Why IoT Sensors are the Future of Environmental Monitoring


There are many pitfalls of manual environmental monitoring and documentation, including eating up staff bandwidth and risking falling out of compliance due to human error. But what can your facility do to better handle this data? Enter networked and IoT environmental sensors.

The Internet of Things is proving increasingly important for both the present and the future of healthcare. IoT technology is already being used in healthcare facilities for asset management and environmental monitoring, but the capacity of IoT technology has so far just scratched the surface of what promises to be a truly smart network of buildings and systems in our near future.

The Future of IoT Technology

Recent developments in IoT technologies have enabled connections of buildings, people, IoT sensors, equipment, and information in an instant. This creates troves of “big data” that provide massive amounts of information to facilities managers, technical and operations staff, and organizational executives. Decisions can be made quickly based on these data sets, creating building spaces tailored to occupants’ usage and needs.

But as the IoT continues apace, the rise of artificial intelligence will begin to enable these devices and systems to make decisions and adjust controls automatically, based on data captured about the spaces and information known about their occupants.

The Critical Nature of Environmental Monitoring

Environmental monitoring is a crucial aspect of facilities management for quality healthcare delivery, with myriad examples throughout industry and academic reviews on the subject:

  • A recent literature review on 50 years of thermal comfort studies concluded that quality indoor air environments are important for the well-being of both patients and professionals in healthcare settings.
  • The role of cold-chain asset management in COVID-19 vaccine delivery has brought awareness to the value of asset storage monitoring in providing for patient health and safety.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought pressure differential in hospital rooms into public consciousness. Being able to monitor and control these pressure differentials is vital to patient health.
  • Detection of water intrusion is also a concern, given the potential for water leaks to foster mold or fungus growth that can harm patient health as well as threaten “deterioration of building components.”

The Role of IoT and Networked Systems

Environmental monitoring is made easier and more occupant-friendly by continuing technology developments, and the AI-based future of IoT technology will be an important step in further improving environmental monitoring in healthcare facilities. Enhanced ability to capture real-time data and aggregate it across spaces will contribute to a better understanding of buildings, spaces, and the people who use them. Meanwhile, the “smart” learning elements of AI technology will lead to entire healthcare facilities able to quickly learn occupant needs and adjust environmental controls accordingly. The technology will also alert facility managers and nearby staff to door-closure issues, water intrusions, or pressure or temperature concerns that may pose a threat to patients, vaccines, and other medical assets.

In addition to the rapid response provided by AI embedded into systems, automating some of these environmental monitoring processes can ease the burden of documentation on staff and reduce human error. In doing so, it will free up valuable staff resources for other vital tasks and enhancing efficiency throughout a facility, and help your facility maintain proper compliance records should an audit ever occur.

Primex OneVue Equips Healthcare Facilities for a Smarter Future

The suite of Primex products includes a diverse lineup of OneVue Sense monitors: networked temperature sensors, as well as sensors to monitor water leaks, humidity, differential pressure, and contact closure. These automated instruments will help your healthcare facility optimize its environmental monitoring for asset management as well as occupant health and comfort. OneVue Monitor software, hosted in a cloud that enhances both security and wherever-you-are access, aggregates environmental monitoring data from the networked sensors throughout a facility, enabling quick access to information on facility spaces and enabling reporting for building awareness and regulatory compliance.

Ready to learn more about how Primex can help take your facility into the future? Reach out for a consultation today!


Sources:

Oracle Construction and Engineering - IoT Transforming Healthcare Facilities Management

ResearchGate - Thermal Comfort Applied in Hospital Environments: A Literature Review

IIP - The Vaccine Cold Chain

Sage Journals - Negative Pressure Rooms and COVID-19

PSQH - Does Your Healthcare Facility Have Water Intrusion?


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