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Internet of things is becoming real

For too long, the Internet of Things was something that was talked about in hyperbole at conferences and then forgotten. Now, finally, it is being operationalized. This particular account is of developments at GE.

At Mount Sinai, patients get a black plastic wristband with a location sensor and other information. Similar sensors are on beds and medical equipment. An important advantage, Mr. Keathley said, is to be able to see the daily flow of patients, physical assets and treatment as it unfolds.

But he said the real benefit was how the data could be used to automate and streamline operations and then make better decisions. For example, in a typical hospital, getting a patient who shows up in an emergency room into an assigned bed in a hospital ward can take several hours and phone calls.

At Mount Sinai, G.E. has worked on optimization and modeling software that enables admitting officers to see beds and patient movements throughout the hospital, to help them more efficiently match patients and beds. Beyond that, modeling software is beginning to make predictions about likely patient admission and discharge numbers over the next several hours, based on historical patterns at the hospital and other circumstances — say, in flu season.

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