Where will IoT make an impact in 2019?

Four sectors with some serious IoT potential for opportunistic early adopters.
15 January 2019 | 10 Shares

IIoT will create fully-connected factories. Source: Shutterstock

For all the talk of Internet of Things (IoT) technology— the technological backbone of the utopian-sounding ‘smart cities’ of the future— we’ve really still yet to see the potential of the technology in action, at large.

That could start to change this year; 5G is now in arm’s reach, offering download speeds of up to, or well beyond, 10 gigabits per second, promising unprecedented connectivity. At the same time, security issues long-hampering IoT adoption are getting somewhere towards being solved, and standardization initiatives are providing the technology with the necessary mainstream stature.

While 2019 could well be the year that IoT technologies begin to take hold, however, not every industry will adopt at the same rates. Here are four sectors, in particular, where intelligent and opportunistic adopters are poised to reap the benefits in the year ahead.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry will see explosive growth in IoT devices in 2019, allowing providers to deliver better services and payers to receive lower rates.

Aiming to increase quality and cost-saving, connected devices will embed technology that healthcare providers will leverage to better track patient care. Simple digital tools are already being used in medical instruments to mitigate the risk of infection, like patch sensors and smart threads that track sleep patterns, body chemistry and cardiac readouts.

For payers, IoT devices present new opportunities for smarter population risk management and reimbursement rate adjustments. For example, long-term care facilities with IoT enablements can offer better rates to payers if their sensor data mitigates the likelihood of infection and fall risk. Additionally, the increase in at-home devices, like wearable fitness tools, help insurers identify members who are taking proactive steps to improve their health and avoid personal risk.

Automotive

Although driverless car technology is still in its initial stages, IoT will make big changes to how users interact with their cars using real-time data. The most common form of basic IoT dashboarding is the automobile display panel, but we haven’t seen much change from oil, engine and gas tank indicators in previous years. This year, access to these indicators will expand beyond the dashboard, and users will be able to interact with them through their phones – significantly improving the management and awareness of vehicle operations.

As IoT becomes prevalent in more vehicles, these devices will start to speak with smart grids outside the automobile and provide more meaningful information about road conditions, like traffic and accidents.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has seen a huge acceleration in IoT, and we can expect to see that momentum continue in 2019.

More manufacturers will leverage IIoT to create fully-connected factories, warehouses and distribution centers where whole facilities exist online. Data from these systems will be added to blockchain ecosystems, so manufacturers can ensure efficiency in production and tracking. As AI integrates with these sensory ecosystems, whole plants can learn to moderate energy consumption automatically, improving efficiency by identifying hidden patterns in production data.

Public sector

For energy and utilities, smart cities have used IoT for smart grids around water and electricity for nearly a decade, but they will start to leverage connected devices for more complex projects in 2019. AI-driven grid management will actively manage systems as alternative energy sources are layered into communities.

For local initiatives, smart cities will also develop smart neighborhoods where residents can better connect with their community. As city councils and townships invest in connected enhancements, residents will be able to engage with local traffic, school buses, outages, walkability, weather, and trash collection.

Contributed by Taqee Khaled, Director of Strategy at Nerdery