What does IoT hold for the healthcare industry?
The IoT is set to change a number of industries, with a key one set to be healthcare. Although adoption has been less rapid than other sectors, the potential is huge. A recent study by MarketsandMarkets found the global healthcare market is expected to grow from $32.4 billion to over $163 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 38.1% during the forecast period.
Owing to the aging population, the need for improved healthcare and streamlined services is likely to continue to grow, and the Internet of Things could potentially be the answer. For example, wearables will allow an individual’s heart rate and blood pressure to be tracked via sensors and alert care workers or family members of any potentially fatal activity.
Despite the enormous benefits, the implementation of such technologies has been significantly small. An article by the Chicago Business Journal found two major barriers to adoption which may be hampering efforts within the adoption of IoT in the US. The first is the role of healthcare providers and their lack of encouragement for patients to use IoT devices such as wearables, with the article stating only 15% of doctors having discussed using health apps and tools with their patients. The second possible hindrance is the infrastructure needed to transform the healthcare industry. This has already been shown through the problematic transition to the electronic health record (EHR).
There is no doubt around the potential of the Internet of Things however it seems there are still a lot of barriers to overcome, particularly within the healthcare industry, where it could be argued the stakes are much higher.
With further exploration into how IoT can transform the healthcare industry, the IoT Tech Expo will be holding a panel discussion with the Connected Services conference in Silicon Valley on October 2oth. Industry leaders and experts will delve into the opportunities for healthcare and specifics on the benefit to hospitals and patients in addition to the challenges (privacy, adoption, standardisation..) and ways in which these can be overcome. There will also be an mHealth case study will further details to follow.
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