Connected IoT

Legionella monitoring, compliance and legislation

Sep 4, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Net4 Team posted in Legionella, Compliance

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It is natural to find legionella bacteria in freshwater lakes and ponds. Some inevitably gets into domestic supplies and in very small quantities it is harmless. It is when it manages to breed and multiply inside our plumbing systems that it becomes dangerous. The lungs are particularly susceptible. Most people think of a pneumonia-like illness when you say legionella, but it can also cause a variety of problems including “Pontiac fever”, “Lochgoilhead” fever, septic shock and organ failure. Legionella is a killer.
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Video analytics and Edge computing

Aug 26, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Net4 Team posted in Analytics, IoT

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 The last decade has seen huge advances in artificial intelligence, smart devices and video analytics. The next will see a dramatic increase in the devices built from them. In fact, demand will be so high that we need to start thinking about our capacity to deliver them.
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Air quality monitoring

Aug 20, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Net4 Team posted in IoT, Pollution, Air quality monitoring

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The Environment Protection Agency recently declared that “Air pollution has a devastating impact on the UK population, shortening lives, causing early deaths and ill health. It is a bigger global killer than smoking. It costs the UK economy over £20 billion a year.” ( https://www.environmental-protection.org.uk/policy-areas/air-quality/air-pollution-law-and-policy/air-pollution-laws/.)
 
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Asset Security

Jul 20, 2020 11:11:00 AM / by Net4 Team posted in IoT, Asset tracking, security

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Commercial theft is not only growing, but for markets contracting after Covid-19, it is even more damaging. The majority of serious thefts are conducted by career criminals, but the Covid-19 lockdown affected them too, closing access to their markets and making them conspicuous on the roads. Now the lockdown is lifting, they will be as eager as anyone to make up for lost time.

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Proactive Asset Tracking and Monitoring

Jul 13, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Net4 Team posted in Net4, IoT, smart devices, Asset tracking

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Asset tracking has always been important but never more so than today. To position your contract bids or product prices competitively, you really need to know what resources and equipment you already have. With so much of industry geared to 'just-in-time' production and delivery schedules, you have to be able to mobilise, or replace them promptly. Things can go south very quickly if they aren't exactly where you need them and fit for purpose.

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How smart devices can combat Covid-19 and future epidemics

Jun 19, 2020 9:15:00 AM / by Net4 Team posted in Net4, IoT, smart devices

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Although there were plenty of warnings, Covid-19 still came as a shock - the kind that changes history. Economic policies will change, culture will change and businesses have to change too. The first challenge for everyone is to quash the current epidemic, but the second is to embrace permanent change.

Track and trace

The first step in controlling an infectious disease is detection, but the government’s phone tracking proposals only scratch the surface of what is possible and what is needed.

Mass tracking is only needed when earlier opportunities to detect and contain outbreaks have failed. Thermal cameras deployed at ports, airports and railway stations could detect signs of fever, corroborate information with other cameras using the IoT, and provide a much faster alert than the one that eventually came from China about Covid-19.

Thermal cameras, and other health checking devices, can also be deployed in particular buildings and business premises. Employers can provide them to monitor the health of their staff and visitors. Most will welcome the opportunity, and appreciate the protection the company is providing. Eventually we think such equipment will be commonplace, and even in normal times it will help to reduce workforce sick leave.

Indiscriminate phone tracking is a panic reaction. Mobile phones can’t tell you if their owner is harbouring a virus, or whether the virus passed to any of the hundreds of people they may have encountered during its incubation period. The best IoT solution is prevention - and that’s far better than the cure.

Healthcare

The public knows our healthcare workers are doing a great job in a high-risk environment. Despite shortages, capacity wasn’t overrun and emergency hospitals have remained empty. However, behind the headlines there is a darker picture - the healthcare sector was the main vector by which the virus spread. The toll on nursing home residents and staff is out of all proportion to the toll in society at large. Without a range of new protections, hospitals and care homes could become the problem instead of the solution.

In the US, the FCC quickly made changes to its Rural Health Care program to enable Medicare to provide remote consultations. In the UK, doctors have traditionally resisted innovations such as remote consultations and expert diagnostic systems for fear it will erode their status and budgets. In times of epidemic, the dangers of contagion and cross-contagion between staff and patients outweigh those concerns. The NHS, and other healthcare providers, should quickly scale up their ability to diagnose and monitor patients remotely.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) using IoT connected sensors and instruments can improve greatly on a monthly doctor’s appointment. Health conditions can be monitored continually, and medication adjusted immediately changes are detected. Smart medical sensors are already becoming more common, but in times of epidemic, they are more important than ever, freeing up beds and staff, reducing costs, and accelerating treatment delivery. In the event of a problem, they can automatically summon a doctor or ambulance.

Remote working

The majority of the world’s businesses have made adjustments to allow home-working during the lockdown. Having discovered the enormous savings (rent, electricity, travel) many will shift permanently toward it. Cloud software and Zoom conferencing are enough for some, but there are IoT solutions for all kinds of remote and mobile equipment too.

Essentially, any equipment used in the course of an activity can be engineered to provide real-time information back to the cloud, where it can be analysed, monitored, adjusted or automated - either by senior personnel or by artificial intelligence. This means many operations, or entire factories, can be automated and safely monitored from afar.

Air quality

A great weakness of modern buildings is their air conditioning systems. Green legislation and energy prices encourage us to rely on HVAC systems that circulate and recirculate air instead of expelling it. While it makes economic sense, it isn’t very reassuring in an epidemic. While most have filters, few are good enough to remove or destroy viruses.

In the war against Covid-19, not to mention influenza and “sick building syndrome”, a huge contribution can be made by smarter HVAC installations, especially in supermarkets and office blocks. Rather than making shoppers queue for an hour, the air quality inside a building might be a better guide as to how many people to admit or turn away.

A fully IoT connected HVAC system can drastically improve the safety of the air inside our buildings. Sensors can detect CO2 levels, viral loads, spores and other micro-organisms, adjusting air-flow and other conditions accordingly. At the same time, they can ensure your system delivers the best possible value-for-money, switching off unnecessary functions when they aren’t actually needed.

In these and a host of other ways, the IoT can help your business back to work, while also protecting your workers and margins from a range of other threats - both new and old.

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Net4 COVID-19 Return to Work Solutions

Jun 18, 2020 4:03:22 PM / by Net4 Team posted in Analytics, People Counting, Net4, IoT

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Covid-19 has presented businesses with challenges they have never had to face before. With restrictions dragging on and future lockdowns probable, everyone should be earnestly seeking ways to operate in lockdown conditions, reassure customers they can deliver safe products, and provide safe environments for their workers. Many will soon discover their markets have changed too. Forever. There has never been a better time to discover how revolutionary technologies can help.
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