Moderated by Jake Saunders, MD & VP Consulting of ABI Research APAC, this panel was a conversation on the promises of 5G and IoT that happened at IoT Asia, featuring panellists Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance and Dr Stephen Chan, Senior Consultant – Medical Services, Dept of Quality & Innovation, Woodlands Health Campus, Singapore.
Jake Saunders: So what are some of the key takeaways from this panel that you’d like the audience to take home?
Geok Chwee: What I’m seeing is that all products will be “born connected”. Connectivity is not an afterthought. So all products will be connected and the portion about AI, machine learning, it becomes essential. So the true smart-ness of things will happen, with all these coming together, and not piecemeal. And the key area that we’re also seeing is that the future of entertainment in the consumer space is going to be very exciting. So much more than what we are having today. So just now we mentioned about augmented reality and all these new ways of consuming entertainment like cloud gaming. That’s happening.
The way that we’re looking at productivity today will also be changed by technology, like blockchain. Today it seems like a buzz word, but we’re already doing POC. Like PCCW Global, one of our members as well, is doing POC with Colt and a start-up called Clear, that use blockchain to change the way we do settlements backend, and some of this is still quite manual.
So all these are emerging tech coming together and to deliver a new world of how we work and play. So that is how we’re seeing it. And whatever that we’re thinking today is, I think, only probably 20% of what will happen in future.
Jake Saunders: Very good, thank you. Stephen?
Dr Stephen: I agree that the AI bit and the rest of the ecosystem bit really needs to come into play, especially for the medical industry. 2 hot areas, I think, will be advanced surgery, robotics surgery. And currently we still have human operators. I think we’re really getting into where robots start making better stitches than humans. But these are individual steps in the surgery and there’s not so much perception of what’s happening as a whole. And as we progress in that area, that might be where 5G can come in, to be able to assimilate multiple inputs from the patient’s body, from what’s happening in the sensors, from what the anesthetist is thinking, etc. And that’s one hot area.
I think a bigger area though, that would come ahead more rapidly, would be the home space. And that’s home monitoring for preventive purposes. How do I tell you that you’re going to have a heart attack tomorrow in 12 hours’ time? Now when we aggregate enough data, when we are able to say, ok, this guy had a heart attack now. What about 12 hours ago? Did his heart rate start changing? Did the way he move, the way he sleep, how many times he went to the toilet, etc.
Now, and all those things start changing and if we have the intelligence to figure out preemptively what’s going to happen, now that’s going to be amazing. Because we can prevent things before they happen. It’s going to be like the movie, with Tom Cruise, right? The precogs! Where you actually can tell. And it’s from science, it’s from data, that you can tell. And everything has a long tail, you know, you know when you’re going to get. When you meet a girl, you know when you first fall in love, but you’re not going to marry her till 2 years later. But that was the moment you knew. So, heart attacks, they behave the same way. And that’s our hope. That’s the area we think, that maybe, there will be a revolution.