When my teammates at WRAL.com and The Skinny (A.K.A me) began planning an Internet of Things event several months ago, little did I know that IoT would play a key role in the saving of my life from a heart attack.

I deeply regretted not being able to attend Tuesday’s WRAL TechWire Executive Exchange, but I remain on medical disability leave after suffering what my cardiologist describes as a “major heart attack” on Sept. 10.

My recovery is going well, and I begin physical rehabilitation next week. If God continues to answer prayers, I hope to return to work in early November.

But I hope you will indulge me for a few moments to read more about how the IoT is rapidly moving from hype to reality.

The IoT is now emerging as a key factor in life-saving health care, as some of the panelists discussed Tuesday.

As soon as an EKG showed I had suffered a “major event” as it was first described by medical staff at WakeMed Raleigh, I was slapped with a white “smart band” known as a “Compuband.”

What a far cry these bands are from the old plastic ones of recent years. Nurses (especially the world’s best: his name is Amos) and doctors used wireless-connected devices of all types to interact with the band in administering drugs.

A series of codes – QR and bar codes – instantly linked data about me and my case to what doctors and nurses needed to know.

Remember when we could not use cell phones in doctors offices? Well, no longer. WiFi links multiple devices and systems.

Gone are the days of dumb devices.

These tools make medical care more efficient, allowing the professionals to spend more time talking to patients on a person-to-person basis. And, yes, personal interaction remains key to treatment, boosting those in need both emotionally and physically. Doctors and nurses have more time to answer questions rather than reading charts and finding the right meds.

The wireless revolution is amazing, isn’t it?

Before wrapping up my stay in the Intensive Care Unit and moving to another room, I felt like a character in “The Matrix,” wired to a bank of computers as the system through a series of diodes connected directly to my body constantly monitored my heart. But before leaving, I was being monitored by a wireless system.

De ja vu amazing all over again.

At rehab, I and my teammates in recovery will be monitored via wireless. Darn. That means no cheating on the weight lifting!

The catheter inserted into my heart and the IVs remain part of treatment, I can tell you. But who knows what the future holds?

Somewhere right now someone – programmers at SAS or AT&T or scientists at IBM’s Watson, perhaps – are exploring ways of even delivering more health care via wireless and smart devices.

It’s safe to say that I would just as soon not experience any more miracles in health care – at least for a while.

I hoped those who attended the IoT event found it beneficial.

We are living the future right now, with IoT helping lead us all to better days.

Thanks for reading.


Rick Smith