by | Ahmad Helmi Abdul Halim, Francis Goon, Jamal Hamzah, Yoong Siew Wai
MIMOS Corporate Market Strategy (CMS) is the department to formulate the market driven research activities in MIMOS. CMS is instrumental in leading the National IoT Strategic Roadmap development process together with expert panels from Industry, Government agencies & Academia.
Intelligent Home – Safe, Secure, Suitable and Sustainable Living for Everyone
Home is a place where we spend quality time with our family and relax after a hectic day. Today, we want our homes to not only fulfil our most basic need – shelter – but to also provide a safe, secure and suitable living environment. We like our homes to ‘understand’ and ‘serve’ us better. With the advances in the Internet of Things (IoT), our homes can become more aware, more adaptive and more responsive to our needs.
With IoT, homes will be more personalized. Living quality and the experience of the occupants will be elevated. Correspondingly, people will become more dependent on their homes and home systems. Home life will become more engaging, more convenient, and more fun; and home will become the preferred location for core activities such as work, education and entertainment.
Smart and Secure Home
In future homes, keyholes will be excluded from door designs and the residents’ smartphone will become the ‘gatekeeper’. Smartphones will be the key to enter and lock the home. No more worries about leaving house keys inside, and the chance of locking oneself out of the home is almost zero.
Starting from the time one parks the car at a designated parking space, the home will start to initiate the authentication and authorization access process to secure it from possible break-ins or unauthorized entries. When one reaches the main door of the home, the smart door will communicate with the smartphone and verify the identity. Upon verification, the door will unlock itself and the home will welcome and configure the internal home setting in accordance to one’s profile of the day – including lighting, temperature and entertainment.
If any unauthorised person attempts to enter the house from different access points, a security alarm will be triggered and messages will be sent to the security control room and the house owner. No one will be allowed to enter the home unless authorized.
Wellness at Home
A home should be a safe place, especially for aging parents who may have health or mobility issues. There are also many seniors who prefer to stay at home, live independently and privately. IoT technologies respond to this trend by providing a familiar, comfortable and secure environment, while allowing seniors to retain a sense of independence.
As people age, many will encounter functional limitations and an increased likelihood of illnesses such as osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. A conventional home environment may not be able to meet the needs of infirm seniors, and unsuitable home environments have become a dominant cause of injuries among the elderly, with falls in the home topping the list.
Failing memory among seniors have also caused a number of them to forget important tasks such as turning off the stove or putting out the candles, which can lead to home fires.
IoT technologies can be leveraged to ensure a living environment that accommodates the mental and physical decline that will most likely occur among the aged. Technology developers have already introduced appliances, gadgets and devices that can ensure safety for the aged, enhance their quality of life, as well as reduce healthcare costs through injury and disease prevention and early intervention.
IoT-enabled homes not only preserve one’s sense of independence but can also provide supporting services such as:
• Wearable devices that perform continuous and timely monitoring of vital signs and physical conditions of senior citizens. The data gathered from single or combined smart medical devices can be channeled to a medical service provider or caregiver periodically or at a specified time interval.
• Gait monitoring systems that collect in-home movement patterns. When unusual movement patterns are detected, an alert will be sent to family members’ communication devices and a prompt for an emergency call will be issued.
• Alarm and reminder systems for stove, water tap and electrical appliances to ensure the safety of home residents.
When approaching the end of a business day, a working mother will start to feel lethargic just thinking about all the chores awaiting her at home. With IoT, smart home appliances can ensure all chores run smoothly. The home itself can turn into a ‘housekeeper’ which orchestrates all appliances to perform assigned tasks, giving a peace of mind to the owner. An IoT-enabled ‘housekeeper’ can include smart appliances such as:
• Smart washing machine which can perform full-load washing at the most cost-effective time of the day.
• Smart vacuum clearer which cleans and disinfects the floor as the home knows one of the family members has sensitive skin.
• Smart shower that adjusts the water temperature and pressure to meet one’s bathing needs, corresponding to the activities of the day as well as environmental conditions.
• Smart air-conditioning system which adjusts the house temperature to one’s desired condition when one reaches home.
• Smart lighting that configures the brightness and contrast of the room to suit one’s mood.
• Smart fridge that keeps tab on one’s food and grocery inventories, and order replenishments from the grocery store.
With sensors embedded in a wide spectrum of home fixtures, the home knows all residents’ personal information and preferences, helping people make smarter decisions in their daily activities.
The utility bill is the second largest component of consumer expenditure, accounting for 21.7 percent of total household spending; the largest component being food and beverage, which accounts for about 23 percent of total household expenditure’.
Leveraging on IoT technologies, a household with IoT-enabled appliances can monitor energy usage and achieve substantial savings on utility bills.
A smart home dashboard can record energy consumption data and adjust a home setting accordingly, including dimming lights, tweaking heating and cooling system, and turning off idling appliances to reduce energy consumption. Refrigerators can self-manage and self-adjust during peak energy times – turning up the coolness when rates are down and cutting back when they are high. In time, they may also be able to notify owners via mobile phones and tablets if the door is left open.
1 Bank Negara Annual Report 2010. Available from : http://www.bnm.gov.my/files/publication/ar/en/2010/cp01.pdf
Connected Healthcare – Inclusive and Continuous Precision Healthcare Services
Continuous profiling and monitoring for high risk patients with chronic health problems through Internet of Things (IoT) makes it possible to enable everyone to overcome health challenges and be able to live independently. Connected healthcare, through IoT, enables an integrated end-to-end healthcare delivery system with interoperable and seamless health information and knowledge. It provides for better healthcare service coordination at the right time and the right place for the right individual, and minimises potential healthcare errors.
Worldwide, demographics are changing where 16 percent of the global population will be aged 60 and above by 2050. The longer people can remain mobile and care for themselves, the lower are the costs for long-term care for families and society-at-large. With proper healthcare programmes and facilities, people can remain healthy and independent well into old age and can continue to contribute to their communities and families.
Statistical evidence reveals that senior citizens are particularly susceptible to infection and chronic diseases. The health challenges and be able to live independently. Connected healthcare, through IoT, enables an integrated end-to-end healthcare delivery system with interoperable and seamless increasing needs of senior citizens to live independently, but require frequent medical attention, along with a need for more nursing home facilities, challenges present healthcare systems. The need for senior care drives the global long-term care services market, valued at US$1.02 billion in 2013, and is expected to reach US$2.34 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 12.7 percent during the forecast period of 2013 to 2020, in addition to US$3.92 billion for healthcare wearable devices.
Seniors require healthcare services within close proximity and familiar environments. IoT developers have developed wearable devices that can continuously and/or periodically monitor vital signs and physical conditions of a senior – without leaving home. The data gathered from single or combined smart medical devices can be channelled to a medical service provider or caregiver periodically or at specified time interval. Equipped with this near realtime holistic information, the medical provider or care giver will be able to administer the next course of action according to the progress or severity of an individual’s health condition. This establishes an interactive and cooperative platform to empower patients and their families to be partners in their own care.
3 Research and Markets. (2015).’ Global Longterm Care Software (Nursing Homes, Home Health Agencies, Assisted Living Facilities) Market – Forecast to 2019’. Accessed from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-long-term-care-software-nursinghomes-home-health-agencies-assisted-living-facilitiesmarket—forecast-to-2019-300024375.htm
Care for the ‘Under-Cared’
With the proliferation of wearable devices, of which 60 percent are healthcare related, the idea of using technology as means of motivating and tracking an individual’s activity and wellness status has taken the world by storm. Rural communities encounter difficulties in accessing well-established healthcare facilities due to geographical distance and challenges. But, with smart healthcare devices serving as interaction points, individuals in rural or remote areas can share their health condition or record from smart devices with medical professionals who, in turn, can offer health remedies via remote consultation or virtual coaching.
Intelligent Medication Adherence
Medication adherence contributes 30-50 percent to treatment success. Poor adherence to prescribed medication – such as missed dosage, taking a wrong dosage or stopping medication without consulting a doctor – can result in the reduction of treatment benefits, induce hospitalization or readmission, and obscure the clinician’s assessment of therapeutic effectiveness. This scenario is prevalent among senior citizens on ongoing medication for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart complications, hypertension and asthma. Medication adherence continues to draw more attention as the cost and use of medication continues to increase and the advances in medication treatment for various diseases continue.
IoT can address prescription medication non-adherence by dispensing medication into smart bottles or boxes (packages) that track medication adherence, and the system can be paired with wearable devices to monitor vital signs. The smart packages enables tracking of consumption status – any missed dosage will trigger a voice or text reminder, and any non-adherence will alert the medical provider, caregiver or other family members. This is apart from the wearable devices providing evidence of any adverse health conditions due to the medication. This information will enable medical professionals to provide countermeasures or interventions to improve medication consumption behaviors. Better information and communication will increase patients’ engagement and involvement in their own healthcare, and their satisfaction with the level of care and loyalty to their health care providers besides reducing medication non-adherence, its associated costs and health risks.
Intelligent Drug Delivery
Studies show that an average of four out of 10 people do not adhere to prescribed medication. This group is highly human- and instrument-dependent through the use of syringes, external pumps, pills and other equipment, which could jeopardize the treatment regime. IoT can minimize the non-adherence by providing an intelligent drug delivery system which comprises a close-loop delivery system. A wearable device can incorporate a biosensor to measure an array of biometrics such as heart rate, hormone levels and temperature. The information captured will be analyzed and the wearable device will slowly disperse the medication automatically and painlessly through micro-needles. The intelligent drug delivery system will monitor an individual’s body and offer targeted medication with the right dosage at the right time. This will minimize the individual’s effort and reduce human error.
Intelligent Infectious Disease Surveillance and Monitoring
The global spread of H1N1, SARS and Ebola pandemic has demonstrated the need for more effective disease surveillance and response capacities which is further accentuated by high mobility and globalization of travel and trade. Existing operations are highly humandependent, where healthcare workers are deployed to epidemic areas for outbreak investigation, response and management, and outbreak communication. Responsive and proactive healthcare services are of utmost importance for reducing the risk of communicable diseases and death in affected populations. Data and sample collection on the disease environment is an essential step to prevent, protect against, control and facilitate public health responses to the spread of diseases.
IoT technologies can be used to help control or isolate cases and monitor diseases, and prevent secondary spread of infections by identifying and managing contacts appropriately through remote and the continuous capturing of information. The deployment of smart devices to monitor the environment and wearable devices to track people movement will assist health authorities to effectively conduct their investigation. IoT will provide finer granularity in multi-model data on weather-related occurrences, human habitat, natural ecology, hospitalizations, immunizations and symptoms, and visibility on a patient’s physiology. By having visibility of the source of an outbreak and identified vectors of an epidemic outbreak, countermeasures can be aimed at specific links in the chain of infection, the agent, the source, or the reservoir for effective intervention and containment of disease outbreaks, as well as increase the safety and response of healthcare workers.