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Internet of Medical Things: How Connected Devices are Changing Healthcare – ReadWrite

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IoMT system architecture


The number of connected medical devices – the ones communicating with other systems via the Internet – is growing steadily. These smart things gather and transmit a mountain of healthcare data. Even such small gadgets as fitness trackers and smartwatches can provide quite a bit of health-related metrics, including heart rate, sleep patterns, calorie consumption, to name a few. The point is, this data is the main building block of the huge system called the Internet of Medical Things. And what IoMT is? You’ll find out in this post. 

What is the Internet of Medical Things?

IoMT or the Internet of Medical Things is a healthcare-focused part of the Internt of Things (IoT), hence another name – healthcare IoT. Defining more precisely, IoMT is a system of interconnected medical devices, software, and healthcare systems and services that exchange real-time data by means of networking technologies.

To help you understand what’s behind the “things” part of the IoMT systems, let’s take a heart rate monitor, for example. Such a device collects patient data and sends it to the hospital cloud software so a doctor can see the real picture of a health condition and make timely and informed decisions.

If we take the 2017 statistics presented by Healthcare IT News, we’ll see that 60% of healthcare organizations worldwide have already implemented IoT solutions into their processes. Another 27% of institutions are expected to adopt the technology in the short term. The major factors that influence the fast adoption of IoMT technologies are as follows.

Rising healthcare costs

Analysts have calculated that the IoMT adoption can result in $300 billion savings annually for the US healthcare industry. With IoT solutions implemented, it is possible to reduce hospital visits, detect diseases at an earlier stage and thus cut spendings on their treatment, and much more

The increased need for remote patient monitoring

There are two key tendencies behind this factor: the rising incidence of chronic illnesses (specifically such diseases as cancer, asthma, and diabetes) and the aging population. As for the latter, The United Nations report states that by 2050 there will be 2.1 billion elderly people on Earth. Seniors are prone to have more health issues, and IoMT devices can be of big help in this case. 

People are becoming more health-conscious

The COVID-19 pandemic has made a lot of people change their attitudes towards health and related precautionary measures. This has increased the demand for various health monitoring devices.

How IoMT systems work

Similarly to IoT, the architecture of the Internet of Medical Things involves the four key components or layers: 

  • the perception or sensor layer consists of a number of medical devices and sensors that gather useful health-related data from surroundings and transmit it to another layer;
  • the network or communication layer transmits the data collected at the perception layer to the middleware layer via different networking technologies (WiFi, Bluetooth, LAN, etc.);
  • the middleware or processing layer acts as a data storage, processing, and management environment; and
  • the application layer includes a variety of software tools to analyze medical data received.

Let’s now go through each building block, focusing on connected devices that power the IoMT engine with data. 

The perception layer: IoMT devices 

The variety of physical medical things that have Internet access and cover diverse healthcare purposes is quite impressive. Some calculations point to the number of 2 million different smart medical devices which generate and collect important healthcare data. All they can be grouped in the following categories.

The tyeps of IoMT devices

Hospital monitors and devices

Health facilities have huge machines like MRI, ECG, and CT scanners that provide valuable data and send it to the cloud. On top of that, various small devices and sensors can be used on-premises to track equipment, monitor patients and staff, and manage supplies inside a hospital. 

Point-of-care diagnostic devices and kiosks

A range of portable diagnostic instruments and self-service kiosks aim at collecting patient clinical information (blood, saliva, urine, skin cells, etc.) outside of laboratory settings. The devices in this category can be used both in clinics and at home.

Clinical-grade wearables 

This category includes all kinds of devices prescribed or recommended by a physician. Their main goal is to track disease conditions – degradations and improvements – and provide doctors with real-time data about a patient’s health status for quick decision-making. Clinical-grade devices must be approved for use or certified by respective regulatory bodies such as the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration.)

Consumer-grade wearables

The group consists of various wearable devices with built-in sensors used to track, collect, and transmit data related to general physical activity. They are also known as fitness wearables and aren’t regulated by health authorities.

Personal emergency response systems (PERS)

These medical alert systems are used by patients (paralyzed, elderly, limited in mobility, etc.) to call for help or to notify caregivers and doctors. Medical devices of this type are commonly equipped with an emergency button. 

Smart pills

Also referred to as digital pills or smart drugs, these small electronic devices are shaped as pharmaceutical capsules and equipped with sensors. When such a pill is swallowed, it can be used to track vitals, carry drugs to a needed area, provide pictures of the gastrointestinal tract for more accurate diagnosis, and much more. 

The communication layer: networking technologies

Once collected, the data is sent to the cloud via one of the following networking technologies: 

  • Local Area Network or LAN — a private computer network that enables the connectivity of two or more computers and devices within a limited geographical area;
  • Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE — a power-conserving wireless technology that allows various devices to communicate and transfer data over a short distance;
  • WiFi — a wireless technology that enables high-speed connectivity of devices to the Internet and operates within a limited area; or
  • Wide Area Network or WAN  — a computer network that provides device connectivity over a large geographic area.

To transmit messages among devices and to the cloud, there are different messaging protocols used. The most common ones are:

  • Message Queue Telemetry Transport or MQTT protocol — a lightweight network protocol that supports publish-subscribe messaging between devices; and
  • Advanced Message Queuing Protocol or AMQP protocol — an open standard application protocol enabling systems to send and receive messages.

Now that you know the path of data from the physical world of devices to the cloud, it’s time to deal with the IoT platforms where data is stored, processed, and managed. 

The processing layer: IoT platforms 

A cloud IoT platform or middleware is the most vital part of any IoMT system. There are several IoT solutions that not only have the powerful processing layer but, more importantly, provide compliance with healthcare regulations — namely, with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Google Cloud IoT has a pack of services to build a fully-fledged HIPAA-compliant IoMT system. The technology giant offers Cloud Healthcare API with a development environment for creating healthcare applications and solutions on Google Cloud.

AWS IoT platform is empowered with a wide array of capabilities to create advanced IoMT systems. These services include, among other things, AWS Cloud Trail and AmazonCloudWatch to follow the regulatory requirements for data protection as well as AW IoT Greengrass to build, deploy, and manage device software on-premises. 

Microsoft Azure IoT doesn’t lag behind its competitors and provides services like Azure IoT Edge to integrate on-premises data, Azure IoT Central to manage devices and process data streams and events, and Azure IoT Connector to ingest data from IoMT devices.

Application layer: medical software

This layer interfaces with end-users — medical experts and patients. There is a wide range of solutions you can build on top of IoMT, like health tracking apps, data analytics dashboards, remote patient monitoring platforms, or telehealth systems.

IoMT use cases 

While still developing and improving, IoMT already has tons of real-life applications. Below we’ll overview some successful examples. 

IoMT devices that monitor glucose levels

According to the World Health Organization, there are nearly 422 million diabetic people globally. Continuous tracking of a blood sugar level is critical for them and even can be a question of life and death. Today, we have glucose monitoring systems that not only make tests day and night but also do it without painful finger piercing.

In such systems, a water-resistant wearable with a sensor is commonly placed under the skin. Every few minutes, it checks interstitial fluid and sends data to a smartwatch or smartphone via WiFi or Bluetooth. 

Real-life example: The Dexcom G6 CGM System for diabetes data monitoring and management

IoMT devices that detect and prevent falls

The statistics presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that one out of four American seniors falls each year. Not only do older adults tend to fall more often, but they also have a greater chance of getting dangerous injuries – hitting their head or breaking a hip. To prevent this from happening, special IoMT solutions are designed.  

These are typically wearable devices like a smartwatch or a belt that have sensors capable of indicating harsh falls, notifying emergency services and/or caregivers of the event, and even providing on-time protection (if it’s a belt, it can be equipped with airbags.) Such devices are synced with software apps so that data can be seen on a computer or phone. 

Real-life example: Apple Watch with its fall alert system; smart hip protection belt called Tango 

IoMT devices that power smart hospitals 

Smart homes surprise no one these days. The same can’t be said about smart hospitals – this concept is still in its infancy. However, it’s not some kind of science fiction. Some facilities, for example, equip their medical appliances with sensors to track the exact location of each piece of equipment

In this way, when hospital staff needs, say, a defibrillator, they will be able to quickly find and deliver it to an emergency room. The trackers can be also attached to hospital beds to check their location, condition, and need for maintenance. Another way such sensors can be useful is monitoring hospital supplies and refilling them on time. 

Real-life example: Caithness General Hospital operated by NHS Highland

IoMT devices that advance endoscopy examinations

Capsule endoscopy lets clinicians examine the entire gastrointestinal tract, deliver medication to a specific location, take biopsies, and perform other procedures. The principle is simple: A patient swallows a small pill-sized digital device with a tiny video camera in it. The camera takes pictures as it passes through the human GI tract and transmits data to a recording device. Then, the data can be delivered to EHR systems.

Real-life example: CapsoCam Plus system

Major IoMT technology implementation challenges 

Along with promises, IoMT brings a number of challenges. Here are the major issues that must be addressed to realize the full potential of IoT in healthcare.

Healthcare data security threats

HIPAA Journal reports that in 2020, the rates of healthcare data breaches increased 25% compared to 2019. Data security threats are still the biggest challenge for hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities that want to employ IoMT systems. IoMT devices are designed with different levels of security, so Internet connectivity makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks.

The lack of interoperability between individual systems

Interoperability is the ability of healthcare systems to exchange and interpret data cohesively. Doctors, administrators, and patients may use different types of medical devices and software solutions that don’t “understand” each other. The lack of interoperability between them leads to data silos and hinders data access.

Regulatory compliance

IoMT solutions must adhere to laws that take care of data privacy and patient safety. Since the regulatory scene tends to change every now and again, compliance may become a significant obstacle in the way of building and upgrading medical devices and accompanying software.

Despite these and other challenges, the global IoMT market keeps growing since by far the benefits it brings outweigh the troubles its adoption causes.

Image Credit: anna shvets; pexels; thank you!

Boryslava Omelchenko

Boryslava Omelchenko

Boryslava Omelchenko is a tech journalist at AltexSoft. She is enthusiastic about covering trends in information technology and IoT, particularly in the healthcare industry.

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10 Blockchain Speakers Who Make It Easy to Understand

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Joel Comm; Blockchain Speakers


The blockchain and Bitcoin. Decentralized finance and smart contracts. Non-fungible tokens and play-to-earn gaming. The new world of Web 3 is a lot of things — but simple isn’t one of them. A few speakers manage to turn the complexity of the blockchain into concepts that are easy to understand and quick to grasp.

These men and women take questions from the audience — and have a coherent and logical explanation for anyone who knows enough to frame a good question. If you are creating an event and you want a great keynote speaker — whether in person or virtual — choose from this list.

Blockchain, Bitcoin, Decentralized Finance, Smart Contract, Non-Fungible Tokens, Play-to-Earn Gaming — Think of the Possibilities

When I study, listen, attend conferences, and get lists like this one ready — it’s a difficult process (no doubt, those of you in this business can relate).

I have listened to most of these individuals speak and usually put Joel Comm at the top of my lists because he’s so dang funny — although these speakers are listed here in no particular order.

Joel Comm
  1. Joel Comm (@joelcomm)

Joel Comm reached the blockchain world after selling a games company to Yahoo!, revealing the secrets of Google’s AdSense system, and explaining how to market on Twitter as soon as the “microblogging” platform was launched. With Travis Wright, he presents both The Bad Crypto Podcast and The Nifty Show, two podcasts that interview blockchain leaders and entrepreneurs, explaining their activities to a non-technical audience.

Igor Pejic; Blockchain Speakers
Igor Pejic
  1. Igor Pejic (@IgorPejic9)

Igor Pejic is the author of Blockchain Babel. He’s the former head of marketing at BNP Paribas Personal Finance Austria and a teacher at the University of Vienna. His experience in both the finance industry and in education has enabled him to translate blockchain technology’s jargon into understandable language and to explain why it matters. He’s seen how finance is responding to the rise of digital currencies and distributed networks, and he can explain it.

Andre De Castro
Andre De Castro
  1. Andre de Castro (@AndreTechExec)

Andre de Castro is a software engineer and a Bitcoin pioneer. He works with Fortune 500 clients, helping them to understand and prepare for the development of cryptocurrencies. He also contributed to a 2014 administrative ruling that enabled corporations and startups to trade cryptocurrencies in the US. He is an expert on the opportunities available in the blockchain world and, in particular, the possibility of earning through arbitrage across different trading platforms.

Anne Lise Kjaer
Anne Lise Kjaer
  1. Anne Lise Kjaer (@kjaerglobal)

Anne Lise Kjaer is an expert on trends. She’s the author of The Trend Management Toolkit and has talked to companies, including IKEA and Swarovski, about changing consumer fashions. The trends she’s discussed have included health tech and digitalization, but she also talks about fintech, how it’s changing, and what effect those changes will have on consumers and the companies that serve them.

Professor Lisa Short
Professor Lisa Short
  1. Lisa Short (@lisagshort)

Professor Lisa Short’s emphasis is on education. She’s the founder of Mind Shifting and the Frontier TechED Accelerator uses education to bring together small and medium-sized businesses and cutting-edge technologies. Lisa Short is also the director of Learning and Ecosystems for the United Africa Blockchain Association, which delivers blockchain and artificial intelligence education across Africa.

John Biggs
John Biggs
  1. John Biggs (@johnbiggs)

John Biggs is a journalist. Biggs has been an editor-at-large for TechCrunch.com and has written for publications including Wired, the New York Times, Linux Journal, and Popular Science. He is now news editor at CoinDesk, the world’s leading source of blockchain news, and has written books about blogging and online scams. He was also the CEO of fintech startup Freemit.com, adding real-world experience to his research and writing.

Sam Wouters
Sam Wouters
  1. Sam Wouters (@SDWouters)

Sam Wouters is a consultant at Duval Union Consulting, a consultancy firm, and is a co-author of the Digital Transformation Book, a guide to bringing digital workflows to large companies. He now focuses on Bitcoin and the blockchain, helping companies to understand how the technology works and what they can do with it.

Laura Shin
Laura Shin
  1. Laura Shin (@laurashin)

Laura Shin is the host of Unchained, one of the Web’s leading blockchain podcasts. She was senior editor at Forbes and the first mainstream journalist to take crypto as her full-time beat. She is also the author of the recent investigation of crypto’s early days: The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze. Her talks focus on the blockchain’s effects on ownership, online organization, and earning potential.

Tony Scott
Tony Scott
  1. Tony Scott (@tonyscottcio)

Tony Scott was President Barack Obama’s Chief Information Officer. He launched a 30-day Cybersecurity Sprint and directed the government’s cyber defense efforts. He also managed the net neutrality policy and oversaw the privacy issues that emerged from Apple’s suit against the FBI. He now runs the TonyScottGroup, where he gives enterprise-sized firms strategies to cope with and make the most of changing IT infrastructure and new technologies.

Elias Ahonen
Elias Ahonen
  1. Elias Ahonen (@eahonen)

Elias Ahonen’s 2016 book, Physical Bitcoins and Crypto-Currencies, was one of the first histories of digital currency. He is also the author of Blockland, a collection of stories about Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency. He’s been active in the blockchain space since 2012 and runs a blockchain consulting company called Token Valley.

Here are a few articles for your reading pleasure and information — about these topics.

Blockchain, Bitcoin, Decentralized Finance, Smart Contract, Non-Fungible Tokens, Play-to-Earn Gaming

Most of these images were taken from the Speakers Linkedin Profiles; Thank you!

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Pressmaster; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.



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How to Efficiently Onboard and Train Your New Hires

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Calendar


Quality employee onboarding is one of the most important things you can do for your business. You want your new hires to feel welcome and wanted as soon as they walk in. You need to give them an excellent first impression of your business and show that they matter. For many new employees, it’s essential to feel that there is a well-defined role and a clear career path.

Not only that, but a good onboarding process can make a massive difference to your retention rates and your revenue. Onboarding can also improve employee productivity and morale. And you save time and money when you don’t have to keep replacing employees.

Great onboarding starts with excellent planning. You really can’t wing it when it comes to training your new hires. Having planned training and processes for dealing with new employees is important.

Before hiring any new employees, plan out what they need to know and how you deliver it. This will also make it easier for you. For example, you’re not having to scramble to find something for them to do while trying to balance your own work.

You could also create an onboarding checklist for you and one for your new hires. This allows you to quickly know what to teach next and see clear progress and tick off what they’ve learned. It’s motivating for both parties. Even better if you have training software that allows for gamification. New hires can tick off modules as they finish them, see what’s next, achieve rewards, and more.

Once you have your onboarding training prepared, you can then use your calendar to plan it out and ensure success.

1. Set up a dedicated onboarding calendar

Many calendar apps will allow you to set up multiple calendars. So, for example, you can set up a calendar just for onboarding training, showing the full schedule.

This allows you and your new hires to look at your full calendar view with all your tasks and appointments and to look at just the training schedule on its own calendar when you need to.

It’s helpful to have both views. With the main calendar view, you can ensure no clashes and time to get to training sessions. And with the onboarding calendar, you clearly know the training and what comes next.

2. Share your calendars

You can coordinate together more efficiently by sharing your calendars. Your new employee will have other items on their calendar in addition to their onboarding training. For example, they may have previously booked medical appointments scheduled or a holiday that was already booked before they got the job. And there’s the work that they need to be involved in.

If you both share your calendars, you can easily be more flexible, if needed, and quickly rearrange sessions if something else comes up. In addition, your new hire will be able to see when you’re free, so they can book time if they need more help.

Encouraging your new employees to start, regularly use, and share their calendars is good practice for the future.

3. Set up your to-do list

Unless your only job is employee onboarding, you will have other work to fill your time. With your time split between onboarding your new hires and your everyday work, staying organized is essential. You can add a task/to-do list and make notes on many calendars to easily keep track.

This helps you balance your work with your onboarding duties. It also gives you a heads up if you’re going to have a busy week that may need extra organization and planning.

Another benefit of adding your to-do list to your calendar is seeing how much you’ve achieved. Ticking off completed tasks gives a nice hit of dopamine and is highly motivating.

4. Use time blocking to ensure you get everything done

When trying to learn something new, it can be easier to spend a solid block of time on it, rather than jump around over several sessions. Time blocking can be helpful to facilitate that.

However, time blocking involves splitting your day and week into blocks for specific tasks. This is a great way to combine your to-do list with your calendar. This can be a beneficial technique for ensuring you can fit in onboarding training and your regular tasks and meetings.

You can choose what works best for you with so many options and techniques. For example, time blocking could be one more helpful tool in your organizing arsenal.

5. Set up reminders

One of the best things about using a calendar and task lists is that you can add reminders to keep yourself on track.

When you are setting up your onboarding calendar, ensure you add in reminders where it’s helpful. This ensures that you don’t miss any meetings or tasks or your trainees.

When you’re busy, it can be easy to miss breaks and lunches. Adding reminders for these can ensure you take a breather when you should. It also provides that you don’t set yourself up for burnout.

6. Integrate with Trello

Some calendars integrate with Trello, a simple but effective project management app.

You can add tasks, checklists, and processes to Trello. It’s helpful to break down more significant tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks. It’s possible to tick them off when you’re done, which can help to motivate you and your trainees.

One other great thing about Trello is that you can set up boards and processes as a template. Then when you need it again, copy the template, rename it, and you’re ready to go.

Integrating this option with your calendar could help you manage your training better. You can also add team members and work on tasks together, aiding your trainees.

7. Bear in mind remote working

So many companies now allow remote working since the pandemic that you need to consider it. In addition, you may be training both in-office workers and remote workers to onboard them.

It’s important that your onboarding training includes your company culture and expectations, but it’s particularly important that remote workers feel part of your company.

Of course, you need to organize your time and calendar to ensure you can onboard everyone, remote or not. In addition to planning tasks and meetings, you’ll need to consider what technology you need, including cameras, Zoom, and more. Then, organize your tech in plenty of time for each meeting for success.

8. Start with a welcome pack

Once you know the start date of your next hire, add a task and a reminder on your calendar. Then send them a welcome email a few days before they start. You could even save time by writing a template for this email if you’re going to need it more than once. Then, you could set it up, keep it, and just hit send on the day.

If they’re based in-house, include practical information your new employee needs to know. Include directions, parking information, and a building map marked by their office or area. Add in where they can find vending machines or a kitchen for snacks and drinks. Include any local shops, such as bakeries or sandwich shops for food.

You’re starting them on the right foot before they’ve even walked through the door. And they will appreciate it.

Don’t forget your remote workers here. They will also appreciate a friendly, welcoming email with helpful information on start times and what to expect.

9. Use your analytics

Many calendars have excellent analytics. Office 365, for example, includes MyAnalytics, which provides information on various tasks and events. For example, you can see how many meetings you’ve had and how you spend your time.

This is helpful because you can see an overview of your onboarding training. You can check if you’re offering balanced training or leaning too heavily toward one subject. You can see whether you have covered everything or if there are any gaps.

Calendar analytics are equally helpful for improving your general productivity. You can ensure you still have the time to work on your own tasks as well as fit in onboarding.

10. Assess your onboarding regularly

Use your calendar to schedule follow-up meetings with new employees to get feedback on your onboarding processes.

Diarize time every year, at least once, to review your onboarding, look at feedback, and see how you can improve.

With quality onboarding so crucial for every business, it is vital to stay organized and on top of it. The right calendar apps can help you deliver onboarding well and keep improving.

Published First on Calendar. Read Here.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Kampus Production; Pexels; Thank you!

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What Are Automated Guided Vehicles?

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Deanna Ritchie


Steam engines and conveyor belts are arguably two of the most important inventions of the industrial age. Moving water and coal by machine sparked groundbreaking changes in manufacturing. They allowed businesses to scale their production while saving time and resources. Many believe that automated guided vehicles represent the next logical step.

After all, without these innovations, the world as it is today would be impossible. The ability to move materials with ease contributed powerfully to the industrial revolution.

As time has marched on, more technologies have been invented to improve transportation, thus benefiting the manufacturing process. Many experts believe that the automated guided vehicle is the most noteworthy innovation as of late.

These machines are automatic vehicles with a guidance system that can use a variety of technologies to get from point A to point B without the need for a driver or human supervision. This invention has benefited quite a number of operations when it comes to manufacturing. AGVs can routinely and reliably transport materials from one place to another.

How Automated Guided Vehicles Work

Of course, the future of manufacturing is unknown, but it is constantly seeing upgrades from technological advancements. An automated guided vehicle (AGV) is a robotic solution to many industrial problems. It is a portable robot that moves along marked lines or wires on factory floors. It achieves this by using radio waves, cameras, magnets, or lasers for navigation.

The technologies used by each AGV differ based on design. Technologies such as LIDAR help AGVs in routing, navigation, and traffic management. Cameras help in monitoring obstacles and optimizing the path. Sensors also help in mapping the space and navigation.

Automated guided vehicles run on optimized technologies such as laser-based navigation systems and camera-based navigation systems. Both of these enhance the operation and help with better routing, traffic management, load balancing, and battery management.

These advances help make the systems safer for humans on the factory floor, as AGVs can stop if they sense someone or something is within their set path.

Laser-based navigation systems are one of the most popular types of routing and mapping systems in the industry today. Engineers pair camera-based technology with laser technology as an add-on feature. Cameras can detect the presence of traffic and easily identify obstacles better than lasers.

Camera-mounted automated guided vehicles are also extremely useful when humans are operating the system. It provides a much better view when users take the vehicle for new routines or a manned operation.

Industries Utilizing Automated Guided Vehicles

AI and self-driving cars are predicted to be the future, even in industries such as construction. However, some industries are experiencing success with automated options, and others are still adapting to AGVs. Most companies use automated guided vehicles in industrial applications. They transport heavy materials around large factories or warehouses.

For example, they help factories move raw materials or pellet goods. These are made ready to be shipped or sent off to a warehouse. Techs automate their routes and schedules in a way that they carry out operations a specific number of times within specified time increments.

While industrial applications are most common, other industries use AGVs on a smaller scale. AGVs can be applied to move materials in food processing, automotive assembly plants, and the healthcare industry.

Within hospitals, AGVs are becoming increasingly popular. Technicians program them to move linens, trash, medical waste, and even patient meals. In recent years, the theme park industry has even begun using AGVs for rides.

Benefits of Using Automated Guided Vehicle

The world of production is moving forward. There are so many benefits of incorporating an automated guided vehicle. Here are some of the most notable perks.

1. Time Management

Most notably, automated guided vehicles help cut down on human resources. Otherwise, companies spend additional resources on transporting materials back and forth. This, in turn, reduces the manual errors that occur when lifting large loads.

AGVs also improve time management by automating the routines. A simple memory chip with a navigation system and an automated routine can help the users to save time throughout pickup and transport schedules.

The incorporation of more automated systems has also been shown to save money and add more leisure time for employees. When companies don’t burden employees with simple, repetitive tasks, they can focus on more important agenda items.

AGVs prove to be extremely useful as they can transport items to a certain location without the guidance of humans. Without the need for human guidance, AGVs cut down on human error.

2. Optimizing Transport

Transporting materials through robot-enabled machines helps in automating the transport of materials, withdrawing the need for other machines, forklifts, and techniques for load management. Delegating transport to an AGV can also protect workers.

Injuries from lifting heavy items or operating forklifts incorrectly are some of the most common injuries within the workplace. Having AGVs take on this responsibility could mean avoiding workplace comp claims and potentially losing good employees.

Somewhat ironically, self-driving vehicles become simpler and safer when humans aren’t around. Separating human tasks and automated guided vehicles can optimize the transport process in multiple ways.

3. Efficiency

Incorporating AGVs benefits the overall manufacturing process, as it involves fewer man hours on simple tasks, such as transport, and it diverts them to more useful operations. An automated guided vehicle cuts down on the number of staff hours or labor required to safely handle payload and take it from one point to another. This is easily done once the load is set up on the automated guided vehicle.

Companies know that these machines are sturdy, stable, and more efficient than humans, who can carry less and usually take longer. AGVs make the transportation process both cost and time efficient.

Automated guided vehicles are a simple solution to solve transportation issues, and their application has broadened during the late 20th century. As more industries look to incorporate technology to optimize their processes and improve efficiency, they may take advantage of AGVs.

Looking at how the manufacturing industries have been utilizing this technology for years can help industries that are choosing to incorporate this technology now learn best practices. Knowing what AGVs are and recognizing their benefits can help businesses decide if they’re right for them.

Image Credit: Ready Made; Pexels; Thanks!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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