The Internet of Things has grown into a highly lucrative industry, with more and more companies investing on the IoT bandwagon. IoT with its full potential can go far beyond homes and offices, we are seeing a really interesting application of IoT in the medical sector.
Before we go any further let’s consider these facts
- Healthcare market is expected to grow globally from $32.47 billion in 2015 to $163.24 billion by 2020.
- Approximately four million patients will use remote patient monitoring technologies by 2020, according to a report from IHS technologies.
- Global laboratory test throughput will increase more than 3.02 billion diagnostic tests with the help of IoT-enabled connectivity within the hospitals.
- Home health technology will increase from 14.2 million in 2014 to 78.5 million by 2020 worldwide.
A recent study conducted on health devices suggests that most of the health device makers target customers who are either fitness hearted or chronically ill. Leaving behind a large section of the population who seek better information to manage their health.
Looking into the future IoT will provide a more cost-efficient healthcare industry that will provide an accurate personalized healthcare. The knowledge base of providers and patients will be ever increasing as patient specific real-time and historical data such as genetics and lifestyle behavior will be available to them on the go.
Medical equipment comes in many diverse forms and degree of complexity. In a network, device connections are used to monitor, configure and control devices. Similarly in a hospital, subject monitoring is of greatest value. IoT devices can help collect vital information about patients such as the vital signs, medication and ventilator monitoring to provide the best care to them.
Connecting hospital devices have various benefits. As nurses spend almost three hours on documentation activities per day. If the devices were able to coordinate and record their own data on hospital’s system, nurses can utilize this time to attend other issues faced by patients.
Upcoming Trends in Healthcare Industry (2016)
People will adapt IoT devices to monitor their own health: The demand for better access to health data will increase. Improved health technology will allow them to manage their healthcare.
IoT devices will transform healthcare industry: With IoT devices such as smart hospital room sensors, patient monitoring devices, patient medication status etc. This transformation will help cut healthcare costs and supply better healthcare to patients with its predictive and prescriptive capabilities.
An improvement in IoT solutions: Services like patient monitoring services, mobile healthcare technology, medication management, clinical operations etc will be improved.
Gov regulations: New guidelines will be laid out by the government for the regulation of medical applications.
Security and privacy: Healthcare industry, vendors and government need to figure out how to maintain privacy and security of the data collected by the wearable sensors.
Even though introducing IoT to healthcare industry has many benefits, there are many challenges arising for both the hospital and the vendors. Out of the many, one main challenge is to ensure that all the devices stay connected, read and understand each other.
Till now hospitals have dealt with just one device at a time. But this is becoming difficult due to an increasing number of network devices. But the day is not far when a new connectivity device will be designed with translation software supporting unifying standards.
Security is another issue. Patients data and info collected needs to be secured. It is important that the data should be secured from end to end and the information is kept up to date and minimizing vulnerability using a robust security.
Research suggests that solution providers will approach this market opportunity as a community of partners as an integrated result that reaches far beyond the health devices itself.