Analysts at Parks Associates (News - Alert) recently published a white paper that revealed that machine to machine (M2M) communications involving smart networked devices are going through a period of fundamental change and growth.
Only some types of businesses used M2M deployments widely such as in fleet management and asset tracking. But reduced costs of sensors, chipset and network access have opened more avenues of use for machine to machine communications. Manufacturers are embedding wireless connectivity features in different kinds of products nowadays.
Mobile operators, automotive, oil and gas and healthcare businesses are deploying M2M capabilities in products that are used by consumers such as electronics, connected home, connected car and wireless health and fitness devices.
In the case of connected cars, passengers are connected to a live agent in an emergency. Also, collision sensors in the cars are capable of automatically notifying agents via the in-vehicle telematics system. Drivers can remotely control vehicle systems and locate their vehicle, and receive directions using M2M solutions.
The connected service is enabled by an in-vehicle cellular radio and also via the mobile phone used by the passenger, explained the analysts.
The connected home space is another popular trend. An air conditioner with monitoring capabilities can help control energy costs. Also, monitoring capabilities in controlling lights and other household white goods are preferred by consumers.
Connected home systems using short-range wireless solutions and IP-connected gateway devices have been enabled by Verizon (News - Alert) home monitoring and control and also by AT&T digital home systems. Research is underway to implement the usage of cellular-embedded connected home devices.
Park Associates (News - Alert) analysts found that M2M connectivity offers several benefits for the healthcare industry as it can reduce costs but enhance medical services. Home-based diagnostic and monitoring market is set to grow significantly in the consumer M2M health space.
The white paper discusses the opportunities available to M2M applications in the consumer health market, which can be leveraged by mobile operators. Companies like CardioNet, Vitality, IDEAL LIFE, Philips (News - Alert), Medtronic and Linear are trying to provide the cellular coverage and quality of service expected by healthcare clients. There is a demand for network operators that can serve patients living in rural areas to ensure network reliability with timely reporting guarantee.
Harry Wang, director of research at Parks Associates, said that delivering the capabilities of telehealth and remote care management to care recipients via Web browsers will help healthcare organizations overcome common barriers to wide-scale adoption of telehealth across large populations, including high per-patient costs involving lengthy hardware deployments and inventory management.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey