Of all the tech trends taking place at the moment, the biggest perhaps is the IoT or the Internet of Things. It’s the one that will provide the most disruption and the most opportunity over the next years. The IoT thing is huge, tremendous, impacting all industry verticals, and the healthcare industry is no exception.
Internet Of Things, Bringing Everything Together
Everything, from people, data, process and things is drawn together by the internet of everything to make networked connections more valuable and relevant more than ever, before turning information to actions, which create richer experiences, new capabilities and unprecedented economic opportunity for organizations, individuals and even countries.
Put simply, the IoT and the internet of things devices describe a world wherein billions of projects have sensors that detect measure as well as assess their status. All of them connected over private or public networks that use standard and proprietary protocols.
By 2020, it’s estimated that there would be 21 billion connected devices in the world. More than 3.9 billion connected devices were in use all over the world in 2016. It seems like the internet of things devices are here to stay and the services of IoT companies would be more in demand. Back in 2015, there approximately were 4.9 million things connected to the internet. This number went from millions to billions in just a year.
IoT, Sparking Constant Change In Healthcare Information Technology
HIT, or Health information technology is IT applied to health and healthcare. The technology supports management of health information across computerized systems as well as the secure exchange of health information between providers, consumers, payers and quality monitors. The internet of everything is a network of day-to-day objects embedded with actuators, sensors and connectivity, enabling them to send and receive data.
The IoT technology gained relevance with huge scope of apps in different fields, including education, utilities and many more. The adoption of the advanced technology in the healthcare industry is one of the fastest among other industries.
The continuous advancement of the internet of things tech, like the Health Management Information Systems is expected to further expand the scope of connected technologies in the industry. The ballooning demand of different IoT-based devices, including smartwatches and fitness bands indicate a high penetration of connectivity technologies in the sector and thus the demand for more IoT companies.
At present, the IoT in the Healthcare market in North America is estimated to account for a major share in revenue in the worldwide market, owing to the early adoption of IoT tech and internet of things devices by end-use industries as well as the presence of key players in countries in the region.
The Asia Pacific market is forecasted to register fastest growth when it comes to revenue, owing to the swelling number of hospitals and surgical centers, and the mounting demand for cloud-based solutions from the different industry verticals, including the healthcare field.
Exciting Use Cases Of The Internet Of Everything In Healthcare
The rise of the IoT results to some exciting advancements in the 21st century and of course the demand and profitability of IoT companies. Although often associated with warehousing, manufacturing and smart factories of the future, IoT is not constrained only to these niches. It has brought about considerable developments in the medical and healthcare sectors as well. Check out the exciting use cases of the internet of everything in the field.
- Reducing emergency room wait. Not a lot of things are as boring and dull as a visit to the emergency room. Aside from medical expenses, visits to the emergency room could at times take hours. Thanks to some of the recent ingenuity and the internet of things, one hospital, the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York slashed wait times effectively for 50 percent of emergency room patients in need of inpatient care. This is due to the GE Healthcare partnership and the new AutoBed, an IoT-driven software that tracks occupancy among 1,200 unites and factors in 15 various metrics to assess individual patient needs.
- Ensuring accessibility and availability of critical hardware. Modern hospitals need a next-generation software and hardware to function. Some even are used to sustain or save human life. The same as all electronic devices, the equipment is prone to several risks, from system failures to power outage, which could be a matter of life or death. The e-Alert IoT-driven solution by Philips aims to solve this. Rather than waiting for a device to fail, the new system takes a proactive approach through virtual monitoring of medical hardware, alerting hospital staff if there is a problem.
- Remote health and monitoring. Patients in some instances don’t even have to visit a hospital or an emergency room. One of the most obvious and popular healthcare apps and the internet of things is in remote heath monitoring, or known sometimes as telehealth. It does not only minimize expenses and eliminate the need for visitations, but also helps boost the quality of living of a patients by sparing them travel inconvenience.
- Improved drug management. One of the most exciting breakthroughs about healthcare and the internet of things come in new prescription medication forms. It seems a work of science fiction, but pills that contain microscopic sensors the size of a rice or grain could send signal to an external device, a patch worn to the body usually, to ensure proper usage and dosage.
- Tracking patients, staff and inventory. The utmost concern of any medical facility or hospital is safety. It’s difficult to maintain maximum amount of security without the ability of tracking assets, patients, members of the staff and hardware throughout the building. It’s a task that’s achieved easily in smaller institutions, but not on bigger ones. Many are turning to IoT and real-time location systems to facilitate asset tracking. It’s not only an affordable monitoring method in a hospital setting, but also effective, unobtrusive and cutting-edge.
- Addressing chronic illness. Health issues that are recurring are never exciting, but huge breakthroughs are made in the treatment of such concerns, and much of it is the direct result of the internet of things. There is no one device or innovation that helps treat chronic diseases in the 21st century. It’s a combination of next-gen analytics, wearable tech and mobile connectivity.
It’s amazing how quickly and effectively the internet of things has taken the world by storm. With the growing demand for the technology in all industry verticals, the number of connected devices will only grow bigger, including the healthcare industry.