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The IoT is a powerful tool in public health crises like COVID-19

By Max Burkhalter
March 30, 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, hospitals and clinics around the world are hard pressed to keep up with the steady influx of patients and a shortage of supplies. While this public health crisis is certainly scary, it also demonstrates the benefit of the internet of things in a health care setting. Thanks to the IoT, new coronavirus cases can be tracked, inventories managed and statistics collated easily, according to IoT Business News.

Informing the public

The IoT is a big reason why the world is able to have access to such up-to-date information on the spread of the virus. Thanks to interconnected devices in health care contexts, new coronavirus cases are immediately uploaded to a hospital's patient management database, and some of that information is then added to public cloud servers that relevant parties can then make use of. The media can report on new cases, deaths and recoveries, or suppliers can access hospital information to adjust their output accordingly, even without communication from the health care professionals at the facility in question.

Software like STAT's Covid-19 tracker is also made possible by the IoT. This constantly updating tracker gives a live look at coronavirus infections across the world. The data is taken from various IoT-enabled devices around the globe that log and track new information about the virus. Without the powerful network infrastructure we have in today's modern society, this level of tracking would not be feasible.

Healthcare technology has reached the point where relevant public health information can be disseminated almost instantaneously. Health care technology has reached the point where relevant public health information can be disseminated almost instantaneously.

Keeping supplied

The IoT, no matter the industry, is popularly used to track inventory. During a pandemic, this capability becomes almost vital. Protective equipment for doctors and nurses can be logged every time they're taken out of inventory, and this information can be accessed throughout the hospital or clinic. This information can then be used to judge a facility's capacity for handling new cases, whether they are coronavirus-related or not. With this data readily accessible on many disparate devices, employees can keep a sharp eye on the supplies of vital materials during a public health crisis. If the cloud shows a decrease in protective masks or gloves, then employees can respond by placing orders for additional supplies. Manual inventory management would be tedious and time consuming during a pandemic, not to mention potentially dangerous.

Health care uses of the IoT are only becoming more common as the years pass. For health facilities and companies that want to get the most out of it, a robust network architecture will be required. Perle offers secure networking equipment such as Ethernet switches and serial to Ethernet converters. Check out some of the ways Perle has enabled clients to reach their technological potential.


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