The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming an increasingly popular term in conversations across different industries, and is predicted to be the ‘next big thing’. A number of companies have already jumped on the IoT bandwagon, eager to optimise on potential opportunities in the near future.
What is IoT?
IoT broadly describes new technologies and the growth of inter-connected devices connected to the Internet.
IoT products can seek to improve customer experience by using electronic devices that collect and monitor data, which is linked to a private or public cloud, ultimately allowing them to automatically trigger certain events.
Is Healthcare an emerging sector for IoT products?
Internet-connected devices have already been introduced to patientsin a variety of forms, with the purpose of minimising the need for physician-patient interactions in person.
Data will be gathered from electrocardiograms, technology monitors and the like, to track essential health information, which can be sent directly, back to the patient. This also presents the opportunity to enhance in-home medical devices which work on wireless networks, enabling health care professionals to help patients in a more efficient manner.
Hospitals have also started to use ‘smart beds’ which allows staff to know when a bed is available. ‘Smart Beds’ can also alert hospital staff when a patient is attempting to get up and when to adjust the bed as per the patient’s requirements for pressure and support.
Hospitals are hoping that similar smart technology will extend to home medication, which can automatically upload data to the cloud when medication hasn’t been taken on time, and alerting care staff when assistance is needed.
These new processes will be of great support to hospitals who are struggling to use data to its full potential, in addition to lowering their operating costs and remaining competitive.
Source: IoT products increasing hospital efficiency
Accelerating the transformation of Healthcare
Philipsis one company seeking to optimise on the benefits of such cloud-based technology in the healthcare space. They have recently partnered with Salesforce to create a platform that enables medical devices to operate in conjunction with deep sets of data.
Phillips aims to improve the decision making ability of healthcare professionals, and make it simpler for patients to play a more active role in monitoring their personal health.
This partnership is predicted to boost Philips’ place in the medical and clinical applications industry, as well as promoting Salesforce as an up-and-coming cloud computing and innovation company.
What’s the Catch 22?
The implementation of IoT products in healthcare is not without its criticisms. The transfer of data and communication of information to the cloud, while generally secure, is still subject to the possibility of hacking. Privacy and security is a main concern, particularly as the healthcare sector has a large pool of patient’s personal information.
The Protogen team have been playing an active role in 2 main pillars of IoT – big data analytics and systems integration/workflows – and have been applying our expertise in these areas for both our customers and our own incubation in the Healthcare space.