The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the world in enormous ways, including how ambulances respond to emergencies. The IoT technologies that help improve these services are expected to become a $135 billion industry by 2021. Below, we’ll take a look at how IoT solutions are revolutionizing emergency response time and helping to make our cities safer.
Analyzing the Data
The two primary obstacles holding back IoT adoption among city officials involve integrating new technology and deciding on what type of data is useful. Many officials point to the excessive data generated by IoT sensors as possibly useless information overload. They fear it can lead to flooding emergency call centers with false alarms.
But smart devices can collect enough useful data to help responders do their jobs more easily. Smart watches, for example, provide paramedics with patient information, while building sensors help firefighters know if a building has been completely evacuated. There are also apps that can help firefighters quickly learn building floor plans and determine where fires are developing.
Smart technology also allows officials to distribute AMBER Alert information to a broader population to gain increased community attention for the search and safe return of an abducted child. Additionally, transportation officials are aided by an app, called Waze, which generates useful traffic data to help reduce congestion.
Building Smart Cities to Improve Emergency Response
Even though integration with existing infrastructure is a tough hurdle, cities that take the initiative to adopt IoT solutions have the chance to achieve huge benefits. Advanced sensors have helped pave the way for buildings, devices and even clothing to connect with smart technology. IoT also provides a wealth of data for emergency responders to study, as they benefit from as much available information as possible.
City governments can move in the direction of smart technology by partnering with tech companies. An example of this was set in Chicago in 2016, when the city partnered with Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago to create an interconnected network called the Array of Things. This network of sensors was created to gather data on Chicago’s environment (such as climate and air quality), infrastructure, and activity (such as traffic).
The key to accelerating the development of smart cities relies on community members becoming more active in communicating smart solutions with civic leaders.
How IoT Saves Lives
One of the keys to IoT systems is that they provide real-time data, which can be critical in life or death scenarios. Collecting data from sensors, then analyzing it in real-time can speed up emergency response time. The smart city approach is vital because it interconnects elements within the infrastructure.
Smart traffic lights have contributed tremendously to the improvement of response time. These lights operate in sync with GPS technology in response vehicles, helping to relieve traffic congestions, allowing them to respond to an incident much quicker.
Another way IoT helps saves lives is through the use of smart sensors that can be integrated with buildings, sidewalks and other parts of a city infrastructure. Sensors can detect issues relating to dangerous conditions and can alert officials to take proactive steps to prevent accidents.
IoT to the Rescue!
IoT solutions are being rapidly adopted by cities across the nation due to the improved services they deliver.
To learn more about how smart technologies empower enterprises and smart cities, check out our technology guide.