Machine to machine communications is ushering in the next industrial revolution. Some are cautiously optimistic, watching from the sidelines before jumping onboard. Others are plowing ahead realizing the cost benefits, operational efficiencies and convenience that automation and technological innovation brings as the mobile lifestyle takes hold.
In hindsight, it is difficult to fathom life and business before machines. During the start of the first Industrial Revolution, people were skeptical of new fangled machines. (Remember that the telephone was dismissed at first as something people would never want in their home.) Slowly, however, the benefits were realized and machines were embraced. Life as we knew it literally changed forever, sparking a new trajectory of growth and innovation.
Now, as we sit on the brink of the next Industrial Revolution early successes are already being seen on both the consumer and business side.
For consumers, applications like File Explorer Bump enable people to share their contact information simply by touching their devices together. The new Samsung Galaxy S III allows for instant photo sharing. Serve, a digital prepaid account from American Express, lets you use your smartphone to send and receive money, track your spending and get discounts based on your personal preferences and individual interests.
Convenience has made the adoption easy for consumers and now we are seeing several industries, including education, healthcare and public safety, forging ahead.
In the healthcare industry, take Saint Barnabas Medical Center, a 144-year old facility ranked among the top 5 percent of all hospitals in the country, as an example. A relatively simple change of moving doctors and nurses from pagers to smartphones lowered costs, increased response times and improved the quality of care by providing real-time access to a patient’s medical records right from a mobile device.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley and the Rockland Paramedics are other examples of how today’s innovations transform healthcare by harnessing the convenience and accessibility of mobility to empower their workforces. From an industry perspective electronic medical records are gaining momentum and innovative solutions like the Verizon Medical Data Exchange are accelerating health information sharing in order to improve efficiency, speed diagnosis and deliver patient-centric care.
Just like the first industrial revolution had a profound impact on individuals and businesses globally so, too, will the Industrial Revolution 2.0. Undoubtedly, the social, cultural and economic impact will, once again, be profound. It’s really quite exciting to think about what the new normal will be.