IoT, AI, smartphones and wearables together are an incredibly powerful team. We are seeing developers start to code apps which track users and who they have come in contact with – allowing people to know if they need to be quarantined. AI will eventually be able to predict the likelihood of contracting Covid-19 based upon how long two people were in contact and if they were in an enclosed area such as a cruise ship, bus, Uber or subway car.
Wearable tech can detect symptoms of sickness; an increase in body temperature – possibly even labored breathing. The infinite number of smart microphones all around us from Amazon, Google, Apple and of course the microphones on our devices, can even monitor coughing.
All of these technologies together will allow us to more rapidly get back to work or even keep working, regardless of what viruses emerge.
Our colleague Ken Briodagh recently had a podcast interview with Jeremy Prince, President, Sigfox USA about building scaleable IoT networks… It was quite intriguing. The company more recently penned an open letter challenging IoT to fight Covid-19.
To learn more we had an exclusive interview with Jeremy and Ajay Rane, VP, Business Development.
Jeremy explained that once a vaccine is created, IoT can help with logistics, with monitoring because you’re going to make sure that the vaccines stay at the right temperature. Ajay explained we can expect to see further stockpiling of vaccines and other supplies – many of which are temperature sensitive.
So not just during the delivery phase but even when they’re stockpiled; We need to have an economical and reliable solution that will help us monitor stockpiles across the country and across the globe of essential supplies of medications, and vaccines. That’s where IoT can play a massive role because one of the things that Sigfox brings to the table is extended battery life, performance, and being able to report over large areas of the country.Ajay Rane
In addition, the company has been equipping temporary hospitals in Spain with patient bed call buttons allowing a patient to wirelessly notify their health provider that they need assistance. “We’ve actually delivered 20,000 call buttons through one of our partners to help enable these patients,” he said. “We believe that this will continue to be a concern as more and more temporary makeshift hospitals are created.”
Ajay further explained Taiwan has done an exceptional job managing the pandemic. “There’s a lot to learn from them,” he exclaimed. The country still has flights going in and out of five cities in China. What they do is present the people that and with a cell phone and require them to self-quarantine. If the phone drops below a certain battery level, they contact you to charge it. If the battery dies or there is no response, they send the police. If the door opens, they reach out to find out why. There is also community-based monitoring to ensure people stay in quarantine.
Sigfox is in a good position to help in many IoT as well as Covid-19 applications as their network is structured in a way that doesn’t require additional gateways but they have a small microwave densification station which can connect to a router to ensure coverage.
Their technology has been applied in cable modems – allowing a cable provider to also sell security home security services. A coin-sized battery powers radio communications with their network and can act as a last breath message in case of a power or internet cut. This same radio technology can be used in a PC or mobile phone to add user authentication as well as remote wiping and other MDM functions.
In all, technology solutions to help control this and future pandemics are here and more are on their way, Just as tech has been instrumental in allowing many of us to work from home, new and more interconnected IoT, wearable and smartphone technology – bolstered by AI, is coming. The goal being – allowing us to control this and other pandemics without causing the majority of the economy to stop.
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