On tap for 2016: Internet of Things comes to healthcare

By Jeff Rowe
02:37 PM

Will 2016 be the year for the Internet of Things?

That's the question Jim Hunter, chief scientist and technology evangelist for Greenwave Systems, a global Internet of Things (IoT) software and services company, asked recently, and it seems the answer is: "Might just be."

As he puts it, "Now that the Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be firmly embedded in our lives, 2016 may be that transformational year when it segues from the 'gee whiz' arena into practical, everyday application -- along with all that entails in regard to development, policy and standards."

Among the developments he anticipates:

Development - "The same material science that is improving the range of the electric car will increase the duration of battery life for connected devices. This is a pretty important development, and will herald a larger number of wireless IP-based devices." Along with the increase in numbers, more "thing" makers will "start to offer direct-access APIs to their devices on local networks for other trusted IP-based devices (as opposed to offering exclusive access only through the cloud)."

Policy - Privacy will become an even bigger issue than it already is, Hunter predicts, in large part because there are likely to be some significant security failures by large IoT providers. As a result, "legal jurisdictions will start to impose more rules that are more favorable to the preservation of consumer privacy by restricting where and how data can be extracted, moved, analyzed and traded. I also wouldn't be surprised to see a few class actions or criminal litigation actions stemming from these issues."

Standards- Finally, Hunter sees the development of "a certifying authority  . . . so that some level of trust can be converted and conveyed to boost consumer confidence" as consumers move more and new IoT devices into their lives. He says the authority "will most likely employ an easy-to-understand confidence badge certifying that devices comply with a minimum level of security and data protection."

This article originally appeared on Government Health IT sister site Future Care