With the increased adoption of wireless networking technologies, advanced data analytics, and cloud platforms, the Internet of Things solutions are being widely introduced across various industries, including manufacturing, transportation, utilities, retail, and healthcare.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the worldwide IoT market is predicted to reach over $1.38 trillion by 2026, growing from $761.4 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 10.53% during the indicated period. Cisco reports that machine-to-machine connections are expected to increase by 19% and account for 50% of all connections by 2023.
There are many benefits of IoT technology. Employing custom IoT software systems, organizations can automate inventory management, track location, collect and analyze data. Thanks to IoT apps and sensors, it is also possible to control lighting, temperature, and energy consumption, which allows both companies and individuals to reduce costs.
In this article, we will consider the top IoT use cases across different sectors. Learn how you can address business-specific needs and gain a competitive advantage.
Top 8 IoT use cases across different industries
1. Remote patient health monitoring
Thanks to the Internet of Things technology, medical providers can enable remote health monitoring, which is widely used for the treatment of various diseases, including chronic illnesses. With smart devices and biosensors, organizations can measure indicators such as heart rate, pulse, blood glucose level, arterial pressure, and oxygen level.
Employing a mobile app, patients can send health information to doctors, receive personalized recommendations, as well as get notified about taking medicines. Doctors, in their turn, analyze data, prepare treatment plans, and control disease. In case of health deterioration, the system will automatically alert a clinician. It is worth noting that biosensors can track data in real time. Therefore, medical professionals can obtain a detailed picture of disease progression.
A clinical trial found that the use of mobile apps and sensors for remote health monitoring allows reducing the severity of symptoms related to head and neck cancer in comparison with usual care. The results of this trial were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in 2018.
“Using sensor-mobile technology to monitor patients during critical peak treatments of outpatient care can provide a timely source of information for clinical decision-making and may ultimately improve quality of life and health outcomes,” —said Susan K. Peterson, MD, MPH, Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
2. Supply chain management
In logistics and supply chain management, companies employ the Internet of Things apps to enable location tracking in real time. By collecting and transmitting data to an IoT system, businesses can monitor driver activities, vehicle and cargo location, as well as delivery status.
When goods arrive at a certain place, stakeholders will be instantly notified with an SMS, email, or in-app message. Furthermore, it is possible to visualize data on the map, making it easy to trace cargo. Therefore, IoT software solutions can help you improve supply chain management.
Using IoT in conjunction with blockchain, market players can achieve end-to-end supply chain visibility and ensure data authenticity by preventing information distortion.
What’s more, organizations can set up a cold chain by tracking the temperature of goods throughout their production and distribution. This is crucial for extending the shelf life of products—seafood, frozen food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, etc.—and providing safe storage.
3. Remote equipment monitoring
Providing efficient equipment operation is among the main challenges for manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and other companies. With IoT software, it is possible to address this issue. By placing sensors on equipment, an organization can track it in real time.
A company can also integrate an analytics module to process the collected data and instantly detect issues—for instance, the possibility of equipment failure—before they are critical. By analyzing streaming data, an IoT system can assess equipment conditions, identify warning signs, and alert managers. With preventive maintenance, you can increase equipment lifetime, enhance plant safety, and save costs.
The COVID-19 pandemic encouraged businesses to use the Internet of Things software solutions to enable remote patient health monitoring, asset tracking, and equipment management.
“Having remote monitoring capabilities became much more prevalent, and those that never activated remote monitoring previously have now turned on those capabilities,” —says Michele Pelino, a senior analyst within the infrastructure and operations research team at Forrester. She also adds: “Now that these remote monitoring and predictive systems are there, organizations aren’t going to turn them off.”
4. Inventory management
With traditional manual processes, retail and logistics companies have to resolve challenges such as misplaced inventory, lack of real-time data, and decentralized control of assets. With the Internet of Things software, organizations can address these issues. By using technologies like RFID tags, barcodes, Bluetooth, and beacons, it is possible to establish efficient inventory management.
Benefits of IoT solutions include:
- tracking of inventory items based on their size, location, etc.
- prevention of stock-outs and extra inventories
- contactless tracking of assets in real time
- increased accuracy
- prevention of inventory losses
- cost savings due to automated inventory management
Thanks to IoT apps and devices, employees can instantly check the exact number of inventory items and their location at any time. Furthermore, you can integrate inventory and sales data to improve procurement planning.
5. Warehouse management
IoT software solutions can be used to optimize warehouse management. By using the Internet of Things software, companies can better allocate space and boost staff productivity. For instance, it is possible to identify the most frequently used items and store them closer to points of access, which allows employees to save time.
Organizations can also use smart shelves, an IoT solution that uses RFID technology to monitor assets, define how long they have been held in a certain place, and notify specialists about expired dates. As a result, you will be able to increase the efficiency of warehousing.
6. Driver activity analysis
The Internet of Things technology is being widely adopted in the insurance industry. ReportLinker informs that the IoT insurance market is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 40% during 2021-2026. According to Forbes, insurance firms can reduce the cost of claim processing by 30% and decrease premiums by 25% by employing IoT apps and devices.
Driver activity analysis is among the most popular IoT use cases in the sector. Using IoT devices and sensors, insurers can aggregate and process large amounts of telematics data to monitor driver behavior and use of vehicles. As a result, an IoT-based system can identify high-risk and low-risk customers. Thanks to this, companies will be able to lower rates for careful drivers while increasing premiums for high-risk users.
7. Smart home automation
Smart home automation is among the main advantages of IoT technology. The home automation market comprises IoT devices such as smart speakers, video doorbells, smart locks, connected light bulbs, and cameras. With mobile applications, it is possible to manage lighting and temperature in houses.
Experts at Stanford University and Avast revealed that IoT solutions are prevalent in US homes compared to other regions. According to the study, 66% of customers in North America employ at least one IoT device while the global average is 40%.
8. Management of resource consumption
Smart metering is another use case of IoT apps. With connected devices, organizations can measure energy, natural gas, and water consumption to optimize their utilization. While traditional meters allow recording total consumption, smart meters measure how much of a certain resource was consumed within different time periods.
Power generation companies and utilities adopt IoT software systems to control resource usage, adjust prices accordingly, and minimize carbon emissions.
Advantages of IoT technology for utilities are:
- continuous monitoring of resource consumption
- reduced operating expenses
- improved forecasting of resource utilization and optimized costs for consumers
- tracking of renewable power
- increased customer satisfaction through client profiling and segmentation
By deploying the Internet of Things software solutions, companies can optimize energy, gas, and water distribution. With control over resource utilization provided by smart meters, they can also improve customer service and cut down expenses.
The Internet of Things technology during COVID-19
MarketsandMarkets forecasted that under the influence of COVID-19 the world’s IoT market size would rise from 150 billion in 2019 to $243 billion by 2021, progressing at a CAGR of 13.7% during the indicated period. The key market drivers are increased demand for remote monitoring software, contactless operations, and increased popularity of wearable devices.
IoT Analytics reports that 60% of companies that have adopted the Internet of Things software say that smart technology helps them gain a competitive advantage. As the coronavirus pandemic has triggered an increasing demand for process transparency and visibility, IoT software solutions will be widely introduced in the coming years.
Since the outbreak has also forced governments to impose lockdowns and social distancing, people are forced to work from home. As a result, now organizations want to monitor the health of their employees. GlobalSign informs that the use of IoT health apps is growing due to COVID-19.
For example, CMED Health provides an IoT-based solution for remote health monitoring. By using a combination of a mobile app and smart devices, users can track the main health indicators. Medical data is collected and transferred to the cloud service for further analysis by clinicians.
The system generates results—highlighted with different colors—based on the emergency level of patient health condition. Thanks to this platform, CMED Health has already helped 1.5 million people during the pandemic.
There are many benefits of IoT software solutions, from business process automation and increased efficiency to reduced operating costs. With the Internet of Things technology, you can address various issues, for instance, enable automated inventory tracking, location management, and remote equipment monitoring.
By employing IoT systems, healthcare companies can improve treatment, boost productivity, and obtain a detailed picture of patient health. With remote monitoring capabilities, now we are witnessing a growing use of IoT apps and devices triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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