Health.2030 – The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been given the label of the next Industrial Revolution as it is going to bring about a staggering change to way in which people work, live, travel and entertain themselves.

2016-07-12-1468314021-5633148-internetofthings-thumbIt is estimated that up to 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. This equates to approximately six devices for every person in the world. Of course, connectivity comes with a cost. Leading companies are budgeting more than $100 million annually developing IoT systems today. Companies as diverse as GE, IBM, Cisco, Samsung and Monsanto are currently investing billions into their IoT and analytics initiatives. Samsung alone is moving towards having their entire product line IoT-ready in the next ve years.

 

The $2.7 trillion US healthcare market suffers from significant inefficiencies with as much as $800 billion of healthcare spending each year being wasteful or redundant. With increasing pressure to reduce costs, the healthcare industry is turning to the wealth of newly available, digitized and standardized data: clinical data (electronic medical records, medical images), claims and cost data (care utilization and cost estimates), pharmaceutical data (pharmaceutical trials), patient demographic data (patient behaviors and preferences), and sensor data from wearable devices and smart phones.
There are many types of wearable devices which are used for patients to measure their vitals like pulse rate, blood pressure and heart beat and this makes IoT extremely necessary in the health industry too. With the Internet of Things the traditional doctor-patient model will soon change as there will be a trend for putting such sensors even within the human body. Such devices will be powered with biological energy sources, vibration and heat radio waves and they will be used to monitor wirelessly from Bluetooth to other phones.

A leading insurer in the U.S. recently launched a program to incorporate wearable device data into life insurance pricing. Insureds can qualify for rate discounts as well as discounts and rewards from retailers for taking steps to improve their health. A free Fitbit is provided to the new policy holder with the data generated used to determine rewards for the insured.

Wearables will have a big role to play in the IoT. Right now, we are beginning to use consumer wearables to take health and fitness tracking into our own hands. As these wearables become more sophisticated (e.g., tracking body temperature, heart rate, oxygen levels, glucose and other key metrics), we’ll need to find easier ways for health practitioners to harness this enormous amount of patient data. The IoT helps make this possible by sharing data via the cloud, and triggering processes – like scheduling a visit to test for diabetes, or adjusting a prescription for cholesterol – that can help improve patients’ health.

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Source: http://c3iot.com/industries/, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-cohen/internet-of-things-as-the_b_10937956.html, http://www.theconnectedclinician.com/2016-trends-bringing-the-internet-of-things-to-healthcare/