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Small enough to snort? 3 IoT driven trends in healthcare

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To London last week to attend the launch of the newly branded Xively, and listen to ARM’s explanation of what they are doing for developers of IoT products. Most of which is worth another blog post but a real show stopper was this:

ARM sniff chip

A 1 mm cube device with sensors, solar panel and processing. ‘Small enough to snort’, indeed (although I guess you wouldn’t need the solar panel in those circumstances).

Of course, this is not ARM’s first venture into ‘ingestible computing’ – they are also responsible for the design of Freescale Semiconductors 2 mm square microprocessor. But they’re plainly taking it seriously, and rightly so. VentureBeat have a nice summary of the potential applications in the market, including:

Smart sensors

‘Companies developing smart sensors that can be placed on the body or in the home  that can accurately, non-invasively predict your chances of becoming ill stand  to attract investors’ attention. Component and connection costs are dramatically  dropping, while at the same time the value of connecting to the Internet has  dramatically increased.’

Software systems for data analysis

‘Businesses across the spectrum are developing algorithms to analyze, for  example, whether a person’s blood pressure and weight require a fitness program  or whether other symptoms merit immediate provider attention. The smarter the  software, the better. Just imagine patient alerts being delivered to warn of an  increased risk of illness before the illness is even detectable through  symptoms.’

New services models for patients

 ‘Smart sensors and smart software, however, will only go so far. At some point,  we’ll need good old-fashioned people power. A new crop of services companies  will arise to give virtual care a healthy dose of checks and balances.’

Unlike other IoT applications this is going to be a long term play and probably one for those with the deep pockets and patience to finance trials.  My guess is we will see at least three generations of FitBit before the first swallowable devices come to market, but it will be interesting to see just what ARM have to offer for the market by then.

If you’d like to hear more about new business opportunities in the Internet of Things, and particularly what IBM, Neul, BT, Unilever, EE, Evrythng and AlertMe think, then sign up for Internet of Things 2013, our one day conference on the business of things. More details and registration are here.

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One response to “Small enough to snort? 3 IoT driven trends in healthcare”

  1. Since one person asked – the ARM chip they showed here is not currently commercially available. It was built to show the potential and possibilities.