Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to change the lives of millions. One area that could see the greatest positive impact is healthcare. The IoT healthcare market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 30.8% between 2017 and 2022, or from the present US$41.22 billion to US$158.07 billion, according to a report. What difference could it make to the lives of patients, caregivers, doctors and the general public?
“The IoT healthcare market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 30.8% between 2017 and 2022.”
BDJ spoke with Anne Jouffroy, who works at the Bosch Centre for Artificial Intelligence. She is based within Bosch’s team in Renningen, Germany. Her prior experience spans research and development, teaching, consulting and piloting of AI projects in original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Bosch, as well as universities and research institutes. Jouffroy has a passion for mathematics as well as AI. We spoke with her about AI and IoT in the healthcare industry.
The utility of IoT for Bosch lies in their ability to use the technology to train their algorithms.
“The Internet of Things, especially for us at the Bosch Centre for Artificial Intelligence, allows us to access a lot of data which are then beneficial when training our algorithms and in the development of even smarter products and algorithms,” Anne says.
Diabetes is a disease that can have severe consequences for eyesight. Diabetic retinopathy alone affects one-third of the 285 million people globally who have diabetes mellitus. Bosch is working on a product that could help prevent some of the damage that can occur due to undetected diabetes.
“This tool offers a comprehensive eye examination based on deep learning algorithms… this could save the eyesight of many many people.”
“Millions of people around the world suffer from visual loss due to diabetes and that’s only the case because diabetes is not detected early enough,” Anne explains. “This tool offers a comprehensive eye examination based on deep learning algorithms.
“It can be spread to even rural areas in poorer countries where there isn’t a good medical network because it is portable and affordable. This could save the eyesight of many, many people.”
Combining Hardware and Software to Help Doctors
Bosch is using a clever combination of hardware and software in its mission. It is also employing both deep learning algorithms and the services of experts, including those in medicine, to try to save eyesight.
All doctors need to do is upload a photo of the retina to a portal. “It not only shows the result but also why the algorithm came to this result,” Anne explains. “This generates more confidence in the doctor than if it only showed whether it was suspicious or not suspicious.”
“Healthcare is… one of the most important applications of artificial intelligence because, with this, we can not only sell smart products but also do a lot of good in the world.”
This solution could also be extended to other health issues. “Healthcare is, in my opinion, one of the most important applications of artificial intelligence,” Anne says. “With this, we can not only sell smart products but also do a lot of good in the world.”
Bosch is not the only company that sees the potential of IoT in the healthcare industry. Remember BlackBerry? The once dominant developer of smartphones is also making a foray into the world of IoT healthcare. The Canadian multinational transitioned to an enterprise software and service company when John S. Chen took over as Chairman & CEO in late 2013, specialising in IoT.
A far cry from its days as competition to the early iterations of the iPhone, Blackberry now publishes white papers on the protection of patients’ data, and its software is already used in mobile security in more than 1,000 hospitals. Whether its latest stab at establishing lasting dominance in an emerging field will be successful remains to be seen, but Blackberry has again shown its eye for the next big thing.
This article was prepared with the help of the SLUSH conference team and co-authored with BDJ tech writer Shivdeep Dhaliwal.
Illustrations by Kseniya Forbender
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Margarita Khartanovich at [email protected]