Healthcare IoT market heats up to improve patient care
Thursday, June 09, 2016
Anyone following the world of health IT continues to come across the seemingly never-ending alphabet soup of innovation and investment — HITECH, HIPAA, BYOD and even one of the most popular today: IoT. The Internet of Things, a concept of connected performance for everything from televisions and coffeemakers to refrigerators and condoms, IoT continues to gain an ever more impressive foothold into the world of healthcare.
The Internet of Things is expected to grow at unprecedented rates in healthcare throughout the remainder of the decade. And the amount of growth is nothing to scoff at, seriously. The entire IoT arena — which includes smart devices, wearables, implantable and other monitoring devices — could reach nearly $410 billion in market value by 2022.
The cause is obvious: chronic conditions brought on by an older patient population.
"Patients search for tools and technologies that will allow them to manage their conditions in a passive, effortless way," Health IT Analytics points out.
Wearables have been the primary technology that depend on some level of interaction with the web, but their share of the market is expected to shrink as implantables will take on more of the market. This advancing technology and its improved capabilities over previous generations for monitoring patient health is creating more demand.
IoT technology has a place in healthcare because it is meant to improve the overall patient experience. IoT tools specifically geared toward improving patient safety or patient experience inside the organization, such as connected hand hygiene monitoring, are contributing to investment and revenue. Healthcare organizations are also exploring the adoption of RFID tags for asset management as well as smart pills and smart beds that proactively monitor patients.
"Ingestible sensors alone may be worth $678.2 million by 2022," Health IT Analytics notes.
According to the IBM Center for Applied Insights, IoT-enabled connectivity within hospital labs will increase total global laboratory test throughput by more than 3 billion diagnostic tests throughout the next five years. As well, 4 million patients globally will remotely monitor their health conditions by 2020, and consumers utilizing home health technologies will increase from 14.3 million worldwide in 2014 to 78.5 million by 2020.
"Over the next few years, patient-monitoring devices will improve, and providers will increasingly implement IoT and big data analytics solutions. As a result, the global IoT healthcare market will grow at a significant rate," the think tank reports.
Likewise, because of the continued investment and practicality of the technology, IBM expects several advancements in the coming years. Consumers, specifically, will demand better access to their data and improved health technology solutions to better manage their own care. The continual transformation might help cut healthcare costs while improving patient experiences.
Another benefit of IoT, experts claim, is that the amount of healthcare-related data available within the industry will explode.
"The IoT will result in an increased flow of data for patient records, population health data and other databases, bringing a new complexity to provider and physician operations," IBM states.
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