IoT can certainly play a major role in healthcare and diagnostics
Published by : Industrial Automation
Mohini Sudumbrekar, Founder, FutureSkills Consultants.
How uniform is the Smart trend in India given the wide disparity?
For past almost 25 years, the study shows that inequality is grown in the world’s most populous countries. It is observed that income disparities and so also the lack of opportunities are the cause for creating the cycle of inequality, at times frustrations and discontent. Now at this time, one can observe wide disparities in the areas of healthcare, education, infrastructure availability. However, for the past ten years, there is marked difference and lot of changes have been made in policies, making of infrastructure and so also understanding the importance of having right skills. From the digital eye, people are aware that new types of skill sets may be required to make use of opportunities. Frankly speaking, the society is on their mark to GO!
We are in the midst of a fourth wave of technological advancement, the rise of new digital industrial technology known as Industry 4.0, a transformation powered by nine foundational technological advances. In this transformation, sensors, machines, workpieces, and IT systems will be connected along the value chain beyond a single enterprise, a complex (IT+ OT) convergence. These connected systems – cyber physical systems, can interact with one another using standard Internet-based protocols and analyse data to predict failure, configure themselves, and adapt to changes. A paradigm shift from breakdown to preventive!!
Industry 4.0 will make it possible to gather and analyse data across machines/systems, enabling faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes to produce higher-quality goods at reduced costs. This in turn will increase manufacturing productivity, shift economics, foster industrial growth, and modify the profile of the workforce – ultimately changing the competitiveness of companies, regions and essential services like energy, healthcare and infrastructure.
What are the sectors that are best prepared for the Smart revolution – transportation, energy, healthcare, etc?
The manufacturing sectors, process control, packaging industry, energy sector, healthcare, Auto sector, in fact all the industries where People, Processes and Products are involved. Education and skills development, E-learning is a big industry and will keep the change alive and is certainly getting benefits of the smarter processes and connected campuses. Skills development across the geographies of organisation and universities is possible through digital media, connected resources and conferencing facilities. Automation using collaborative robots, to increase the efficiencies of processes in high risk areas and performing mundane jobs like cleaning, disinfecting, etc. Today’s situation of pandemic, Cobots have been successfully used to work in the high risk areas to serve and record better. All data collected can generate insights. Artificial Intelligence can help predict the disasters.
Talking of healthcare in general, Covid-19 in particular, can IoT play a bigger role?
IoT can certainly play a major role in healthcare and diagnostics. The beauty of IoT lies in getting the real time data instantly. This crisis has generated many innovative ideas and ways to build solutions. All that is required is a correct strategic approach for both processes and technologies to give robust solutions. Importantly, speed of testing, delivering reports, identifying and classifying clusters, giving insights and action points and so also the prediction of future situations. Video-conferencing is ubiquitous which can help social distancing, working from home, and maintaining the pace of business. Schools are changing to E schools!
Providing wrist bands for high risk passengers, monitoring people with home quarantine, temperature measurements at entrances of public buildings and reporting the data to central instance for analysis and further actions. Simple apps on mobiles can highlight the risk alarms. This is a very classic IoT scenario. In view of Covid-19 the management of crowd, public safety, transport management, event management any such ad hoc fixes may not be the right solution but IoT will play a massive role in modernising the healthcare, disaster prevention, public safety and security supply chain, manufacturing and smart production. AI modelling can predict some short term results since historical data is not available.
Smart Everything, but still the world appears unprepared for pandemics like Covid-19. Time to factor in contingencies?
Frankly speaking the Corona pandemic occurrence is almost like a bomb blast. A few understanding the situation, few trying to understand it and many suddenly exposed to it without having a knowledge of the serious outcome. When it caused many deaths, people started becoming alert. Many are suffering because of ignorance and also arrogance towards the pandemic. Isolation and breaking the chain being the first action, people took it quite casually and within no time it multiplied the numbers. Being still unknown, treatment is symptomatic. It would take almost a year to create, test and circulate vaccines for protection. The right approach, as on date, will be to isolate and protect by taking measures of prevention, since no specific cure exists. ‘Prevention is better than cure’. And be ready for the better world. As we always believe, nothing remains permanent!
Given the shortages of essentials like masks and ventilators, is it possible to have Smart Factories that can at short notice switch over to manufacture something else?
The sudden outbreak has raised the requirements to very high numbers, considering the emergency at the hour and the tentative or worst predictions there may be a need to go into almost 10 crores of this number be it mask, PPE kit or the ventilators! Manufacturing companies have already started acting and producing the ventilators, this can be a very good opportunity to generate new sources of incomes. Small business and entrepreneurs have started producing masks which are required currently and as foreseen in future too.
All these units can be connected to make it a smart activity so that there is no shortage of the raw material and ensure prompt supply chain using IoT and smart techniques. A proper data management can also done using AI algorithms to know the trend and ensure proper actions. We are all aware that many innovations took place during World War II. This is nothing less than a war!
Will the Covid-19 crisis prove a boon to make a really Smart World?
Surely yes! Every crisis teaches us lot of things! It is our attitude that will take us to the right direction. Today, with the presence of IoT – which is pervasive, we can get the solution to manage the crisis! Like a Lego kit, solution design blocks are available, such as sensors, electronic kits, communication protocols, algorithms, data analytics tools and display tools, connecting facility with 4G, 5G, billions of people are mobile users, smart phones available at a very low cost! Need of the hour is to innovate a solution for the sector by mix and match, develop a kit to test the reliability and offer the solution to users! Again the Digital transformation, domain experience and the facilities will enhance the market applications.
After smart phone, which device is most likely to become integral part of daily life in future?
MR – Mixed reality, is poised to become the next major computing platform! Wearables have already carved a path for profound technology transformation for industries in healthcare, apparels, and fitness. Apple has launched Smart watch, Snap is working on Augmented Reality and emotion recognition. The digital world is not just confined to screen, but merging of real and virtual worlds. Virtual Reality – VR is fully immersive, places users in digital environment. Augmented Reality – AR overlays digital elements onto real world setting. Mixed reality MR is a combination above and allows user to interact with physical and digital elements simultaneously.
It could be the most dominant technology for daily living and experiential element of next mobile computing platform. Currently HMDs – head mounting devices, Smart glasses, HUDs – head up display sets are developed. MR technology, Voice driven virtual assistants, and anticipatory AI will ultimately drive the new mobile platforms, expanding the mobile screen off and integrating it with the real world around us!
Mohini Sudumbrekar, M.E (EE), Trainer, Consultant and Mentor, is a result oriented, multitalented, inspiring mentor, trainer and Industry 4.0 Consultant, with 40 years of field experience, Mohini is specialised in CNC, automation, robotics, IoT, product design, project management, Industry 4.0, Procurement 4.0, Maintenance 4.0, Industry 5.0, instructional design, auto electronics, electric vehicles, and 9 Pillars of Industry 4.0, AI-ML, etc. She specialises in analysing current digital landscape and technology infrastructure of the organisation for Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 implementation, and is committed to train and mentor professionals at all experience levels to be ‘Future Ready’ – ‘Industry Ready’.