Vodafone India’s enterprise arm Vodafone Business Services has partnered with Diabetacare to launch dCare Smart, a device that helps users manage diabetes. The device will use an embedded Vodafone SIM card to connect directly to Diabetacare’s back-end clinical servers for monitoring a patient’s health.
According the Diabetacare, the data is monitored by clinicians at its diabetes management centre to report any abnormal readings. If such a reading is found, the patient and their kin get a call with advice from its centre. The centre will also keep an electronic medical record of the patient’s data. With this partnership, Diabetacare mentions that it will be able to maintain over 10 billion embedded SIM cards on its platform.
As of now, there are various independent SIM providers that offer M2M and embedded SIM cards like Keepgo, OneSimCard, m2msecuritysims, telstra etc. However, this is probably the first tie up between a major telecom operator and a consumer facing IoT company that will let it piggyback on the operator’s network. Note that, this is an exclusive partnership, so Diabetacare’s devices will likely only work with Vodafone SIM cards.
This is also an useful partnership for both the companies, as Diabetacare will benefit from having SIM cards with a worldwide network, while Vodafone gets to expand its network of connected devices. We expect we will see lots of similar mutually beneficial partnerships between telecom operators and IoT startups in the future, as the demand for embedded SIMs in such connected devices will only increase.
Privacy issues of IoT: As the number of IoT devices grow, privacy will increasingly become an issue, as these devices collect, store and/or transmit data from consumers, which could be hacked or used with malicious intent. As Medianama had pointed out earlier, we give our data away online every day – to apps, search engines, social networks, email newsletters and media companies, e-commerce firms, and even if some of them don’t follow guidelines, or keep changing their privacy policies, and this problem will only get worse as IoT devices gain ubiquity.