In these modern days of technology, the Internet of Things appears to be the future as it already enhances lots of devices used domestically or in the professional world to be connected, thereby giving them the ability to perform data exchange over the Internet.
It appears that we are just at the beginning of what IoT could do. In 2017, the number of devices on IoT hit about 8.4 billion and expectations are that the figure will hit the 30 billion mark before 2020 runs out.
Beyond what the IoT can offer us as individuals, businesses are not also left out of the mix. With IoT, businesses can collect and analyse data to ensure, efficiency, safety and good decision making for their ventures.
The IoT can also speed up medical care, especially, in times like these when the coronavirus has taken its toll on the human population. Advanced technology such as the IoT can help curb the spread of the disease.
In clear terms, the IoT is a system that has the interconnection of devices with network elements, which include software, hardware, and any other necessary electronic means that enables them to be responsive, through data collection.
Talking about IoT is beyond the idea of systems that enable integration and exchange of data taking place between a service provider and a person in need. In this present pandemic, one of the key challenges, apart from finding a vaccine, has been ineffectiveness, coming from not being able to reach COVID-19 patients.
With the application of IoT, it would be quite easy to reach patients, such that they will, eventually, receive good care from the effects of the virus.
Now, going further on what technology can offer in this pandemic era, IoT itself is an innovative technology that can be used to give information and monitor systems of the COVID-19 epidemic. Asides that, the technology can be used in combating challenges in this pandemic situation by helping to provide transparent treatment processes for patients.
The IoT is a proven technology that acts as a connection to the immediate analytics and the science behind machine learning. Besides, the IoT in any typical function serves as a utility appliance in real-life. However, in this current predicament that the world is facing, all nations are combating the pandemic, according to their capacities, seeking cost-effective ways to face the challenge, fair and square.
Researches are going on in different quarters and attempts are being made to develop new theories and create explanations that are user-centred.
In the current situation that the world has found itself, the figures of infected patients keep on increasing by the day in many countries of the world. This calls for a need to leverage the facilities offered through the Internet of Things.
In some European countries, the IoT has already been put to good use by serving the intended purpose in various domains through the Internet of Medical Things or the Internet of Healthcare Things. With these two facilities and simply following health guidelines, there can be a drastic reduction in the number of cases.
The capacity of IoT ensures that the generality of infected persons can be quarantined. In the process of the quarantine, there is a need for a system that can ensure proper monitoring. The IoT guarantees that high-risk patients can be tracked with ease through its Internet-based network. The IoT, as a technology, can also be used in measuring some biometrics such as heartbeat and blood pressure.
Overall, the IoT can help to combat the pandemic through reduced spending on treatment, reduction in chances of making mistakes, assurance of effective diagnosis and control.
On the successful implementation of the IoT, there would be a visible improvement in the efficiency of health workers, coupled with a reduced workload.
The IoT can be used for monitoring and capturing the health data in various remote locations where COVID-19 patients can be found. A virtual management system is in place to manage the obtained data and an can be done for follow up.
The IoT leverages the interconnected networks to make for efficient data flow and exchange. The technology helps patients, health workers and government agencies to get connected for cooperation and discussion of challenges.
Making use of the IoT during this pandemic guarantees an effective tracing of the infected patients, not leaving out the suspicious ones. Through the development of a connected network that is thoroughly informed, it could be quite easy to pick out clusters.
Some specific types of smartphone-based applications can also be developed so that it spreads to an average COVID-19 patient. The IoT ensures proper reporting of the COVID-19 symptoms such that steps can be adopted to optimise this period of the pandemic.
To, therefore, beat the challenge posed by the pandemic, the level of awareness must be first intensified, with all sense of seriousness as seen in some countries whose average citizens believes that the pandemic is only a figment of people’s imagination, or rather a way for the government of the day to siphon public funds.
You cannot implore people to embrace IoT to solve a pandemic situation, when they do not even believe that it exists in the first place. The next step is to make the technology very accessible. In China, for instance, there is a mobile application that alerts the app holder, if any COVID-19 individual is close by. So, asides from using the face mask in public places, the IoT keeps you alert to avoid a carrier of the virus.
In summary, the IoT makes use of multiple interconnected devices, to build an informative and smart network for an effective healthcare management, especially, for times like these.
Having the ability to alert and track other diseases, aside COVID-19, thus, helping to improve the safety of the citizens are made possible with IoT, especially, in helping to capture necessary data, without having any human contacts.
The supposed giant of Africa, our dear country ought to be leading Africa in delivering world-class, healthcare services driven by hi-tech but alas, we not even able to pay healthcare workers good wages. The prodding question is who will bell the cat?
CFA is the founder of CFAmedia.ng, a business and innovation platform