but to get back towards the topic of new potential applications pertinent to IoT etc -- that's sort of interesting to me -- the fact that ACO and the re-envisioning of all those concepts is such fertile ground, potentially -- if you can create something (could be device + software/service/"cloud"/analytics ...) that can be used to for novel, relevant metrics...
interesting, indeed. certainly does sound like a big problem to be solved. I am famliiar with many of the travails of the oftentimes very complicated system of healthcare goods and services (I recall Steve Blank talking through the process of trying figuring out who you might consider the "customer" and how crazy compared to almost every other vertical), but does anyone know what the the 72 hour provision @elauesen mentioned is? not familiar with that in particular.
@elauesen & @ 78RPM - This will get even more complex as healthcare moves to the Acountable Care Organization model which depends on integration of hospitals, 3rd party specialists and other providers, from multiple organizations working together sharing responsibilities, costs, revenues, etc.
@cjlord but that said, Charles, you were mentioning some more interesting issues -- and I agree completely WRT nonstandard practices -- but what kinds of applications were you thinking of, I guess in the first part of your answer? curious
@78RPM: thanks for noticing my comment in the scroll. Yes. This is a very important area and one that would be a 'billion dollar' solution if developed. Here is the problem: all medical services are eligible for reimbursement either from the government or private insurance. In order to qualify for reimbursement, the hospitals/clinics etc MUST properly document their services AND code those services and do all of that within a 72 hours of the actual service performed. This turns medical doctors into data-entry clerks because THEY are the ones who know what they did. This results in large amounts of revenue to the health system going uncollected because Doctors and their staff are busy trying to provide medical care--particularly emergency room staff. If we can develop a way to monitor the entire hospital primise and 'track' time and motion characteristics of medical services and synchronize to a template that creates a draft report linked to an RPMS for coding, a trained records clerk could do the work that the doctor currently does, freeing the doc to perform medicine.
@danlafleur well, from experience working in the food industry...first, there is already extensive systematic traceability in the US (+EU, etc) food supply -- both because they're mandatory legal requirements and for company liability -- but while practices vary tremendously, there is a lot of stuff still being done pen on paper for logging (it was hard for me to comprehend what I was seeing :) So--what I'm trying to say is that there is definitely a huge role for electronics, software, automation (still) to expand into making these types of rather important processes less error-prone -- but it's not an IoT type of application that I can see. Only IoT-ish things [I can think of ATM] would likley be somewhere in RFID territory for large qty units of ingredients, and big guys already do that.
@cjlord, I agree, the drive has to come from the top down. there is an intial cost and resistance until some cost benifit is uncovered for the producer. also the potential of the tracking information coming back to the originator is a problem.
@danlafleur - this is possible, but it would depend on regulatory agencies driving it. Health issues tend to come from small farms that use non-standard practices (GMO contamination, viral or antibiotic contamination of livestock, etc)... They would not be the ones that would embrace tracking on their own IMO
Just occurred to me that outdoor wildlife summer camps and even national parks might require campers to wear tracking bracelets or something in case someone gets lost and to lessen risk and liability. Could even to used to help manage search parties or firefightling efforts.
Kurting - I see a lot of parallels between I 4.0 and IoT... There may end up being a marriage of the two for industry applications. Certainly, the concept of IoT fits the infrastructure of Industry 4.0
A defense application that I have been looking at is 'cloaking technology' for assets from electronic signal monitoring. The generation of a reciprocal waveform from the sront-end wave character/topology would assist our military assets from being IDd
Other application important in Alaska and North Pacific Fisheries is tagging a sample of salmon and tracking high seas interception by foriegn fleets as well as monitoring the migration of Canadian farmed salmon.
Irrigation systems would be a good application for networked sensors. A field can vary in slope and soil composition. It would save a lot of water if the water was delivered only to parts of the field that need it instead of spraying the entire field at once.
?? Zigbee isn't typically a backbone in a building. Can you address the relationship between IP based communication systems vs Zigbee, enOcean, ZWave and how these tie into the true building management protocols such as BACNet, KNX etc?
The medical industry is starting to RF ID tags for things like IV pumps, beds, wheel chairs, etc. They waste a lot of time looking for them for use with patients, and when they need to find them for maintenance, cleaning, etc. One of our clients saved $40K/month once they started to use them on IV pumps.
The future for medical applications will be in cost recovery and cost containment practices. The difficulty with resolving the coding and billing accountibility with the services of the physician and team is absolutely critical. Developing an application that allows an easy link between physician and the data attributes related to codes will be a 'silver bullet' for reconciliation between service and accounting.
@Jim Anicich, Zigbee is a wireless network protocol IEEE 802.15.4. You can buy little Zigbee transceivers from Digi-Key and elsewhere. They are called Xbee devices (proprietary). I just picked up a good simple book "Wireless Sensor Networks" by Robert Faludi. He gets you up and going by Chapter 2.
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