Engineering and electronics manufacturer Bosch recently set out details of how its products are helping hospitals to become ‘smarter’ in the way they provide their services and manage their valuable medical equipment [www.bosch-presse.de/pressportal/de/en/bosch-is-making-hospitals-smart-128448.html].
A longstanding client of A.A. Thornton & Co., Bosch is a household name for consumers in the areas of power tools and household appliances. However, the company has also long been a supplier of automotive parts ranging from spark plugs and windscreen wipers to electronic sensors and controllers used in engine management and traction control systems.
One of Bosch’s significant areas of expansion is in the so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) – the network of home appliances and other everyday devices which include network connectivity, enabling them to exchange data over the internet.
The company’s offerings in this rapidly growing market include both the devices themselves (including chips, sensors and connected automotive components), and the infrastructure for connecting them. Specifically, Bosch provides a software platform in the form of the Bosch IoT Suite, and has also launched its own IoT cloud and data centres. Its commitment to this area is further reflected in its January 2017 announcement, at the CES show in Las Vegas, of its goal of making all of its electronic products ‘connected’ by 2020 [www.bosch-presse.de/pressportal/de/en/iot-is-getting-personal-%E2%80%93-turning-things-into-partners-83648.html]. By 2020, Bosch expects the global IoT market to be worth some 250 billion dollars.
One of Bosch’s IoT initiatives is directed towards smart buildings This involves combining the company’s expertise in sensor technology, software and services to provide connected building services over its IoT platform in order to achieve efficiencies in the running and maintenance of commercial buildings.
These solutions are being applied to hospitals to achieve various efficiencies in different aspects of the running of such smart hospitals, to the benefit of operators, staff and patients. Examples include tracking the location and operating status of medical equipment, both to prevent theft and facilitate efficient deployment of resources where they are needed, and the use of intelligently connected cameras and motion sensors for both energy management and security purposes. Many of these applications previously required standalone non-digital solutions, but can now be implemented in a straightforward manner at greatly reduced cost using Bosch’s connected building services and IoT Suite.
Bosch predicts significant growth in this area. It plans to generate sales of around 100 million Euros from smart hospital projects in the coming years, and expects sales growth of around 5% in its Energy and Building Technology business sector this year.
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