UK: 'Internet of Things' brings significant economic benefits

The growth of connected devices is already bringing organisational and public economic benefits in the UK, according to a new report from Cisco.

Just 1% of the physical world is currently connected to the internet, but it is predicted that 50 billion devices worldwide will be connected by 2020. A new report from Cisco, recently unveiled in London, identifies five areas of the UK economy that could see the biggest benefits first: healthcare, retail, transport, energy and manufacturing.

The report highlights a trial at the Airedale NHS Trust in Keighley, West Yorkshire, which linked nursing and residential care homes to a 24-hour Telemedicine Hub, enabling patients in residential homes to have face-to-face consultations with their carers at any time via mobile video. As a result, hospital admissions decreased by 45%, and use of Accident & Emergency services fell by almost 70%.

The report looks forward to a time in the near future when devices such as connected asthma inhalers or ‘smart’ pill bottles can provide instantaneous information to both medical practitioners and patients.

The report also looks at better, more responsive ways for retailers to engage with customers (for example with ‘hyper-local’ promotions), and improvements in transport networks driven by real-time journey planning applications or digitally connected roads.

The report can be downloaded here.