Is IoT growing up? 5 key issues

Is IoT growing up? 5 key issues

Is the tech community making enough progress on IoT security and other challenges? I saw reasons for both optimism and pessimism at the recent Connected Things conference

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April 09, 2019
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4. Evolving operational technology

Indeed, evolving existing industrial devices into a more connected and software-centric world is something of a trend in and of itself.

For example, Kirk Byles, CEO, FreeWave Technologies, talked about how their business basically consists of adding radios to SCADA sensors in remote locations. (SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition and refers to traditional industrial control devices.)

Speaking of radios, there was understandably a lot of hope placed on the shoulders of 5G as a near-ubiquitous communications medium. It’s happening anyway, and IoT applications will get to piggyback. Dr. Jin Yang, Fellow, Verizon Wireless, cited latency as one challenge to using 5G down the road. (Multi-tier architectures are presumably one of the ways to deal with latency-sensitive apps, which is one reason that edge computing is of interest to so many.)

5. IoT for healthcare

Finally, IoT for healthcare was a prominent theme at the conference. In a keynote, Pascale Witz, founder of PWH Advisors, described how continuous blood sugar monitoring without the need for a dedicated receiver was disruptive in the realm of diabetes treatments. She noted that there were three primary triggers for disruption: technology (especially sensors/miniaturization), interoperability, and data analysis.

Still, healthcare is one area where technology challenges remain. Continuous, or at least frequent, monitoring depends on sensors that are minimally invasive and take accurate measurements. Furthermore, measurements must be useful either for recording trends over time or taking some near-term action. In other words, they need to lead to actions that improve healthcare outcomes.

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