Let’s be honest, when it comes to our health we all want prompt and personal care. As a patient, we want the cost to be low, and the feeling of empowerment to be prevalent throughout the experience.
Our world is becoming increasingly connected through the development of technology. With these extensive levels of connectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT) is making a significant impact. Specifically, in the healthcare industry.
The connection of things is driving multiple trends and inspiring new practices and workflows featuring efficiency and more precise diagnostic recommendations.
Within healthcare, the IoT represents the frontier, the place where outer limits are being tested and tried in both facility management and patient care.
Let’s Discuss 3 Healthcare based IoT Trends
- Refining patient experiences
- Eliminating cost while focusing on services
- Increased Interest Level of Patients with Meaningful and Timely Health Alerts
Refining Patient Experiences
It is not a secret that healthcare is switching from cost-based service to value-based service. When healthcare facilities implement value-based care programs fully, patients will experience better engagement with their care providers.
With the implementation of IoT patients have the ability to engage with applications and software to analyze their own health data. Smart devices and wearables will assist patients monitoring their process to make sure the effects are proper.
“For example, by using an app installed on their smartphone, patients can create their own optimal healing environment through individual control over their room temperature, lighting and window blinds rather than calling on nurses to perform these basic tasks. In turn, this frees nurses up to spend more time on clinical tasks that will improve patient care.”
– HFM Magazine
Eliminating Cost While Focusing on Services
Healthcare facilities are no stranger to saving money, because every industry is looking for new ways to do more with less. However, operating costs rise while budgets continue to decline. Therefore, healthcare is looking to find new and efficient ways to lower expenses while increasing exceptional patient services.
Moving forward, machine learning will become a primary focus of hospitals and care facilities. Machine learning implementations will begin to collect data on patients, and contribute them to physician’s diagnosis to ensure precision.
As data is collected through the network of things, the machine learning algorithms will analyze endless amounts of variables associated with certain diseases. This analytic data will further assist physicians with diagnosis and proper measures of procedure.
Increased Interest Level of Patients with Meaningful and Timely Health Alerts
Wearables and smart devices dominate our daily lives. From Fitbits to Apple watches, we consistently monitor ourselves and optimize our health data.
In healthcare, plans and providers collect data in real-time by utilizing wearable and implantable devices to monitor patients. “Today, there are 3.7 million medical devices in use that are connected to and monitor various parts of the body to inform healthcare decisions,” according to Forbes.com.
The younger generations have known nothing but a connected world, and rapid accessibility to data. This generation will continue to demand a high level of interaction, better processes and secure interfaces to access their own data. All of which are great things for the healthcare field.
“IoT is all set to gain rapid growth in coming years, 20.8 billion connected things are expected to be in use by 2020 when we compare this with 5 billion connected things in 2015; it is obviously a massive growth,”
-Abhinav Shrivastava, Senior Manager of Emorphis Technologies.
As health and fitness apps get introduced into the world of IoT, the industry witnessed a dramatic increase in the population’s health awareness. This increase in awareness stimulates a more educated population that not only empowers the user to monitor their health closer; but also gives first hand data collections to primary physicians when connected properly.
The data, whether it relates to exercise, sleep, vitals, or other health patterns, can provide organizations with a tremendous amount of actionable data. This high level of monitoring is just the tip of the spear.
These real-time data collections can gain the attention of the primary caregiver when a noticeable issue arises. Thus, the care giver can then contact the individual and take the appropriate steps for correction. These real-time data points will help to predict and hopefully limit serious conditions.
What’s Next for IoT in the Healthcare Industry?
The relationship between the healthcare industry and the IoT is a favorable one. The relationship already has a solid footing, and even established a joint name; the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). The IoMT promotes a connection between medical devices commonly used in healthcare practices and their applications.
The future is highlighted with the implementation of IoMT as individuals will start to see smart hospitals arise with the assistance of predictive medicine and smart wearables applications. The smart hospitals will streamline the customer experience to make the care process more efficient.
With the implementation of smart devices and wearables, doctors or physicians will be able to contact the patient in order to prevent serious issues or to simply remind them about upcoming visits.
According to MarketResearch.com, “The healthcare Internet of Things market is all set to hit $117 billion by 2020.” Currently, about 30% of healthcare is dedicated to portable health monitoring, electronic health record (EHR) keeping and pharmaceutical safeguards.
Other applications featuring the IoT in future healthcare procedures includes sleep monitoring, infant monitoring, brain sensors, and clinical-grade biometric sensors.