Ways IoT technology can help build a new normal for COVID-19

The ongoing pandemic has strained the economy, public services and global health systems. It also tested us in all possible ways with locking and working at home.

IoT technology provides new opportunities and can help us adjust to new uses and innovations for healthcare, COVID-19 testing, building health and remote device maintenance.

But we need to use the IoT to go even further. Technology companies are responsible for implementing knowledge to design and install hardware, devices and software that can once again maintain employee health and keep the physical office safe.

Simplify COVID-19 data collection

In health, the IoT has helped reduce the impact of COVID-19. IoT sensors allow patients with COVID-19 to be quarantined at home. Patients who wear connected devices allow doctors to monitor their progress without risking the safety of others.

The IoT provides much-needed data for epidemiologists. Researchers use IoT to track the progress of options through connected thermometers. Kinsa, an American company that sells connected smart thermometers, explains that the data it collects helps track COVID-19 levels in the United States.

Distributing and tracking vaccine supplies would be a near-impossible task without the IoT. Different vaccines also have different storage needs, which requires sustainable, reliable and active monitoring throughout the supply chain.

Some vaccines should be stored at ultra-low temperatures of -130 to -70 degrees Fahrenheit. Other vaccines can be transported at higher temperatures, but still need to be monitored during transportation and storage. Icelandic startup Controlant uses sensors to monitor temperature-sensitive drugs and vaccines around the world.

Instant testing with connected options

In 2022, tests for COVID-19 at home are held in pharmacies and by mail. But what if tests can be even cheaper, faster, more affordable – and IoT is connected so researchers can instantly understand baud rates?

An inexpensive device called miSHERLOCK tests saliva during a COVID-19 test. The design of the device requires less resources. It can be created using a 3D printer and used by a smartphone to process test results.

Necessary files and schematics of an inexpensive device are publicly available online. If this or a similar device is mass-produced – and has an Internet connection – organizations can instantly check employees before they enter the workplace.

Sensors make offices cleaner and safer

With IoT the office environment would change. It will be increasingly contactless. Instead of physical door handles touch points will require automatic opening and closing of sensors. Sensors will know when conference rooms reach the capacity of the crowd.

Based on the data collected, cleaners will receive alerts about places with high traffic. Bathrooms will be cleaned faster if sensors detect more than usual population in the workplace that day. Meanwhile, areas that do not receive traffic – such as a conference room that was not used that day – can be left as is.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be connected to the IoT to reduce the spread of germs. Even before the start of COVID-19 heating, ventilation and concentration systems in the workplace emitted concentrations of some pollutants in quantities that we are often two to five times higher than normal sensations in the open air, according to EPA.

With the help of machine learning, these systems can reduce the problem of sick building syndrome – a common difficulty for office workers. As a rule, employees suffer from colds and diseases that are difficult to explain, except for the air filtration system, which is often ignored.

IoT helps to set up monitoring systems

But with all of these sensors and IoT systems in a building, a new problem may arise: the dense undergrowth of IoT bunkers. These systems can be integrated to include ventilation, air conditioning, security, lighting, fire and security systems.

The building owners then use a single platform to control the environment they provide to the tenants. Without the need to break and replace outdated technology, organizations can connect video surveillance systems, fire alarms, lighting and heating systems.

Remote and hybrid work also means that companies track and service devices across the country and around the world. With device lifecycle management, businesses can manage mobile phones, tablets and laptops from one place. A single self-service platform gives companies full visibility of the landscape of their devices, and IT teams can use the time to support strategic business initiatives.

There are also options for using buildings outside the office. Smart factories – loaded with industrial IoT sensors – can allow many employees to work remotely. The connection of the sensors is achieved by means of a private mobile network (MPN), specially created for a specific place. MPNs do not share communication with others, so owners get power and processing capabilities – especially when combined with peripheral computing and 5G.

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