By the year 2020 it is projected that 28 billion devices (“things”) will be connected to the Internet. That’s a mind-boggling number when you stop and think about it. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to define the future of technology, key challenges emerge. How will those 28 billion things work effectively on an increasingly crowded information highway? What is the impact on the customer experience with so many devices competing for limited Internet bandwidth?
These are some of the forward-looking questions IDEXX is asking as we continue to innovate in ways that address the practical needs of veterinary practices. The answer to these challenges lies in IDEXX taking our innovative products and services like the IDEXX Vet Lab Station (IVLS) … to the “Edge.”
While you may not associate this term with leading innovation, “Edge” technology is the next step forward in our ability to efficiently deliver information to customers. Many of us have heard of cloud technology where data from a device is transported to the cloud for processing and analysis and then back to an instrument or device, but the “Edge” is a layer of connectivity that is not reliant on the Internet, therefore providing lower risk of outages and faster response times.
Think of your FitBit, in that the data gathered by this device is sent to your smartphone for analysis and is presented to you in a meaningful way. This eliminates the dependency on an Internet connection. Adds Terry Tompkins, IDEXX IVLS Development Lead, “Granted it is only milliseconds in most cases, but those milliseconds can add up as more devices compete for cloud processing via an Internet connection.”
The “Edge” layer PC brings the power of cloud computing right into the practice. This ensures veterinarians the ability of in-clinic treatment whether a hurricane knocks out communication lines or a local network cable is cut.
- Synchronizes, organizes and displays a clinic’s in-house diagnostics automatically
- Provides practices the ability to service their clients even without Internet connections
- Retains data in the event the Internet connection is lost
What’s next? “Edge” technology benefits IDEXX customers, including our international markets that face infrastructure challenges associated with bandwidth and internet connectivity. “Addressing the unique challenges of our customers takes many different forms. Innovations like Edge technology are one important way we can meet the practical needs of our international customers in a very meaningful way,” says Cleveland Ngan, Senior Director and General Manager for Japan, China & North Asia Region. “We share a common goal and that is to make IDEXX better than yesterday.”
IDEXX is embracing our leading role in IoT development and design. Establishing an “Edge” layer in concert with our continuous investment in SmartService, our slice of the 28 billion connection is strong. The IDEXX VetLab Station is an important component in ensuring instruments work as expected and when expected, keeping the customer front and center when making decisions.