3 MIN. READ
Technology and the internet of things (IoT) provide vast opportunities for collecting and using data. The information can be used to gain invaluable insights into improving business processes, patient conditions, and overall health. Using electronic medical records, remote patient-monitoring devices, telehealth, smart devices, wearables, and other connected devices, clinicians are equipped to provide enhanced care and patients can better manage their health. And with healthcare companies spending an estimated $1.1 trillion by 2025 on remote monitoring solutions alone, IoT is poised to further transform the industry.
What is IoT?
IoT is a broad term used to describe a network of technology and devices connected to each other, sharing data. A popular consumer example is the Amazon Echo, which can be integrated with smartphones, watches, and other devices to offer conveniences such as a smart-thermostat capability and easier access to entertainment media. IoT as related to healthcare is technology in which medical devices and sensors are connected by a network, local or cloud-based. The devices share data that can then be processed and analyzed to glean actionable health insights.
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How the IoT is improving healthcare
While IoT provides advancements across diverse industries, it has and will continue to have a powerful impact in healthcare specifically. With the internet of medical things (IoMT) predicted to be adopted by 87% of healthcare organizations this year, the technology is poised to transform the industry in countless ways including:
- Better-informed healthcare providers – Through the use of sensors and smart monitoring systems, doctors can receive continuous up-to-date information about a patient’s condition and provide more personalized care quicker. With contact-free radar technology, many segments of the healthcare pipeline can be improved, from staffing requirements to compliance and overall patient care.
- Cost reductions – With remote monitoring and telehealth opportunities, significant cost reductions of 25% to 35% can be achieved. Further reductions can be made through use of equipment tracking and monitoring to increase efficiency. Resource allocations can also be designated from a more analytical and informed perspective.
- Enhanced patient experience – Through the use of IoT technology such as real-time location systems (RTLS), the patient experience can be dramatically improved. An RTLS could be used to keep family members more informed about the patient’s progress in a procedure. After the procedure, the lag time between a patient being ready for visitors and the family knowing they’re ready can be minimized, leading to happier, healthier patients.
The best IoT platforms offer extensive interoperability; collected data can be shared instantly and access can be gained through a wide variety of other secure devices and platforms. When health information is shared among physicians and health facilities, patients reap the benefits of more efficient and effective care.
The future of the IoT in healthcare
By 2023, it’s estimated that more than two-thirds of medical devices will be sharing information. One of the challenges IoT faces, however, is cutting through the informational noise to glean actionable insights.
Enter the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning as more commonplace in healthcare.
With the computing power of AI, healthcare data can be better used to help doctors with diagnoses and more effective treatments. With targeted analytics, the healthcare industry can be enhanced on all levels, from operations to clinical tasks and the patient experience.
Want to learn how the IoT can enhance your business offerings or healthcare organization? Read Keenly Health’s success story or contact us for a consultation to discuss making the transition to a more connected, user-friendly technology environment.