Op-Ed: Staying Connected To Be Safe, Healthy

The following is a guest contributed post by George Thangadurai, Executive Vice President and President of International Business for Borqs Technologies Inc.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting the world—in a good way. From businesses, to governments, to the everyday consumer, the IoT is transforming how we interact with the world and with each other. It’s estimated that companies will spend nearly $5 trillion on the IoT in the next five years, and the proliferation of connected devices will help make the world healthier and safer.


Besides being fitness trackers with heart rate sensors, some smartwatches can now also measure oxygen saturation in blood. While heart rate sensors look at the rhythm of the blood in your veins, oxygen levels can be determined from different light wavelengths, which vary from person to person (skin color, body mass index, etc.). Of course, there will always be a need for blood tests; however, as wearable technology becomes more advanced and accurate, more healthcare measurements can be done via this type of technology, shifting health monitoring from intrusive to non-intrusive forms and increasing its accessibility and usability.

External sensors 

Small wearables—whether smartwatch, ring, patch, etc.—can be low-power, with batteries lasting for few months to few years. Many can communicate raw data via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and even cellular connections. While many companies want to provide these services, readmission is a huge problem for healthcare companies and insurance providers. So the solution for this is to have patients wear sensors, so they can monitor from home. Today, wireless sensor-based systems gather medical data that was never before accessible. By combining sensors, microcontrollers, application processors and gateways where sensor data is further analyzed and sent to the cloud and then on to caregivers, a network of IoT devices can connect directly with each other to capture and share vital data, improving the level of care physicians can offer their patients.

Health and safety 

Both wearables and sensors not only allow people to take control of their own healthcare, but also their well-being. For patients who are sick, or for those who are trying to prevent being sick, wearables and general external sensors can provide a certain amount of autonomy while still leaving the doctor in control of the actions that need to be taken. Specifically applicable to the elderly, or those with dementia, wearables also have a GPS that can define safe zones in advance and can notify the proper parties to let them know that the person is in danger.

In the workplace, the IoT is already making some industries safer, particularly construction, mining, utilities and oil and gas. Many construction companies now use data generated by IoT devices to check workers’ vital signs while on the job and use IoT data to make machinery safer for workers to use and maintain. Mining companies can use wearable technology and IoT data to avoid collisions at mines by tracking the movements of workers and machinery at job sites and are able to use remote control to shut down equipment when not in use, which prevents injuries and accidents.

While there are still many challenges to overcome in fully integrating the IoT into the world, it is undoubtedly poised to improve the health and safety of its users and revolutionize the way we view technology.

George Thangadurai – Executive Vice President and President of International Business

George Thangadurai is an accomplished leader in the computer industry with more than 20 years of experience in strategy, product management, business development, marketing and general management. Prior to Borqs Technologies Inc., Thangadurai served as executive vice president of marketing and chief strategy officer at Mobiliya Inc., Mountain View, California. He worked at Intel for more than two decades in various technical and senior management roles, which included serving as general manager of strategy and product planning for the Mobile PC business. He also served as general manager client services. A founding team member of the Center of Development for Telematics (CDOT), Bangalore, India, Thangadurai earned his master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Rhode Island, with two IEEE published research papers, one industry conference paper and eight patents.

About Borqs Technologies, Inc.

Borqs Technologies (NASDAQ: BRQS) is a global leader in software and products for IoT providing customizable, differentiated and scalable Android-based smart connected devices and cloud service solutions. Borqs has achieved leadership and customer recognition as an innovative end-to-end IoT solutions provider leveraging its strategic chipset partner relationships as well as its broad software and IP portfolio. BORQS designs, develops and provides turnkey solutions across device form factors such as Smartphones, Tablets, Smartwatches, Trackers, Automotive IVI, Vertical application devices (for restaurants, payments et al.).  For more information, please visit the Borqs website (http://www.borqs.com).