of course, all these elements are united through IoT components, such as smart sensors, industrial Wi-Fi connectors, cameras, and many others.
A modern factory works as a well-orchestrated and faultless mechanism that requires just a minimal control effort from a few supervising engineers and technicians. A sophisticated manufacturing process consists of multiple sub-processes that involve thousands of different high-end IoT components, which work all together to ensure stable and numerous output with exceptional quality. That happens because the whole IoT-driven system of a modern plant or factory can:
- Accurately track materials and details in supply chains
- Monitor equipment parameters, limit power consumption, temperature, etc.
- Control quality and quantity of ready products as they move through the process
- Use electronic sensors to control the environment
- Decrease operational expenditures through predictive maintenance
- Build in-depth analytics and help people service equipment before problems occur.
One of the best use cases of IoT in the industry is the Amazon’s robotic warehousing, which provides a highly automated fulfillment service. It includes self-propelling robotic shelves that move around the warehouse instead of people. It helps human operators to cope with their manual tasks much faster.
IoT Applications in Transportation: Drone Delivers Pizza Right To Your Doorstep
Using IoT in transportation and logistics is a highly promising field for making transportation safer and supply chains more cost-efficient. Smart sensors and devices integrated into cargo vehicles can help remotely control:
- Technical indicators, such as tire pressure, oil, fuel, coolant levels, and so on
- Vehicle load, speed, mileage, etc.
- The current location on the route
- Driver’s behavior, health conditions or driving style
- The time between stops, etc.
Edgica developed a concept and prototype of smart and safe transportation using IoT and blockchain. Learn more:
Edgica wins the biggest blockchain & AI hackathon in the world.
IoT sensors, such as RFID (radio-frequency identification) or AIDC (automatic identification and data capture), can be used to track the route/status of packages and deliveries and to manage them accordingly. Walmart, Amazon, UPS, and even Domino’s are investing in drone delivery projects, including self-driving delivery cars and other kinds of driverless transportation, which allows them to solve the “last mile” issue. The better such technologies become, the higher is the demand for robust IoT infrastructure, which in projection will cover whole countries or even the world.
IoT in Education: No More Roll Calls
Last but not least, the field of education provides us with a great portion of IoT use cases. Potentially, the routine of every educational establishment can be significantly automated and improved with the help of IoT, and here are just a few examples:
- Smartboards connected to student tablets with a two-way communication
- Attendance record based on mobile device check-ins
- Emergency sensors, audio enhancers, etc.
- Smart video surveillance for bullying and misbehavior prevention
- Gamified educational experience, interactive objects in the classrooms
- Robotic teachers, after all?
One of the most interesting examples is an experiment taking place in a few schools in the U.S and other countries. Students have IoT-connected wearables during classes: devices are used to measure the personal vitality parameters of each student. That helps to control stress levels, focus, and concentration, so the teachers can switch between different activities if there is a need to revitalize their bored and tired students.
Implementation of IoT in education, transportation, or healthcare is a much-anticipated process with a bright future. It makes our lives safer, easier, and the quality of services much better than ever before.