Wearables were a big topic at Dreamforce ‘14, the annual Salesforce.com conference, with a keynote and several sessions each day devoted to the topic. It’s clear that enterprises are starting to understand the huge impact this technology will have. Accenture was front and center in the conversation, hosting a session dedicated to discussing The Power of Wearables in the Workplace where I joined Peter Coffee on stage.
Our main message to enterprises? Wearables are taking data to places it’s never been before.
Up to now, millions of deskless workers have been underserved by the mobility wave. Deskless workers, which number at least 75 million in the US alone, are those who need access to data while using their hands—think nurses, warehouse workers, delivery drivers, service technicians, welders, automotive repair workers, welders, construction workers and more.
Even the workers who use smartphones or tablets still need to stop what they are doing to check a message or look up information. Wearables are changing that. With smartglasses or smartwatches, data can be fully integrated into these workers’ job, making them truly mobile. (For more information, see our point of view “Putting Wearable Displays to Work in the Enterprise.”)
In a separate healthcare keynote presentation, Accenture further validated this theme with a live demonstration of a Salesforce Wear app. The demo, which takes Salesforce data to new places, is designed to show how wearables can benefit hospitals in multiple non-life saving ways beyond the surgery room. For example:
Patients equipped with smartwatches could more easily communicate specific needs, such as a request for water or more blankets, to the nurses’ station and get a quicker response. Nurses would have the context to bring what a patient requests the first time.
Nurses wearing smartwatches could more easily monitor a number of assigned patients while helping a specific one. If the heart rate of a patient in room #34 spikes, they could be instantly notified. Nurses could also receive status updates on patients needing to be prepped for or returning from surgery.
As a result of a nurse’s ability to quickly update a patient’s status, caregivers could get instant notifications on their smartphone that their loved-one was out of surgery.
Hospital administrators could use data collated from smartwatches to improve operational efficiency, such as turning rooms over more quickly after patients are discharged.
In light of the Ebola scare, it is possible smartwatches could even help track which healthcare providers come into contact with incoming patients to focus care efforts and help minimize the transfer of infectious diseases.
In addition to wearables prototypes in healthcare, Accenture is working on others across the retail, oil and gas and automotive industries.
Are you ready to put wearables to work in your enterprise? Contact me at email@example.com to start the conversation and schedule a workshop.