By Dave Sherman, Senior Services Engineer, RF Connect

The Internet of Things is a fact of computing life. Interconnected devices are tethered together through the wireless exchange of data and it’s getting more prevalent every day.

Some pundits predict 30 billion devices will be components within the Internet of Things by 2020.  Some say 50 billion. Others forecast even higher numbers. That’s a great deal of “things.”

One certainty is that more and more devices will be communicating with each other through a multitude of sensors and actuators which allow machines to collect and exchange data.

Manufacturing has been a huge driver of the IoT with its machine-to-machine (M2M) communications which enable the automation of production processes. Manufacturing has brought us the new acronym of the IIoT: the Industrial Internet of Things. The IIoT incorporates machine learning and advanced analytics with big data to create an army of smart machines that are better than humans at eliminating inefficiencies in manufacturing by automating processes. These systems can monitor, collect and analyze data and deliver valuable insights which can result in enhanced productivity and higher quality.

Manufacturing isn’t the only industry to be disrupted by IoT technology. The healthcare industry is also poised to leverage the benefits that the IoT promises. The Internet of Health Things is the latest market segment to evolve from this innovative technology.

A recent Accenture report found that 73 percent of healthcare executives anticipate significant investment in IoHT technologies. In fact, the value of the IoHT is projected to exceed $163 billion by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate of more than 38 percent.

The investments in healthcare are starting to pay off. Services like remote patient monitoring and emergency notification systems are driving improved customer satisfaction while reducing costs. Wellness and prevention programs are also a growing area that are improving healthcare outcomes while realizing extensive administrative cost savings.

Innovative applications which take advantage of the IoHT are being introduced at a rapid pace. Electronic wristbands that monitor heart rate and blood pressure is a common example of the IoHT at work. Some hospitals are implementing “smart beds” which sense when beds are occupied or when a patient tries to get up. New solutions that help us maintain our health are introduced constantly. Wearable technologies are a visible reminder of how much the IoHT is embedded in our everyday activities.

While the IoT is constantly evolving and bringing innovation into our everyday world, it’s necessary for the system architecture be able to handle the enormous number of devices sharing data. Privacy concerns must be protected and protocols established.

The healthcare industry is one of many industries to be disrupted by emerging technology. Ultimately healthcare companies and the customers they serve will both benefit from leveraging technology to promote better health at a lower cost.

The importance of wireless networks and applications is enormous as we reap the benefits of a reliable and effective network. RF Connect provides the cost-effective and reliable solutions healthcare sites need through our signature Wireless Utility Networks systems. Like access to water, electricity and heat, access to a wireless network is a necessity.

“Things” have never been better.

Read more about RF Connect’s experience in improving in-building wireless communications in health care settings.