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IoT World Forum Highlights Trends in M2M Communications

Last month I attendedInternet of Things (IoT) World Forum2013 in London and gave a presentation on mHealth.

The conference brought together M2M vendors, customers and analysts covering the automotive, healthcare, asset and fleet management, manufacturing, security, retail point of sales, smart grid, smart metering, smart home and the consumer electronics sectors.

The event confirmed much of what we have been seeingat AerisM2M is moving from static communications to the development of more advanced applications through the use of the cloud, analytics, big data and application interfaces, all of which give businesses many new choices on how to use this data to greater advantage.

Here are a few of the trends seen at the conference, including my own presentation on mHealth trends.
Matt Hatton, director and founder of the analyst firm, Machina Research, showed how the M2M application environment is evolving and expanding its value proposition. He said the environment is moving from being device-centric, (where devices communicate information as necessary) to being process-centric, where it can publish information for third parties to incorporate in applications and control commands from diverse sources. I certainly see this as being true.

During the event, there was lots of talk about the size of opportunity in M2M although no one agreed on just how big the opportunity is or will be. Jrgen Hase, vice president of Deutsche Telekoms M2M Competence Center, said his company sees significant opportunities in the industrial sector and new uses for machine communications worldwide.

Cisco presented a report on emerging applications in IoT. Dr. Bernd Heinrichs, managing director of Industrial (IoT) Solutions for Cisco EMEAR, outlined what could be achieved with just 1 percent improvement in savings or efficiencies of the type that can be brought about with M2M communications.

Over 15 years, $276 billion in value can be created with 1 percent improvement in fuel savings in commercial aviation and gas-fired generation of power; 1 percent reduction of inefficiency in the healthcare and rail industries, and 1 percent reduction in capital expenditure in oil and gas exploration and development, Heinrichs said.

Consumer and wearable technologies were another frequent topic during the event. Robin Duke-Woolley, CEO of Beecham Research, discussed the development in consumer technology from functional to usable and, most recently, to wearable. It isBeechams perspectivethat wearable technology applications will blend function with style and rely on connecting devices. For example, security and safety applications will be developed for identity recognition, emergency services, environmental surveillance, rescue and tracking, military and other specialist professional uses. Duke-Woolley said sports and fitness apps will relate to an active lifestyle, including fitness monitoring, outdoor navigation/tracking, body cooling/heating, virtual coaching and sport performance.

I called my presentation, Deploying Telehealth Services and Devices.

mHealth is still a nascent market but the opportunity is massive. There are projected to be 100 million health-related devices in use annually by 2016,according to ABI Research. These devices, like wireless patches, smart medical clothing, and biosensors which make up body area networks, will reach $6 billion in revenue 2016, IMS Research says.

This growth is being driven by a large, aging population worldwide and growing medical costs. Of those already using mHealth services, 50 percent say the services have replaced some visits to doctors or nurses,according to PWC.

As a result, we are seeing more and more use of telehealth deployments, and with it, a growing need for telehealth apps. And these apps are becoming more complexfrom simple monitoring to mission-critical, emergency care uses. These apps can send information in real-time, directly to clinics, doctors and care-givers and create a continual connection between patients and their care teams.

So, all signs point to explosive growth for mHealth, a field in which we at Aeris Communications have taken a leading position. Click here to reviewour mHealth solutions.