Internet of Things based technology erupted into popularity mainly during the pandemic and is only accelerating in adoption to this day. Some figures project the IoT market to grow to around 1.6 trillion by 2025. In a decade or so, smart home security will be many more people’s business.
Being a relatively young technology, many IoT devices may be susceptible to vulnerabilities and loopholes yet unknown or unaddressed by the manufacturer. This is the reality of it.
To get two things straight right off the bat.
First, often the most common way to hack Internet of Things based systems and household surveillance is by direct targeting. The likelihood that a skilled hacker with the education and dedication to specifically target your house is low.
That is not to say that it doesn’t happen. At the hands of tech-savvy criminal network perhaps.
Second, if a skilled hacker is hell-bent on targeting your home specifically, they can find a way in, and your best bet is to make the task both more difficult and less rewarding if successful.
In the event of an attack, the motives are usually targeted DDoSing for ransoming data, surveillance for robbery when the owner is not home, or installing crypto mining software to mine off your electric grid.
Here are some ways to strengthen your defenses:
Store your data internally. Memory cards with around 150 GB of memory can store your camera footage and overwrite old videos to make room for new ones. for your cameras to feed into assures the footage is stored behind closed doors.
Change your router name. Don’t use your name or family name as the router name, and it is often advised to change the default name as it contains the manufacturer and model. This is information that a hacker can use.
Toughen your password. It always comes back to this. If your password is “password,” you are essentially leaving the house key under the doormat. Get creative, and use a *P@$$Wordz_L1k3 tH!$*. Not that one though.
Invest in the latest security software and firewalls. It may be pricier, but if you believe your house may be targeted for whatever reason, it is a worthwhile investment.
Use guest networks. Pretty much all modern routers can host a secondary network, or guest network. Use that for your home devices and separate it from the rest of your electronics. Better to compromise the smart fridge than your work laptop.
Disable features when not in use. Many Internet of Things devices have features like remote activation and voice recognition. If you are worried about these devices being used to spy on you or gain access from afar, disable them from the devise itself.
Talk less. The good-old street smarts; Don’t say what you don’t need to say. In other words, don’t brag to your pub mates about your shiny new home security system. Don’t tell your mutual friend’s mutual friend about your crypto wallet and how much you made trading.
If you follow these steps, you greatly decrease your chance of a breach from any source and avoid the worst in case of one. Then nobody can use your smart fridge to murder you.
IoT Healthcare: When Overcoming Challenges Holds the Key for a Flourishing Market
The internet of things (IoT) is certainly not a new concept in the world of technology and engineering. With the improvement in connectivity, new use cases notably IoT healthcare applications have emerged. The idea of connected physical devices or “things” has existed for a long time with software-enabled sensing devices communicating data among others or even with a central entity that handles the processing and analysis of the incoming data.
Wireless sensor networks and mobile ad-hoc networks are all concepts that have existed for a long time and largely contributed to shaping up IoT as it is widely known today. The hype surrounding the advent of 5G as a game-changer in the telecommunications industry and as an enabler for new business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) opportunities has notably contributed to the increased investments and adoption of IoT solutions.
The prospective Wi-Fi 7 standard will complement the IoT landscape with its expected ultra-high throughput and low latencies. According to Statista, the number of connected IoT devices will increase from around 11 billion in 2022 to 25 billion in 2030, thus requiring a reliable holistic connectivity. The IoT market is expected to exceed one trillion USD in the same year.
The healthcare industry is among the highly affected verticals by the development of IoT solutions to the extent that a new area denoted as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has emerged. Compared to regular IoT solutions, IoMT ones cater for specific requirements in healthcare provision such as security and utmost reliability.
Implementation of IoT in Healthcare
Numerous use cases justify the implementation of IoT in healthcare. The introduction of such solutions into the healthcare industry is actually disruptive on different fronts:
- Patient monitoring: The advances in sensor technology has allowed the development of efficient patient monitoring applications. Sensors have reached a level of notably high accuracy, precision, and sensitivity allowing the collection clinical-grade data from patients. When incorporated within intelligent devices capable of processing and transmitting data, they provide an ecosystem to collect and interpret patient’s data thus improving the monitoring process as a whole. Further innovations in biocompatible stretchable and wearable electronics has widened the spectrum of applications to include sensing devices in contact with human skin and sensitive organs such as eyes. On another side, ingestible sensors, mainly camera sensors have been developed to monitor internal organs such as the stomach. Therefore, throughout these prominent innovations, patients, family members and caregivers have continuous access to data to allow ubiquitous real-time monitoring and assessment of the patient’s health status.
- Affordable service provision: The incorporation of IoT solutions democratizes the healthcare industry by allowing premium healthcare to everyone through low-cost solutions. Costly doctor visits can indeed be replaced by remote monitoring and automated decision making where data is collected and analyzed on the cloud. The process alleviates the caregiver’s burden of looking at a significantly large amount of information to take life-changing decisions.
- Improved operations and logistics: Besides refined service provision, hospitals can rely on IoT solutions to perfect the management of the different operations including tracking of medical equipment, improved inventory control, automated environmental and safety checks within the premises, efficient real time analysis of staff responses to various medical conditions and an optimization in the allocation of medical resources.
- Improved insurance underwriting and claims processes: The incorporation of IoT in operation of insurance companies can help in tailoring insurance policies to patients and reducing fraudulent claims. The development of such solutions requires access to the client’s data, or to a lesser extent, to periodical reports that build on the continuously collected data. By having access to this valuable information, insurance companies can adjust premiums and pricing to different patients, and identity fraudulent claims thus reducing costs. Insurers can provide additional services to keep track of their patients’ health indicators to decrease the risks of adverse events, also cutting down on expenses.
What Are the Challenges of IoT in Healthcare?
Cybersecurity has recently been an active area mainly due the constantly increasing number of security attacks and breaches. Hackers have been innovative discovering loopholes and exploiting vulnerabilities for malicious endeavors. As IoT systems rely on continuous connection availability and reliability, security is definitely a prohibitive factor. This however does not bode well for healthcare applications as related collected data involves sensitive and confidential information. Data integrity and security is therefore the main challenge towards large scale adoption of “internet of healthcare things” solutions.
Another challenge in developing IoT solutions relate to the difficulty in integrating data from different sources. The channeling of the data from sensors to the decision making device is normally done using different communication standards. At the sink, the processing of the received information becomes harder as data cleaning and transformation needs to be done before viable learning can be done. The difficulty in integrating data from sources significantly affects the scalability of IoT solutions in healthcare.
A third challenge relates to the availability and reliability of the connections within the IoT network. As healthcare applications require quasi-real time collection of data, any disruption in the connection can prove costly in terms of the data accuracy and errors in the decision making process. For instance, smart insulin pumps require accurate periodical glucose measurements. Any erroneous interpretation of glucose levels can lead to wrongly administrated quantities of insulin.
What is the future of IoT in Healthcare?
Addressing the challenges related the integration of IoT solutions in Healthcare holds the key that determines the future of such projects, especially that companies and manufacturers investing in the field need some guarantees to continue with their investments.
As security is the top priority in such applications, advanced security enforcing systems have been investigated. Among others is the use of blockchain technology to improve security in the data management and operations, in particular data integrity, access control and privacy preservation. The distributed ledger can be used to validate data exchanges between IoT devices, thus reducing potential attacks.
The harmonization of communication standards for healthcare IoT applications is also essential in delivering efficient solutions.
As technology is evolving and digital transformation is at full throttle, new IoT use cases will certainly be developed in the healthcare sectors. Digital twins seem to build on IoT measurements to construct a virtual model of the patient, and customize treatment and monitoring opportunities.
Cost reduction and preventive services will also be at the center of future use cases. The current coronavirus pandemic has taught us how fragile the healthcare system is. Through proper data collection and interpretation, higher resilience towards future challenges can be achieved.
When advancements in electronics, communications, computing, and storage come together, the internet of things becomes a paradigm that could well disrupt different industries, notably healthcare. The benefits of developing healthcare IoT solutions are numerous ranging from improved service provision, to optimized operations and asset management. As the medical environment is heavily regulated, conceived solutions need to mature enough by addressing several challenges, notably security related issues. The future certainly holds a lot of positive prospects for IoT in Healthcare. It is up to companies and manufacturers to make the best out it!
“Inside Telecom provides you with an extensive list of content covering all aspects of the tech industry. Keep an eye on our Technology and MedTech space to stay informed and up-to-date with our daily articles.”
4 applications of AIoT being used today
We are fast approaching an era in which smart machines and big data gathering capabilities become part and parcel of global industries. Applications of AIoT, Artificial Intelligence of Things, being used today can be seen in most high-income residential areas and big businesses. While not as widespread as it is touted to be, adoption is increasing exponentially in developed countries.
The internet of things, as an umbrella term, represents a network of connected objects that each connect either to the greater internet or to your personal app. When we toss an AI algorithm and machine learning capabilities into the mix, we can then expect IoT smart devices to learn, self-improve, and adapt to changes based on their experience and those of other systems.
AIoT, or Artificial Intelligence of Things, is an integration between the infrastructure behind the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence technology. The mesh between IoT and AI leads to an enhanced human-machine interaction, data management and analytics, and an overall improved customer experience for IoT users.
With that said, here are the most common applications of AIoT seen today:
Autonomous vehicles are perhaps the most obvious and widespread applications of AIoT today. Self-driving vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla use their thousands of vehicles currently on the road to gather millions of data points as they drive around both manually and automatically. They use this data to map out roads, refine their vehicle’s automated driving systems, and bolster their data pools to improve their products and create better ones later down the line.
Perhaps the biggest adopter of IoT and AIoT today is the use of AI to improve the performance and efficiency of smart factories. Most factories in heavily industrialized countries already use embedded sensors to gather large amounts of data on the manufacturing process.
Industrial and manufacturing robots are becoming smarter through the use of AIoT, which allows factory robots to learn patterns and predict disruptions, delays, and damages before they happen. Predictive maintenance and supply disruption is perhaps the biggest money savers for any manufacturer.
The data gathered by facial recognition cameras and other sensors can help map the path that retail customers take to the checkout line. Data such as this can help managers predict the occurrence of staff shortages and provide insight into customer behavior in the store to improve the retail experience and even plan store layout to get the most out of a customer’s visit.
This is where modern applications of AIoT meet smart homes. Automated and AI-enabled temperature regulation saves you the most on the electric bill, but it could also, over time, learn what is best for human health by adjusting the house’s temperature based on the weather outside, the homeowner’s work schedule, and temperature preferences.
In the near future, the integration of WoT, or web of things, which is just IoT connected to the wider internet, will see even bigger transformations. In a fully AIoT realized future, the planet will act as a giant interconnected web of data gathering systems that autonomously improve upon each other by learning patterns and making connections that would take us, humans, months if not years of collaboration and research.
How IoT and WoT are Related
It is not clear to most how IoT and WoT are related as the words internet and web are often used interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing and have extremely different applications on different scales.
The internet of things (IoT), as we have covered extensively on Inside Telecom, refers to connected devices. Simply devices linked to your phone that you can control and regulate from afar, with some degree or automation.
In a smart home, while it is possible to synchronize multiple devices together, it is made of multiple smart items that are connected to your phone, each with its own apps and different manufacturers and protocols.
This is where the distinction between IoT and Web of Things (WoT) is seen, but to see how IoT and WoT are related, let’s ask the important question first.
What is WoT?
The Web of things can be defined, at least fundamentally, as two or more linked systems of devices that can share data. It is a network of two or more groups of connected devices.
Your smart home with all its appliances attached to your home internet from a network, but each of your smart devices still uses its own applications specific to the item and the manufacturer. Your smart door and smart fridge are not really connected to each other, just connected to you.
Also, with such protocols enabled, your home could link to all the other homes in the neighborhood. A smart farm could link to the local weather forecast. Smart factories could be linked to their suppliers to predict delays, etc.
That is what distinguishes IoT from WoT, it allows simplified and standardized interoperability between different vendors which makes larger-scale connectivity much easier.
Whereas IoT refers to a system of connected devices, the web of things refers to a network of networks or a system of systems.
Interoperability between different networks opens new possibilities for joint technologies to operate across vastly different domains beyond smart factories, homes, and buildings.
Such protocols would enable large-scale connected projects to be built more reliably. Smart cities, smart ports linked to other smart ports across the ocean, and smart farms linked to weather forecasting stations for predictive irrigation. Such projects can help illustrate how IoT and WoT are related and will be applied in the near future.
Where IoT refers to connected devices that together form an enclosed network, each of the devices is generally connected one way to the owner’s device and constitutes low-level sensors and devices. The WoT takes those systems and standardizes their operating protocols to enable interoperability, forming a system of systems.
Inside Telecom provides you with an extensive list of content covering all aspects of the biotechnology industry. Keep an eye on the technology and IoT sections to stay informed and updated with our daily articles.