The Internet of Things and Staying Healthy

health-iot
Everyone knows the Internet of Things (IoT) is the next big thing, with projections about IoT’s coming dominance differing only in how many billions of things will soon to be connected to it. But while we anticipate its coming heyday, plenty is going on in the IoT right now. In our “Things in the Internet of Things” series, we try to make the IoT less about what’s possible tomorrow and more about what’s happening today. And since everyone enjoys being healthy, we thought we’d look at some things in the IoT that aim to keep us that way.

The IoT as your Mom

Smart pill bottles aim to make sure you take your medicine, whether you want to or not. Adheretech makes sensors that can read how many pills or fluid ounces remain in a medicine bottle. If a dosage is missed, patients can receive alerts via phone or text messages. Another product, the GlowCap, flashes orange, then beeps, when it’s time for a pill. If that’s ignored, the GlowCap notifies a service center, which then emails, texts or phones the patient. GlowCap also connects via broadband networks to the local pharmacy, so a patient can push a button on the cap when he or she needs a refill.

Doctor, Doctor, I’ll Give You the News

People generally don’t enjoy going to the doctor’s office, and some companies are using the IoT to make sure their customers spend less time there. Preventice’s Body Guardian sensors keep track of a heart patient’s heart rate, beats and rhythms and allows physicians to monitor patients over the Web, instead of inside their offices. And Proteus sells pills with a digestible sensor the size of a grain of sand that’s powered by contact with stomach fluid. When a person takes the pill, the sensor sends out a signal to a skin patch, then to a mobile app which caregivers can access. And because the patch monitors pulse, body position and activity, doctors can also know what’s up with you without seeing you.

Extra Eyes on Loved Ones

Older relatives often want to stay as independent as possible, and IoT-enabled devices can keep an eye on aging loved ones without being intrusive. Alarm.com’s Wellness offering is a package of sensors and mobile devices installed throughout the home. The sensors monitor domestic activity and notify caregivers when something goes wrong, such as when there’s a long period of immobility that might indicate a fall. Lively’s safety watch also works with household sensors to detect falls, and it acts as a fitness tracker (keeps track of steps, etc.) and an emergency alert device, as well.

If its advocates are right, the IoT will soon be ubiquitous, with almost limitless applications. But all that machine-to-machine communication can’t live up to its promise if isn’t fast, high-performing and secure. That’s where Equinix comes in, because we enable that kind of interconnection.

Learn more about Equinix’s IoT vision.

And check out the other posts in our “Things in the Internet of Things” series:

The Internet of Things and the Deep Blue Sea”

The Internet of Things and the World of Kitchen Gadgetry”

“The Internet of Things and Staying Healthy” (see above)

“The Internet of Things and Better BBQ”

“The Internet of Things and Sleeping Like an Athlete”

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