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Author's profile photo Tim Clark

The ‘Uberfication’ of Healthcare

Thanks in large part to The Internet of Things (IoT), the world has become connected like never before. And while being more connected on a global scale generates tremendous benefits across a variety of industries, there’s also a much more personal side to gleaning the benefits of IoT.

/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/uber_1046446.jpgTake healthcare, for instance where intelligent apps, wearables and other personal devices mean patients can now measure vital signs and send that information remotely to their healthcare professionals.

This “uberfication” of healthcare is a strong indication that smart apps and devices are scaling to a point where we can see changes in everyday life, according to Stephanie Huber, Manager, Deloitte Consulting.

“Every single day new innovations are created,” said Huber. “Things that were impossible in recent history are now doable.”

Huber joined other healthcare and technology experts during a recent Coffee Break with Game-Changers Radio broadcast to discuss “Healthcare and the IoT: Live-saving Gets Smart.”

Affordable and scalable

Most people think of smart cities, smart warehouses and very sophisticated enterprise technology solutions when it comes to IoT. But now that similar capabilities are becoming more Uber-like, the cost and availability are no longer a problem. The Raspberry Pi, for instance, a credit card size computer you can configure with many devices, costs about $40.

The healthcare industry is taking advantage of this proliferation, and is now able to make better decisions and provide more targeted care for their patients.

“Think in terms of guided healthcare versus a quarterly review that’s outdated,” said Huber. “As we get more and more information for one specific human being, all of their genomic data could be almost a terabyte of data. So if we’re talking from a global standpoint aggregating all of this…it’s massive.”

Due to its affordability and flexibility, remote communities can also benefit from the Uberfication of healthcare. Adding a cloud component means doctors in developed countries, who are volunteering their time, could conduct high-level diagnostics from the comfort of their hospitals or their houses and guide patients in the right direction.

“It’s an inexpensive proposition and if we all add our two cents, we can make great things,” said Guillermo Vasquez, Senior Manager, Deloitte.

Pharma and personalized medicine

Genomic research has come a long way and now companies like VeritasGenetics can sequence your entire human genome for about $1,000.

“Combined with what’s happening in development with targeted therapies and personalized medicine, we’re looking at medications in oncology and other chronic diseases that are very specific now by trying to address niche subpopulations and rare diseases,” said Gayatri Gopal, Product Manager in the SAP Connected Health Group.

Gopal said these additional data points collide with fast track efforts and accelerated approvals that regulatory bodies like the FDA often deal with.

“There is a really big need from the FDA as well as the European Medicines Agency to have and provide additional data on the value of such therapy in a real world setting.”

How does it actually benefit patients? Enter sensor-based IoT devices for chronic disease management via the aforementioned remote diagnostics.

“Sensor based devices provide a plethora of real world evidence and a lot of data to mine,” said Gopal. “It’s extremely important to be able to aggregate these different sources of data whether it’s lifestyle data or genomics data, and be able to provide some meaningful insights.”

Listen to this entire Coffee Break with Game-Changers Radio broadcast, hosted by Bonnie D. Graham, right here.

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