The Role of IoT Sensing in Overcoming Connectivity Challenges
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The Role of IoT Sensing in Overcoming Connectivity Challenges

By CIOReview | Wednesday, December 28, 2022

IoT plays a significant role in eliminating connectivity challenges, such as joining a single mobile network operator (MNO) or mobile virtual network operator and enabling intelligent mobile switching.

FREMONT, CA: With numerous locations, it is difficult-to-monitor areas, and hospitals have a lot of connectivity requirements. Telemetry data collection from remote assets and parameters is becoming increasingly important to hospital operations.

IoT devices are often deployed by individual business units, requiring standardization and data exchange to collect the business value of actionable prescriptions. Compliance and patient safety depend on maintaining the efficacy of critical assets and the products they monitor.

Here are the most important aspects to consider when considering IoT sensing as a potential solution for severe and harsh environments:

Limitations of hospital design:

IoT adoption and implementation are generally not considered when hospitals are designed and built. Quality of service, number of beds, speed of patient turnover, etc., are all centered around the patients. KPIs for healthcare organizations include bed occupancy rate, average hospital stay time, treatment costs, readmission rate, and equipment utilization.

Challenges associated with connectivity: Even though cellular connectivity is preferred over Wi-Fi, disruptions still occur. Cellular connectivity can be disrupted by gateway positioning, building materials, and equipment specifications. In addition, hospitals must deal with high levels of radio wave frequency noise, as well as duplication and multiplication of waves on the surface. With so much digital noise and so many machines and sensors using radio waves in hospitals, the accurate, on-time transmission of telemetry data and real-time connectivity is complicated.

Equipment that uses radio waves, such as X-ray machines, ultrasound machines, MRI machines, etc., operates very guided and controlled. Focused antennas cause fewer interruptions. IoT-enabled devices, however, are much less guided. As the sensors are awake, the communication across waves is more constant, recording whatever needs to be measured-volume, oxygen, CO2, temperature, humidity, weight, etc. Additionally, depending on how the system is configured, the distance between sensors and gateways may vary quite a bit.

The IoT must be deployed in such a way that the battery life is maximized while the active communication between sensors, gateways, and the backend database is high enough to support machine learning, run algorithms, and generate prescriptive analytics in real-time.

The precision of multiple and varied systems: Further complicating the situation is the fact that hospitals often have gateways from different sources, in addition to Bluetooth, ZigBee, LoRa, and Wi-Fi networks. There may be multiple gateways from different companies trying to read sensor data they are not designed to handle.

IoT systems need to be built with synchronization rates that are as asynchronous as possible while maintaining sensing acknowledgment to achieve real-time data transmission with close to a 100 percent connectivity rate. Battery power is insufficient to sustain a completely synchronous connection. Despite this, enough connectivity must be achieved to enable accurate and precise acknowledgment even when multiple embedded IoT systems are present.

Once the gateway has identified itself and connected to the appropriate sensors, it needs to connect to the database, which may happen over a Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or cellular network. Gateways that connect to cellular networks must be able to connect to a variety of cellular networks.