Telecommunications technology is transforming the world and people’s lives. For instance, cellular technology (coupled with some plans like Orange postpaid packages that provide unlimited calling, text messaging, and mobile internet) connects people across vast physical distances.

Telecommunications technology is also transforming many industries, including healthcare and manufacturing.

Healthcare Industry

Telecommunications technology has impacted the healthcare industry profoundly, revolutionizing patient care and service delivery. The following are specific examples of how telecommunications technology has changed the landscape of medicine and healthcare.

Telemedicine and Remote Consultations

You can load Google on your preferred internet browser to find answers to common questions. There’s a wealth of medical and healthcare information on websites and online databases. As long as you limit your search to credible and authoritative websites and information providers, you will likely get accurate general guidance on various medical and healthcare topics.

As a case in point, you don’t have to be an allied health professional to know that it’s risky to take ibuprofen when you’re allergic to aspirin. A simple Google search will tell you cough syrup can cause drowsiness and dizziness, so you shouldn’t drive or operate machinery after taking it. Are you curious about an over-the-counter medication you found on your shelf? You can search for it online and learn all about it.

If you have specific questions about your condition, you can go on a mobile phone application or open a service portal on your internet browser to consult a physician or a specialist. The doctor can ask you questions on a video call, assess your symptoms through your answers to questions, and check you up via a camera application.

You can send your doctor your latest laboratory and other diagnostic test results. You can do this via hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), file transfer protocol (FTP) or email (e.g., simple mail transfer protocol, post office protocol, or internet message access protocol).

IoT-Enabled Medical Devices

Telecommunications technologies enable the connectivity of Internet of Things (IoT) medical devices. The following are specific examples of IoT applications in healthcare.

  • Remote patient monitoring devices: You can wear telemeters and sensors that automatically collect your health metrics in real time. Metrics that can be monitored include heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation, etc. In advanced implementations, your chosen healthcare facility or a telemedicine company collects and analyzes your health metrics using machine-learning-developed algorithms. When your metrics exhibit a specific pattern – one that data indicate is cause for alarm – the system may send an alert to you, your emergency contact, or your physician.
  • Glucose monitoring devices: There are glucose monitoring devices that continuously monitor blood sugar levels. They make glucose monitoring more accessible and more convenient, eliminating the need to remember to extract blood for sugar-level testing and manually log test results. Glucose-monitoring devices may also alert you if you breach a certain threshold.
  • Portable heart rate monitors: Portable heart rate monitors are useful for tracking heartbeat in real time and recording heartbeat metrics over time. Logged data can be helpful for diagnosis, while real-time monitoring can alert you to arrhythmia and other anomalies.
  • Mental state monitors: Wearables can track sleeping patterns and stress levels, among other indicators of mental health status. They can alert you if a specific pattern indicating an unwell mental health emerges.
  • Digital inhalers: Digital inhalers record frequency, location and time of doses. They can be programmed to remind you when to take another dose.
  • Ingestible IoT Sensors: Ingestible IoT sensors have many types and applications. They may be embedded within pills to monitor your reaction to specific medications. You can ingest an IoT device to track your blood levels for a particular medication. It will relay real-time information to software that can calculate how much medication you should take next and when, even triggering a dosing alert when it’s time, to guarantee optimal medication levels at all times. This technology personalizes medicine intake and prevents over- and under-medication.

Manufacturing Industry

Telecommunications technology drives innovation and efficiency in the manufacturing industry. The following are specific manufacturing use cases.

Industrial IoT (IIoT)

Industrial IoT refers to interconnected sensors, devices, and machinery that collect and exchange data in industrial settings. These smart devices communicate in real time, enabling enhanced monitoring, control, and automation of industrial processes.

IIoT is creating highly efficient, automated, and connected manufacturing environments. Collecting and sharing data in real time, it enables precise monitoring and control of manufacturing processes.

For instance, sensors in fermentation vats can warn a distillery when they detect chemical signatures that signal an upcoming malfunction. By catching anomalies early on, the facility can shut down the errant vats for maintenance, thereby preventing contamination and lost production.

Therefore, IIoT makes predictive maintenance possible. They have other applications, such as supply chain optimization.

In a plant that manufactures polyvinyl chloride or PVC pipes and duct fittings, IIoT systems can automate and simplify production monitoring and tracking and trigger related processes. For instance, they can generate procurement requests for raw materials to ensure the factory doesn’t run out of supplies to fulfill production targets.

IoT solutions can also monitor various relevant metrics. For instance, hand hygiene standards devices in a food manufacturing plant can track handwashing frequency and ensure adherence to hygiene protocols.

5G Connectivity for Smart Factories

5G networks are revolutionizing robotics and automation in manufacturing by providing the necessary infrastructure for low-latency, high-speed communication. This enables advanced applications like cobots and AR.

  • Collaborative robots (Cobots): Collaborative robots, or cobots, are robots designed to share the workspace with and work alongside human workers. These robots can improve workplace safety by taking on riskier or hazardous tasks in lieu of their human counterparts. However, cobots require instantaneous data transmission to respond to real-time changes and commands. This is essential, as cobots must collaborate seamlessly and safely with humans. Thus, 5 G’s low latency is crucial to cobot implementation in factories. 
  • Augmented reality (AR) for assembly lines: Augmented reality technology leverages 5G to deliver real-time data overlays and guidance to workers in assembly lines. By wearing AR glasses or using AR-enabled devices, workers can see detailed instructions, visual aids, and performance metrics superimposed on their physical environment. This can shorten training times for new employees and minimize mistakes in general.

The adoption of telecommunications technology is the way forward. It enriches people’s lives and transforms many industries, including manufacturing and healthcare.

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