Recently in the technology & digital world there has been a lot of talk about the “Internet of Things”. The IoT is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to automatically transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. This has evolved from the coming together of wireless technology, modern electronics and of course the internet.
So examples of the internet of things in the real world are a phone connected watch, Google glasses or a fridge that tells you when you are low on milk. The ideas and opportunities are endless, any natural or man-made object, as long as it is assigned with an IP address and has the ability to transfer data over a network becomes a part of the Internet of Things.
Yesterday I went to a press launch by Oral-B at the BDA Conference. Oral-B will be introducing a new electric toothbrush to the market in May 2014. What caught my attention is the fact that it will have Bluetooth built in and will connect to its own app. This means that your tooth brushing can be recorded and even checked by your dentist to make sure you are accessing the correct areas. This recording of data will personalise your brushing routine and will also allow the dental professional to programme their patients’ brushing routines in the app to improve brushing behaviours & techniques. Oral-B claim this will help drive patient compliance, which determines success of a large part of future dental appointments.
So not only will this innovation potentially improve oral health it is also a great example of an everyday appliance working alongside the internet and being an early adopter of the “internet of things”. I believe this could be an exciting development in dentistry and shows plenty of innovation. We look forward to seeing how the app will develop plus also it got us thinking about what will be the next piece of dental technology that improves patient care and improves the daily routine? Any ideas?