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    Digital OB/GYN: The Internet of Things: Connectivity to improve lives


    Dr. Levine is Practice Director at the Colorado Center for 

    Reproductive Medicine, New York, New York.



    In June 2012, the International Telecommunication Union officially defined the Internet of Things (IoT) as a “global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies.”1 In plain English, the IoT is an interconnected network of objects that have both integrated sensors and network connectivity to allow for exchange of data. So why is machine-to-machine communication built on cloud computing such a big deal? Well, while IoT may sound complicated and super-futuristic, nearly all of us are already using the IoT multiple times a day! The IoT is what makes our “smart” devices “smart.”

    Although the IoT was officially defined in 2012, the concept is more than 20 years old. In a 1999 article, Neil Gross wrote, “In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations ... It consists of millions of embedded electronic measuring devices: thermostats, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones, glucose sensors, EKGs, electroencephalographs. These will probe and monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies—even our dreams.”2

    Next: Real-world examples >>

    Brian A. Levine, MD, MS, FACOG
    Dr. Levine is Practice Director at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, New York, New York.


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