The Healing Touch; Analysing the IoT Impact on Healthcare

The internet of things is bound to have a profound impact on all human activity. The technology boom has the potential to supplement and advance each domain to an unrecognizable stage. The impact of IoT on healthcare is no less, one that has the potential to change the landscape of human health for centuries to come.

Global consensus on issues that need to be addressed touches only a handful of topics. You would be hard pressed to come across two people debating on the deteriorating environment or the global horror that is HIV. In similar fashion, it’s incredibly hard to come across two individuals proclaiming healthcare is satisfying in this epoch of exquisite technology.

Stagnation in healthcare is one of the biggest problems mankind faces. Considering countless factors, it has become increasingly difficult to track and maintain good health for the common human being. Shortage of time, expense of top-notch healthcare and lack of infrastructural capacities have hit the industry hard for decades. Recently however, technology has taken the reins of driving healthcare to a better place and IoT is at the very core of this technology.

IoT could well be the elixir to the plague of stagnation faced by healthcare

The global demand for healthcare is higher value at lower cost. Expensive treatment is beyond the budget of the common man. Moreover, value delivered does not match expected standards of the consumer. To match this global demand, IoT needs to concoct the ideal formula to deliver the elixir the industry needs. While it’s easier said than done, there are already a few predominant trends that point towards the fact that IoT will enable healthcare to a greater extent.

The formula of trends that are shaping healthcare are dissected below:

1) Rise of Information Exchange: Often, the downtime of information exchange between service providers and their patients is a huge let down for both parties. Patients and their near ones need blow by blow information at every stage of treatment, in real time. To address this, a lot of emphasis is being placed on bridging the gap between patients and providers towards delivering real time information. Genospace is a great example of how health information exchange can be executed with precision.

2) Ability to Monitor Remotely: According to reports, 86% of healthcare spending is focused on treating people with multiple chronic ailments. Frequent health visits for such patients is typically high, with time lost and information lapses in between visits being a huge dent in delivering excellent solutions. Real time monitoring is what plugs the gap in this scenario. For a provider to be able to constantly and consistently monitor chronic patients aids the dispatch of immediate and effective treatment without delay. Kaa is a leading open-source platform that enables remote monitoring for IoT devices, with great implications in healthcare.

3) Putting the Patient in Charge: With the onset of wellness and fitness devices and applications, the patient, healthcare is shifting from a provider driven to a patient driven industry. Tech companies are pumping out devices and applications that enable patients to take the onus of good health and observe abnormalities on their own. Real and accurate data without much human effort is proving to be a boon towards delivering clinical information to providers, who in turn can speedily deliver necessary treatment. Classic wearables including FitBit put the patient in full charge of tracking their own health.

An uncontested champion of healthcare

IoT is already shaping up towards being the technological advancement of the coming decade or so. With the rise of the need for delivering greater value healthcare at lower cost, the internet of things brings the optimal solution to the table. Healthcare could well be moving towards being able to truly address the needs of the end customer and it is clear IoT will be a driving factor towards this change.

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