The Internet of Things (or IoT) is revolutionizing the healthcare industry. IoT refers to the inter-networking of smart devices and other electronics with internet capabilities which allows them to collect and exchange data. A recent study reveals that healthcare IoT market may expand to $136.8 billion worldwide by 2021.
Providers and patients are embracing the technology because it improves member engagement and makes life more simple for both of them. When physicians use integrated medical devices, they can gain access to their patient’s medical data faster and more efficiently than looking through a stack of papers in the hospital. When patients use certain tools, like blood pressure cuffs, it can automatically send the medical data to the hospital’s electronic medical record. Patients can also decide to try different devices in their home and sync it so their physician receives their medical information.
The Internet of Things can improve member engagement because it allows members to track and monitor their personal health information with smart devices. Patients can also submit real-time health information directly to their provider. When patients are more engaged with their health it can improve their overall outcomes. It also makes it easier for them to participate in the decision-making process.
We expect the Internet of Things to quickly expand in the future as devices become more sophisticated and address multiple pain points. For example, smart sensors and wearable devices can streamline the workflow process for many hospitals and organizations. Eventually, connected devices, systems, and services may go further than just machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and expand into different applications.