Publication Name: ET Healthworld
Date: July 2015
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Impact of IOT on Telehealth
Internet of Things (IoT) is an all-pervasive technology that has the power to not only impact businesses but also to change our personal lives beyond imagination. The growing prominence of health care devices that connect to the smartphone and eventually to the cloud has opened up an unprecedented range of possibilities in the domain of health care. With smart devices making their way in the market, IoT is becoming a reality.
Advances in medicine has drastically improved health expectancy levels. This has resulted in an ever increasing percentage of people in the older age groups in most countries of the world. At the same time, the availability of care givers is on the decline and therefore those that are entrusted with these responsibilities are subject to a huge amount of stress. Governments are now struggling with the problem to being able to provide the right kind of medical care to their ageing population and the rising costs thereof. This scenario has opened up a whole lot of possibilities for IoT.
TechNavio's analysts forecast that the Global Telehealth market will grow at a CAGR of 18.88 percent over the period 2014-2019. Companies are now investing in large measure to make fully well of this potential. Government spending on health care and related markets are also on the rise across all geographies. With a large series of sensors and devices coupled with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) and a host of digital services applications, it is now possible to have deploy cost effective infrastructure that will oversee the vital parameters of the patient on a continuous basis. IoT also enables cloud based systems to study various health parameters of the patient around the clock and provide necessary alerts and interventions at near real time. This can enable care givers to avoid needless fatigue and be confident that they need to intervene only when the situation demands. It is also possible through the use of advanced analytics to understand the decline in health status of patients and to enable timely interventions. The growth in diseases like diabetes, especially Type2 diabetes, and heart and renal ailments requires continuous patient monitoring systems that are often outside of the hospital precincts. The technology wave generated by IoT and related technologies presents a new range of possibilities that makes this possible.
Telehealth is also reshaping the health care delivery landscape through integration with clinical practice, largely because of IT advances and innovation. As a result, technology helps reduce patient’s travel costs dramatically and in some cases, totally eliminate them. As apps and solutions become more advanced and ubiquitous, patients will become more active and engaged in their own healthcare. Patients are taking the driver’s seat in healthcare. For the first time, it is possible and beneficial for patients to be active participants in their own care. The tools, technologies and regulations will all catch up to meet the shift in patient engagement.
Some of the advantages of telehealth
- Patients have better outcomes because of continuous monitoring of critical parameters, timelier access to specialists who can apply the highest standards of care associated with their clinical discipline when evaluating the patient
- It avoids unnecessary transfers to another facility when a remote specialist can determine if the patient’s best care option is to stay local and allowing the patient to remain closer to the support network of family and friends.
- It retains some patients rather than transfer them to another facility and possibly out of their health system altogether, thereby retaining the revenues associated with care of the patient.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHealthworld.com do not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHealthworld.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.
About RR Bipin
RR Bipin is the VP, Digital Services - IoT, Embedded Product Design Division, Tata Elxsi. He has held various technology leadership and global executive positions at CDAC, Wipro and Cyient. Bipin is a sought after speaker on technology and market trends at international conferences like DATE in Europe.