Everything that is connected to the Internet with icons explaining

In an earlier blogpost, I wrote about how the ‘Internet of Things’ is transforming healthcare organizations. In this one, I look in detail at how this technology can help accomplish improved health outcomes for payers, providers, and patients.

Currently, the world is seeing accelerating growth in the number of wearables being adopted. These wearables have the capability to generate big data or, as we call it, ‘patient-generated data’. At present, little is being done to integrate these data points with the existing healthcare infrastructure. The data is being captured but is not visible to other parts of the healthcare network like payers and providers. However, if medtech companies can help aggregate this data with electronic health records or common systems, they can offer a plethora of opportunities for effective long-term patient care management.

For example, take blood glucose and heart rate sensors. Although they are widely available and capturing critical patient data, they are not able to communicate with a common device that can aggregate the information and share it with all involved parties. Increasing the amount of communication between these wearables and a common master system aggregator with artificial intelligence capabilities will create better health outcomes for all patients and increase patient participation in managing their healthcare.

Another area where the Internet of Things has great potential is aiding in the acute care of patients admitted in hospitals. Through connections and communication between wearables and sensors, providers could see a dashboard with patient vitals along with historic critical conditions. Through integration with current treatment research, providers could make informed decisions on treating the patient in a much shorter time frame.

The Internet of Things offers great opportunities in managing better patient outcomes. Its future lies in the development of advanced technologies that can aggregate and communicate patient-generated data among different devices, share information with all healthcare stakeholders, and use artificial intelligence for quicker decision making by providers.

Follow Isha Suman on Twitter at @suman_ishaDRG for additional medtech market insights.

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