When I think about the things that held the planet together in 2020, it was digital experiences delivered over wireless connectivity that made remote things local.
While heroes like doctors, nurses, first responders, teachers, and other essential personnel bore the brunt of the COVID-19 response, billions of people around the world found themselves cut off from society. In order to keep people safe, we were physically isolated from each other. Far beyond the six feet of social distancing, most of humanity weathered the storm from their homes.
And then little by little, old things we took for granted, combined with new things many had never heard of, pulled the world together. Let’s take a look at the technologies and trends that made the biggest impact in 2020 and where they’re headed in 2021:
The global Internet infrastructure from which everything else is built is an undeniable hero of the pandemic. This highly-distributed network designed to withstand a nuclear attack performed admirably as usage by people, machines, critical infrastructure, hospitals, and businesses skyrocketed. Like the air we breathe, this primary facilitator of connected, digital experiences is indispensable to our modern society. Unfortunately, the Internet is also home to a growing cyberwar and security will be the biggest concern as we move into 2021 and beyond. It goes without saying that the Internet is one of the world’s most critical utilities along with water, electricity, and the farm-to-table supply chain of food.
People are mobile and they stay connected through their smartphones, tablets, in cars and airplanes, on laptops, and other devices. Just like the Internet, the cellular infrastructure has remained exceptionally resilient to enable communications and digital experiences delivered via native apps and the web. Indoor wireless connectivity continues to be dominated by WiFi at home and all those empty offices. Moving into 2021, the continued rollout of 5G around the world will give cellular endpoints dramatic increases in data capacity and WiFi-like speeds. Additionally, private 5G networks will challenge WiFi as a formidable indoor option, but WiFi 6E with increased capacity and speed won’t give up without a fight. All of these developments are good for consumers who need to stay connected from anywhere like never before.
With many people stuck at home in 2020, web conferencing technology took the place of traveling to other locations to meet people or receive education. This technology isn’t new and includes familiar players like GoToMeeting, Skype, WebEx, Google Hangouts/Meet, BlueJeans, FaceTime, and others. Before COVID, these platforms enjoyed success, but most people preferred to fly on airplanes to meet customers and attend conferences while students hopped on the bus to go to school. In 2020, “necessity is the mother of invention” took hold and the use of Zoom and Teams skyrocketed as airplanes sat on the ground while business offices and schools remained empty. These two platforms further increased their stickiness by increasing the number of visible people and adding features like breakout rooms to meet the demands of businesses, virtual conference organizers, and school teachers. Despite the rollout of the vaccine, COVID won’t be extinguished overnight and these platforms will remain strong through the first half of 2021 as organizations rethink where and when people work and learn. There’s way too many players in this space so look for some consolidation.
“Stay at home” orders and closed businesses gave e-commerce platforms a dramatic boost in 2020 as they took the place of shopping at stores or going to malls. Amazon soared to even higher heights, Walmart upped their game, Etsy brought the artsy, and thousands of Shopify sites delivered the goods. Speaking of delivery, the empty city streets became home to fleets FedEx, Amazon, UPS, and DHL trucks bringing packages to your front doorstep. Many retail employees traded-in working at customer-facing stores for working in a distribution centers as long as they could outperform robots. Even though people are looking forward to hanging out at malls in 2021, the e-commerce, distribution center, delivery truck trinity is here to stay. This ball was already in motion and got a rocket boost from COVID. This market will stay hot in the first half of 2021 and then cool a bit in the second half.
The COVID pandemic really took a toll on restaurants in the 2020, with many of them going out of business permanently. Those that survived had to pivot to digital and other ways of doing business. High-end steakhouses started making burgers on grills in the parking lot, while takeout pizzerias discovered they finally had the best business model. Having a drive-thru lane was definitely one of the keys to success in a world without waiters, busboys, and hosts. “Front of house” was shut down, but the “back of house” still had a pulse. Adding mobile web and native apps that allowed customers to easily order from operating “ghost kitchens” and pay with credit cards or Apple/Google/Samsung Pay enabled many restaurants to survive. A combination of curbside pickup and delivery from the likes of DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Instacart and Grubhub made this business model work. A surge in digital marketing also took place where many restaurants learned the importance of maintaining a relationship with their loyal customers via connected mobile devices. For the most part, 2021 has restauranteurs hoping for 100% in-person dining, but a new business model that looks a lot like catering + digital + physical delivery is something that has legs.
The Internet of Things
At its very essence, IoT is all about remotely knowing the state of a device or environmental system along with being able to remotely control some of those machines. COVID forced people to work, learn, and meet remotely and this same trend applied to the industrial world. The need to remotely operate industrial equipment or an entire “lights out” factory became an urgent imperative in order to keep workers safe. This is yet another case where the pandemic dramatically accelerated digital transformation. Connecting everything via APIs, modeling entities as digital twins, and having software bots bring everything to life with analytics has become an ROI game-changer for companies trying to survive in a free-falling economy. Despite massive employee layoffs and furloughs, jobs and tasks still have to be accomplished, and business leaders will look to IoT-fueled automation to keep their companies running and drive economic gains in 2021.
Closed movie theaters, football stadiums, bowling alleys, and other sources of entertainment left most people sitting at home watching TV in 2020. This turned into a dream come true for streaming entertainment companies like Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Youtube TV, and others. That said, Quibi and Facebook Watch didn’t make it. The idea of binge-watching shows during the weekend turned into binge-watching every season of every show almost every day. Delivering all these streams over the Internet via apps has made it easy to get hooked. Multiplayer video games fall in this category as well and represent an even larger market than the film industry. Gamers socially distanced as they played each other from their locked-down homes. The rise of cloud gaming combined with the rollout of low-latency 5G and Edge computing will give gamers true mobility in 2021. On the other hand, the video streaming market has too many players and looks ripe for consolidation in 2021 as people escape the living room once the vaccine is broadly deployed.
With doctors and nurses working around the clock as hospitals and clinics were stretched to the limit, it became increasingly difficult for non-COVID patients to receive the healthcare they needed. This unfortunate situation gave tele-medicine the shot in the arm (no pun intended) it needed. The combination of healthcare professionals delivering healthcare digitally over widespread connectivity helped those in need. This was especially important in rural areas that lacked the healthcare capacity of cities. Concurrently, the Internet of Things is making deeper inroads into delivering the health of a person to healthcare professionals via wearable technology. Connected healthcare has a bright future that will accelerate in 2021 as high-bandwidth 5G provides coverage to more of the population to facilitate virtual visits to the doctor from anywhere.
Working and Living
As companies and governments told their employees to work from home, it gave people time to rethink their living and working situation. Lots of people living in previously hip, urban, high-rise buildings found themselves residing in not-so-cool, hollowed-out ghost towns comprised of boarded-up windows and closed bars and cafés. Others began to question why they were living in areas with expensive real estate and high taxes when they not longer had to be close to the office. This led to a 2020 COVID exodus out of pricey apartments/condos downtown to cheaper homes in distant suburbs as well as the move from pricey areas like Silicon Valley to cheaper destinations like Texas. Since you were stuck in your home, having a larger house with a home office, fast broadband, and a back yard became the most important thing. Looking ahead to 2021, a hybrid model of work-from-home plus occasionally going into the office is here to stay as employees will no longer tolerate sitting in traffic two hours a day just to sit in a cubicle in a skyscraper. The digital transformation of how and where we work has truly accelerated.
Data and Advanced Analytics
Data has shown itself to be one of the world’s most important assets during the time of COVID. Petabytes of data has continuously streamed-in from all over the world letting us know the number of cases, the growth or decline of infections, hospitalizations, contact-tracing, free ICU beds, temperature checks, deaths, and hotspots of infection. Some of this data has been reported manually while lots of other sources are fully automated from machines. Capturing, storing, organizing, modeling and analyzing this big data has elevated the importance of cloud and edge computing, global-scale databases, advanced analytics software, and the growing importance of machine learning. This is a trend that was already taking place in business and now has a giant spotlight on it due to its global importance. There’s no stopping the data + advanced analytics juggernaut in 2021 and beyond.
2020 was one of the worst years in human history and the loss of life was just heartbreaking. People, businesses, and our education system had to become resourceful to survive. This resourcefulness amplified the importance of delivering connected, digital experiences to make previously remote things into local ones. Cheers to 2021 and the hope for a brighter day for all of humanity.
A network of physical objects interconnected through computing devices like machine appliances, digital devices, objects, vehicles and uses APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and sensors to exchange data and connect with the internet is known as IoT or Internet of Things.
IoT platform connects the virtual and the real worlds. It helps the companies in managing IoT devices, connectivity, security, linking devices to back end system, collecting device data, building & running IoT apps as well as ensuring IoT interoperability.
According to a survey, approx. 75 billion devices will be IoT enabled by the end of the year 2025.
Also, in the coming 5-6 years, the world will witness an investment of near $ 6 trillion on IoT out of which at least $ 3 trillion is expected to be invested in the health care industry for IoT.
And why not? The experts are also of the same viewpoint that by the end of the year 2020, approx. 90 % of the health care industry will adopt IoT. Generally speaking, IoT has already made its way to the homes of general people through Google, Amazon, Alexa, etc.
Almost all the IoT enabled devices to have:
- A device or a sensor;
- Data processing unit;
- A connecting unit;
- User interface.
Challenges Faced By The Health Care Industry
The health care industry faces constant challenges. No compromise is entertained when it comes to health.
The number of deaths occurred due to delay in treatment or delay in the ambulance approaches, in the prevalence of road jam are recurring and very common.
However, these untimely deaths can be prevented by enabling IoT in house treatment in the health care industry.
The devices that are capable of monitoring heart rate sleep cycle, energy expenditure can be helpful in the timely detection of the problems arising in the human body.
In other cases, the risk of infection post-surgery is a real threat to the life of the patient, and the result can be anything from a prolonged hospitalization to even death.
The other problems faced by the health care industry are health monitoring, timely detection of health problems, tiresome diagnostic techniques, inappropriate ambiance, inaccurate measurements, human error, etc.
Although health care is relatively slow as compared to financial or other industries in the incorporation of IoT devices, 40 % of health care is already using IoT.
The slow growth is due to the following reason:
- The methods of health care go through rigorous tests.
- Security in health care is still a significant concern for the devices that are enabled with IoT.
Even the hurdle remains, yet the speed and connected health care are growing each day progressively.
Health care service providers need to innovate and plan for digital transformation and reach in those areas where there are not enough health care systems and professionals.
The industry needs a reliable communication network partner to provide mobile and cloud connectivity. IoT App Development Company should take care of this issue.
Now the question arises as to how IoT Is Transforming the Health care Industry? Following are attributes and contribution in the health care industry:
In the coming years, IoT devices such as Coagulation testing and Activity trackers will adopt the world of connected things with a common platform from handheld devices to medical equipment as well as health records. The capability of IoT is inexhaustible for these devices.
The potential to efficiently manage the health of the patient as well as monitor and track the problems is saving valuable seconds of the life of a patient, without having to visit the hospital.
With the help of IoT, the health experts can give a distant and remote diagnosis to the patient. Also, they can track medical assets that provide quality care instantly and manages health care efficiently.
With the help of Wi-Fi and sensors, the ability to locate the correct section in a hospital has become easy for patients as well as health experts.
Almost all the health experts who have already adopted the IoT enabled services do believe in the crucial benefits of it.
They think that the benefits will be to control and monitor sensors and medical devices from a patient’s heart monitor to his or her temperature gauges; the real-time data exist in health care.
Further, patients and staff can securely manage IoT data by creating an effective as well as a safer environment through a standard application on mobile devices.
Continuous collaboration amongst health experts and patients is imperative for health care organizations. By providing access to non-core data and applications to them whenever they need, will boost up the productivity level and will help in enhancing efficiency.
When it comes to diagnostic accuracy, WCE short for Wireless Capsule Endoscopy comes into the picture.
The process involves the patient to swallow a small capsule camera that can record the patient’s internal organs.
It has the potential to capture specific parts of the gastrointestinal tract that are not visible otherwise through diagnostic procedures.
Also, it can detect bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, which is not possible through traditional methods.
Maintenance of Cordial and Healthy Relationships
The health experts have to take special care to manage the risk by protecting the record of patients and other crucial data against external exploitations.
This refers to ensuring the service continuity and no disruption in the event of a breach of trust. Many experts are saying that you can combine IoT with Android & iOS apps as well.
It will help you to reach out to more and more people and also make use of this wonderful trending technology.
A Flourishing Transformation
Hence, IoT is indeed a boon not only for health care but almost every industry that is capable of enabling its services through IoT.
Its current pace of growth in health care is hopefully best for this domain. IoT health care means an efficient and more accessible patient care experience.
It allows staff to do their work in a better way, and this is the reason why 80 % of health care experts forecast that IoT is going to transform the industry in a better way.
With global network connectivity and infrastructure, it is high time for other health care providers to adapt and offer IoT enabled services to the patients nationally as well as internationally.
We have now entered an era with a new virtual revolution, particularly, the Internet of things (IoT). The virtual revolution marks the starting of information age. We use the Internet almost every day. The net has turned out to be one of established ways for us to work together, to share our lives with others, to shop, to teach, to research, and to learn. However the next wave of the Internet isn't about people. it's far about things, honestly?
All about IoT
IoT is defined as the network of physical objects that can be accessed through the Internet. These objects contain embedded various technology to interact with internal states or the external environment.
IoT is characterized as "the figuring frameworks of sensors and actuators associated by systems, where the processing frameworks can screen or deal with the status and actions of connected objects and machines, and the connected sensors can likewise screen the characteristic world, individuals, and creatures." The center of IoT is not just about interfacing things to the Internet. It is about how to generate and use the big data from the things to make new values for individuals, and about how we empower new trades of significant worth between them. In other words, when objects can sense and communicate, IoT has its knowledge to change how and where choices are made, and who makes them, and to pick up a superior esteem, solution or service.
Fundamental to the estimation of IoT is in actuality the Internet of smart things (smart IoT). Supported by intelligent optimization, smart IoT can increase productivity of work and enhance quality of lives for people. Let us take “cities” — the engines of global economic growth — as an example. Smart cities have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of everyone. In intelligent transportation systems (ITS), smart IoT can not only monitor the status of the transportation, but also optimize traffic signal controls to solve traffic congestion and provide the travelers with better routes and appropriate transportation information, etc. Combining IoT and machine learning (ML) can also make our roads safer. Profits by smart IoT have been shown also in health-care, logistics, environment, smart home, in the aspects of better quality, energy conservation, efficiency increase, and so on.
Smart IoT remains in its infancy now in terms of the technology development and the effect on our global economy system and our daily lives. Maximum IoT statistics aren't used presently within the era of big data. Maximum IoT has no intelligence inside the generation of artificial intelligence (AI). IoT which might be used these days are on the whole for anomaly detection and control, as opposed to optimization and prediction. Given the brilliant anticipated increase of the Internet over the following 10 years, it is considered one of vital challenges and possibilities for us to invent and practice in real-global programs on a way to make the IoT smarter to generate the greatest value.
This resource is part of a series of specific topics related to the Internet of Things. To keep receiving these articles, sign up on IoT Central.
Guest post by Vinay Solanki
Application of "IoT", the latest buzz word as many would like to call it, are numerous and have been covered under the topics below. If you would like to go through - IoT for smart villages, IoT for managing road accidents, IoT in retail sector, IoT for smart home, use case for smart clothes and what IoT really means to a layman.
Health industry is one the largest in any country both in terms of the required reach to the masses and in terms of per capita budget. Human being save money to live comfortably, to get their child married, to buy a house and last but not the least to pay for medical bills. As per the latest reports on USA health stats only 21 out of 100 people (< 65 age) have medical coverage. But the spend on prescription drugs is rapidly increasing from 2004 ($192 B) to 2014 ($297) however maximum of this spend is funded by private savings. Scenario is not much different in other developed countries.
On the other end if we look at developing countries like India, then as per WHO the top 10 reason of deaths in India includes hearth diseases, obstructive pulmonary, stroke and so on.
Other emerging and under developed nations will have similar stats or even worse. So why do I think IoT based solutions can improve these stats in a positive way? Let's see some of the health and medical related IoT apps, devices, solutions and monitoring systems that can have a cost effective impact on these issues. Additionally I think if Government increase its spend on R&D it can immensely help to make the solutions more scalable and deployable.
Proactive Health Solutions: Yolo Health ATM is an integrated health screening kiosk with integrated medical devices such as Glucometer, BP monitor, BMI calculator, etc, and also staffed by a medical attendant. This can be next generation kiosk that will help people, short on time, to be more proactive about their health. This also holds potential to be deployed in rural areas where primary healthcare penetration is limited. Wearables such as FitBit, Apple Watch and various health bands are not new to us and they help a great deal in tracking your activities in real time.
Remote Patient Monitoring: Healthcare providers and family members always wish to monitor the health of the patient in real time. Pre and Post operative measures are taken to monitor patients health and IoT can enable solution that can allow to achieve this more efficiently and economically. Real time information, published through cloud, will help caregivers to make informed decisions and diagnosis, which are more evidence based. In the current world it is a mixture of symptoms, patients reactions and doctors gut feel which sometimes leads to trial and error diagnosis. IoT can provide real time data and more accurate information at the right time, which can revolutionize the healthcare market. This will also help in preventive disease management, reduced health care cost, enhanced patient experience, reduced errors and shorter recovery cycle.
Drugs Management: From the point of improving process on the manufacturing and R&D facilities using sensor based proactive maintenance systems and real time information feeding pipes to improving the tracking of drugs from the point of distribution to the point of purchase - IoT has a big role to play. While I won't go deep as they are not directly healthcare related but I would like to mention - supply chain management, fleet management, asset tracking, temperature and humidity monitoring and inventory management are all the categories of solutions that can help in this area.
Forbes article talks about partnership between Qualcomm and Philips to focus on creating healthcare IoT solutions such as connected dispensers for medicines, biological sensors, self care glucose meters for diabetics to an integrated cloud system for health record monitoring. Connected Medical Equipment which can transmit the data captured through sensors and of course from the patient directly onto the cloud for transparency and monitoring purpose as described here is a very handy use case for IoT.
Personal Health Data Security: However the concern many of us is security and safety of that sensitive private data about my health to be lost, hacked, misused by anyone. What if the data is captured and used for targeting ads at me? I think this is fine because it will only SPAM my life but not endanger it. Healthcare IoT Security Risk is a worth short article to read. LinkLabs also talks some of these use cases and concerns nicely.
#IoT, #M2M, #Healthcare, #Medicine, #Wearable, #Remote Patient Monitoring
This article originally appeared here.
IOT enables physical world objects like appliances, smartphones, cars and various machines to connect to the internet and will usher an era of machine-to-machine communications (M2M) devices that will interact with humans.
IoT offers advanced connectivity of smart devices and systems that empower users to perform the tasks in an automated fashion than manual intervention.
IOT & Health Care
The Transformation of the health care industry has begun. Patients will be able to leverage the continuously increasing information about healthcare & medical and they are combining it with their real-time data which includes genetics, lifestyle, behavior and environment data.
The mobile app based healthcare transformation was begun with fitness apps that measure your daily workouts and provides calorie burning charts and other stats which millions of users has downloaded from app store.
Healthcare apps got a huge boost when Apple release its Healthkit framework for developers and that really started a new trend of building innovative apps and solutions in healthcare by current generation developers & entrepreneurs.
Healthcare domain is a very different playfield compare to other domains because of its technicalities, a large amount of complex data structures, data privacy, and other compliance factors. Due to such factors, healthcare domain was earlier dominated by EHR and PHR companies like Cerner, Epic Systems, AllScripts, NextGen Healthcare and few more however with the rise of IoT, the scenario has started shifting towards the innovative solutions that are tied to mobile technology.
#IoT has enabled the current generation hospitals to have smart beds which can sense whether the patient is laying on the bed or not, it also senses when the patient gets up from his bed and collects all the data.
Home Medical dispensers can be equipped with the system which sends the data to the cloud when the medication doesn’t take place with the help of IoT.
Various devices gather data and sharing it with healthcare staff for improved efficiency and patient care. Such examples can include ECG monitors, Glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, clothes with sensing devices and more!
Some of the useful use cases of IoT in healthcare are,
- Data from devices, including hospital room sensors, lab equipment, employee wearable and patient monitoring devices will enable the industry to accelerate the transformation to digital.
- Devices for measuring patient pulse rate, blood pressure, blood sugar are already started its footprints in the market. Hire Mobile Developer team is expecting that such devices will eventually evolve and it will help patients from many undesired health diseases with its sharp analysis of historical data in the next 2 to 3 years of time.
- Remote patient monitoring will automatically feed patient records with real-time data, perform analysis and send coaching notifications to both providers and patients which make healthcare convenient for 24/7 that will be web enabled and personalized.
- With the help of #IoT in healthcare, we can have more advanced and faster devices useful in health care which are more accurate and can transmit health records faster.
- Researchers, business execs, doctors and IT professionals will collaborate to provide better overall care to patients. Vendors will increase their focus on integrating platforms, applications and data.
- Hospitals can develop long-term strategies to leverage sensors and wearable throughout their operations in order to build a real-time sense-and-respond intelligent operation that cuts costs and improves patient experiences and outcomes. Researchers, nurses and doctors will spend less time doing administrative work and more time with patients.
- We have already passed the fitness tracker app era and we are moving towards the new trend of health tracker apps. Health tracker apps will be the next big thing as per our assumption in the next 3 years of time.
- The apps that will help patients to improve their quality of life will become one of the most popular apps in the developed and developing countries equally.
- Besides this it results in decreased costs, improved outcomes of treatment, improved disease management, reduce errors, enhanced patient experience, enhanced management of drugs.
Challenges of IOT in Healthcare
- Need immense Analysis – the product need to be meaningful, scalable and easy to use.
- Data Privacy – Concerns may arise for the privacy of the data which needs to be taken care so the system is absolutely fool proof.
- The two patients with the same disease may have different level of sensitivity so providing the best result for both the patient for any app is a challenge. This needs very well crafted apps can deal with the complexities of human body as well as the medical world together.
- IoT is still new so there are many healthcare device manufacturers are not yet ready to build smart devices and still relying on their age old manufacturing practices. They need to open up their hardware for the app developers!
If you have an idea or you are in a healthcare domain then feel free to get in touch with me and let me share our expertise with you to build your next gen IoT & Mobile based healthcare app!
Hire Mobile Developer (CrossShore Solutions Subsidiary Company) has provided its mobile expertise to some of the well known companies and helped them to expand their enterprise level EHR and PHR to bring on mobile and tablets for providers and patients.
I firmly believe that IoT & Mobile App combination holds the potential to transform the healthcare industry so that the current pain points can be eliminated efficiently.
Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Please feel free to share this post.
Unlike other industries, healthcare has been relatively conservative and slow in embracing innovations like cloud computing and the IoT, but that is starting to change, especially if we think about the past years. Innovative tech products and services are more and more part of our daily lives, making it harder for healthcare providers to ignore the potential advantages of connected medical devices.
Moreover, a new term is used more and more to describe this amazing connection between the Internet of Things and healthcare, and that is the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). IoMT is the collection of medical devices and applications that connect to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. Medical devices equipped with Wi-Fi allow the machine-to-machine communication, thus developing the basis of IoMT.
At the same time, healthcare companies are renewing their operative models through digital health technologies and are focusing more on prevention, personalization, consumer engagement and improved patient outcomes to remain competitive. Here are some great examples:
- An asthma inhaler with a built-in GPS-sensor – Propeller Health has released an FDA-approved asthma inhaler with a GPS-sensor. Basically, a tracking device is placed into an asthma inhaler, providing support and helping reduce the cost for health systems and thus for patients. Every time the inhaler is used, time and location are being saved, the GPS-data recorded and imported into a personal profile. This allows for tracking of the time and location of the use of the inhaler, allowing a user to even avoid those areas which may prompt his/her asthma attacks.
- New system for optimizing workflows in hospitals – In cooperation with Microsoft andHealthcast, The Henry Mayo Newhall hospital in Valencia, California implemented a smart system which provides the doctors with access to a wide range of data: from patient files to test results, prescriptions and much more. This was achieved by connecting 175 hospital devices, as well as the personal devices of the doctors, to the available computing offices and systems. Thanks to the new system, the doctors have secure access to examine laboratory tests, to write prescriptions, or to view the patient files at any time. As a result, the time for registration was reduced by 95% – from two minutes to six seconds.
- Digital contact lenses for diabetics – The contact lenses were jointly developed by Google and the Swiss health care group Novartis, and will help diabetics to measure their levels of blood sugar through tear liquid and to transfer it to a glucose monitor or a smart device like a mobile phone.
- Smart monitoring of medication – Vitality has been one of the pioneers in the medication area, developing a new system called GlowCap. Those drug containers use light and sounds to signal the patient when the time to take the medicine has come. They also remind the patient automatically through a call. Moreover, every week a report is being sent to customers, with information about how they should be taking their medication.
To drive adoption of IoMT systems and to achieve more end-to-end solutions, hospital administrators, vendors and manufacturers must cooperate to lead healthcare through this important change. The impact is clearly visible, as companies are developing a collaborative culture in embracing digital technology, and the next five to 10 years will be essential as they manage the data from patients and incorporate this into the physician’s workflow.
Photo source: freedigitalphotos.net
There is one word that describes the direction that the health care industry is heading, “connectivity”. This catch all term is used to describe using the internet to increase the reach of medicine. This is also known as the internet of things (IOT) and it is nothing new. It is however relatively new to healthcare.
The goal of connected healthcare is to empower both the providers and patients. Using connectivity, a provider can make use of remote patient monitoring, and consultations without the need to be face to face. This may seem like a moot point to some, but it would enable doctors to reach patients that they have never been able to before. Connected healthcare would also allow things like our cell phones and tablets to send real time medical information to our healthcare providers.
Taking it a step further the aim is going to involve using medical data in news ways. Rather than your medical file sitting unused in a cabinet somewhere the aim of connected healthcare is to compile the data in a way that lets your healthcare provider identify areas in which your day to day life may need improvement. Using this data, you and your provider would then be able to create novel solutions to the issue.
The question still remains though, why is connected healthcare becoming vital? We just explained what it is and some of the benefits but where is the “need”?
It is quite simple; out healthcare network would resemble that of a spider web if we connected all of the facilities with string. You have your imaging done at the hospital, your bloodwork done at a lab and your general check-ups done at your doctor’s office. Then there are outpatient procedures, specialists and countless pharmacies. In days past the only thing that connected these medical facilities were phone and fax (or you transporting your paperwork), which was in no way ideal. The margin for error was simply too great. What’s more it could take days for results of testing or procedures to make it where they needed to go.
What connected healthcare is allowing us to do is use the internet to digitally transmit records, prescriptions, files and test results almost instantaneously. For some this may not seem necessary, the fact is however that our providers are dealing with more and more patients every single day. One example of this would be the fact that the workload of a medical secretary has nearly doubled in the last decade, and where more volume is added the risk of mistakes also increases. Using a digital method for transport will eliminate a lot of the potential for human error within our healthcare network.
That is truly only the start though. Using connected healthcare doctors, specialists, surgeons, imaging techs and pharmacists can all have access to the most up to date and accurate information about their patients. Undoubtedly this will come to benefit us all in ways we cannot even imagine.
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