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Could this smart defibrillator idea save more lives?


What if those defibrillators you see on walls everywhere didn’t just help you help someone sick, they could also call 911 and tell you how far away an ambulance is?

The winning concept at a recent “IoT for Cities” smart cities hackathon, held earlier this month in Santa Clara, California, could do all of those things for you.

The team from Ukraine-based Ciklum brought together engineers in Europe and the U.S. to create a smart automated external defibrillator (AED). As soon as someone would begin charging the AED, the device calls 911 and tracks the closest ambulance to your location.

See also: Are smart citizens getting lost in the rush to build smart cities?

“As easily as you can track an Uber, you can track an ambulance,” Team Ciklum explained during their demonstration of the concept.

This smart re-design of this common device is actually makes us slap our foreheads and ask why it hasn’t been done yet.

For anyone who’s ever had first aid training in a corporate setting – where the basics of AED operation are drilled into your head – you’ll remember the first thing you’re told to do, as you minister to the sick person, is delegate someone to call 911.

That assumes people only have heart attacks during work hours with lots of people around. But what if you’re alone working late, and come across an unconscious person in a hallway in your office?

Ciklum’s device will call 911 for you as soon as it’s activated, as well as walk you through the steps to use the device and even incorporate diagnostics to tell you if shocking the person’s heart is the right course of action.

“(This) was an incredible opportunity for Ciklum to work with the industry’s leading-edge technology to build what we value most: real-world solutions that make a difference,” said Ciklum’s CTO Christian Aaen about the event.

Over 600 developers applied for the event

The point of these hackathons is typically to solve a challenge using whatever technology is at hand – or more specifically, a sponsor’s technology at hand. Ciklum’s solution was the only one to use all four technology platforms at the event – GE’s Predix platform, Cisco’s Spark API, Amazon’s Alexa, and Pitney Bowes location-based API.

Over 600 developers applied to attend the event in person or virtually, and 220 of them were hand-picked to try their hand at a solution.

“This hackathon proved the countless innovative applications that digital infrastructure…can unlock,” said John Gordon, Chief Digital Officer of GE’s Current. “The developer community is a critical enabler to driving smart city outcomes that propel economic growth and accelerate opportunities for cities and residents alike.”

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Could wearables and social media be the future of medical trials?


Wearables and social media might dominate the future of medical trials, according to a new survey that asked members of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) what technologies would be most beneficial and see the most adoption in the next two to five years.

The survey results showed five emerging technologies that are substantially beneficial and could see a substantial increase in adoption over the time period: risk-based monitoring, eConsent, wearables, social media, and real-time analytics.


See Also: Will smart pills help remind patients to take their medicine?

ACRO will use the survey results to push the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to provide further guidance and outline the “do’s and don’ts” for professionals looking to utilize these technologies.

The FDA has already provided guidance and regulation on risk-based monitoring and eConsent.
It hasn’t given a lot of guidance on data capture, monitoring, and privacy for wearables, but consumer wearables like the Apple Watch and Fitbit are underwhelming in the health department supposedly because of FDA obstruction. That might hint that the FDA does not want some wearables tracking health data, though health-focused wearables might avoid this regulation.

Social media also playing a bigger role

Social media is another area where the FDA has been largely absent from the discussion, making medical professionals nervous to converse with patients online and offer medical guidance. A lot of ACRO members don’t seem too invested in social media as a way to track patients — that was noted as one of the least beneficial emerging technologies.

Real-time analysis is already being adopted in medical trials across America, as a way to get more data from patients. ACRO still wants more FDA guidance in this field, to avoid issues with privacy, security, and storage of private information.

It’s clear that while the medical industry moves very slow, professionals are looking at emerging technologies as way to make their jobs easier and help patients gain more benefits outside of the usual checkup. ACRO even mentions in its letter to the FDA that acceleration in this industry would happen much quicker if the FDA was able to give instruction and information on what is allowed and what is not.

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Open wireless standards could chop city costs by nearly a third

cityscape road blurred motion Shutterstock.jpg

Smart cities may look towards open wireless standards to save billions in Internet of Things (IoT) deployment costs. Choosing open standards could cut costs by 30 percent and promote more cities to utilize IoT, according to Machina Research.

The market intelligence firm predicts that by 2025 smart cities may spend $1.12 trillion on deploying smart tech, but might save up to $341 billion if they use open wireless standards instead of proprietary.

See Also: Breezometer and GE breathe deep on smart city air quality

On top of the lowered cost for deployment, Machina also sees 27 percent more connected devices by 2025, if open wireless standards are adopted by smart cities and IoT providers.

Machina makes mention of two open standards, Bluetooth Low Energy and OneM2M, that are available to use without license. If all smart cities use the same standard, it leads to more interoperability between networks and applications, reducing the set up costs for a new device.

The current issue is IoT providers are bundling proprietary wireless tech with their deployment software, instead of utilizing open source alternatives. Some companies are also offering their services to smart cities for a cheap price, according to Machina, but with no promise of the license remaining the same price 10 years later.

Wireless alliances coming together

Companies are starting to set up alliances around open wireless standards, in the hope of interoperability between smart cities. Applications like smart parking apps could work in more than one city, if a single standard is adopted.

230 companies — including AT&T, Samsung, IBM Europe, and Verizon — have backed the OneM2M standard. Even more have backed Bluetooth Low Energy, especially smart home manufacturers.

Switching to open wireless standards shouldn’t be too much of a burden, although it might sting some organizations to give up a proprietary license they paid thousands to use. Thankfully, IoT is still in its infancy, so good and bad decisions will be case studies for future smart cities.

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