The internet of things: let medical devices talk with us!
The Internet of Things is probably the next step of the networking of our everyday life.
The web 1.0 was the era where websites were only read-only, with very little interaction.
The web 2.0 is the web of today, with social networks and heavy interaction between web users.
We don't know yet what the web 3.0 will be. But the interaction between networked objects and between networked people and networked objects is perhaps one facet of the web of the future.
A networked object is a smart object with an IP address and a (wireless) connection:
- A dishwasher that can send mails: "I need salt", "I'm done",
- A plant pot that can tweet: "I need water",
- A dog necklace with a GPS that sends its position to puppy's facebook account.
Or more focused on medical devices:
- A pill dispenser that sends a notification to the pharmacist that it is almost empty,
- An infusion pump that sends a mail to the nurse with a status report attached,
- An ultrasound scanner that tweets: "it's a boy!" (I don't think this one will exist!)
The internet of things is already happening today. I've already seen 3 software/IT development projects with medical devices sending their statuses to medical staffs.
This is still the beginning. In a few years, almost all medical devices with a bit of electronics will have such capabilities.
But this is not enough. These smart objects will also have the ability to communicate and interact one another. One obvious (but not easily feasible) application is the ability of automatic vehicles to communicate and to manage to run at high speed on a highway with dense traffic.
It's also obvious that there will be possible applications for medical devices. I don't have any in mind so far. But this technology has a huge potential to let smart medical devices interact one another.
More information in The Next Internet book.