It seems like every day another interesting connected device catches my eye. I already live surrounded by Sonos, Amazon Echo, and Philips Hue connected devices. I have a Fitbit and lots of IFTTT recipes and I generally preach the “automate it” lifestyle.
Yet, I still do try to straddle the line between acknowledging the ever-present consumer techie side of me and avoiding uses of technology that are invasive to my family or simply don’t add value to our lives. My wife? Not as captivated by shiny new tech as I am; I certainly would never hold that against her. In fact, we’ve chatted pleasantly many times, usually over a glass of wine, about whether or not too much connectivity is a bad thing.
Outside of lifestyle consumer tech, though, there is a world that my day job gives me great access to: the world of the enterprise Internet of Things (IoT). Businesses are leveraging internet connectivity and smaller, more powerful devices, for the betterment of people’s lives in far reaching ways.
One area where connectivity and sharing of real-time information has always been critical is emergency services. First responders in an emergency situation, from a car accident to a mass casualty event, rely heavily on systems to collect, interpret, and relay information reliably and without delay. That sounds an awful lot like the premise of the IoT, so it makes perfect sense to apply these advances to the field of first response.
Imagine firefighters and EMTs arriving at a building fire with victims inside the structure. The EMTs immediately begin to assess injuries and triage. Some firefighters begin to put out the blaze. Others, wearing modern suits that not only protect them from heat, gas, and smoke, but also contain vital sign instruments and GPSs, rush into the building on a dangerous rescue mission.
Meanwhile, a central internet-hosted console gives a coordinator precise locations of each firefighter in the building and their vital signs including heart rate, breathing rate, and even blood oxygen saturation. Additionally, the coordinator can track the location of any inbound backup. It’s this type of situational awareness that has had fires, deaths, injuries, and dollar loss all trending down in the Unites States for more than a decade, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
At Apprenda, we focus on a piece of these solutions that is not immediately present during an emergency situation. Yet our customers, some of whom do produce software and services in critical life-saving fields, are very present. We work with development teams closely to understand the needs of their particular solution – real time communication, data analytics, rapid predictive scaling, etc., then we help them map those needs to application architecture best practices.
They find value in leveraging our Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities for some of these approaches, including building massively scalable web services or incorporating multi-tenancy into their app which makes it far easier to bring to market (read: impact more lives faster.)
An example that comes to mind is a blog post I wrote about how to take a single tenant app and make it multi-tenant by running it on Apprenda. The sample uses SignalR, so the subject matter is relevant when we’re talking about instantaneous, isolated, and secure communications.
One company that has leveraged Apprenda as the underpinnings of their SaaS-based first responder notification and coordination offering is Swissphone. Swissphone’s solution lets first responders and their planners see in real time who is responding to an emergency. This information answers valuable questions such as “do we have enough responders?” and “how long until first response?” Over time, this allows customers to operate more efficiently and increase the likelihood of successfully saving lives.
“Apprenda provided the foundation needed to deliver our application as a service and continuously innovate, in a highly-scalable, and secure way,” Swissphone CEO Angelo Saccoccia said.