IoT revolution in healthcare

Ezgi Tasdemir
Mar 11, 2018 · 5 min read

Internet of Things (IoT) -or better- Internet of Everything in Healthcare

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According to an article published by Forbes, IoT, simply put, is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other).

Contrary to what we observe in big data, healthcare industry is among the fastest to adopt the IoT. According to McKinsey spending on the medical IoT will reach a staggering $1 trillion by 2025 and, will bring highly personalized, accessible, timely healthcare for everyone.

Wearable technology has been the most obvious use case with motion trackers and vital sign measurements, valued at over 5 billion$ in 2016 and can reach a value of over 12 billion$ by 2021 according to MarketsandMarkets. People don’t seem to get enough of what their smart watch coupled with their mobile Health app can do. And it is only going to get more popular. According to Bitkom, 75% of Germans would be willing to send data on their vital signs to their doctor in the event of illness. The figure among patients suffering from a chronic disease is even 93%. As mentioned by Brian Ray, in a recent report by Ericsson Consumer Labs titled From healthcare to homecare: The critical role of 5G in healthcare transformation, the Swedish network infrastructure vendor’s research arm, based on survey results, concludes that patients want to take control of access to and quality of healthcare using telemedicine, mobile applications and wearable IoT devices. Ericsson researchers suggest that 5G will be needed to support massive machine-type communications and applications with varying data requirements.

The whole idea behind tracking every single track-able data is to keep the healthy out of trouble and to help the patients manage better their risk factors and chronic conditions/treatments.

Some examples of current patient-centric IoT solutions:

  • Geographical tracking: Through IoT, one can track a patient’s whereabouts when they require emergency care or take quick measures when an elderly patient remains motionless for a relatively long time. Within the hospital, medical equipment such as defibrillators, wheelchairs, monitoring devices, etc. can be tagged with IoT sensors to locate them easily. Hospitals can use IoT for inventory management in pharmacies and warehouses.

These examples are not exhaustive and are increasing exponentially. Despite the utility of IoT, we have many challenges to address. The first and possibly the most serious of challenges is privacy. As data becomes easily accessible over cloud, the protection becomes primordial to prevent private and sensitive data to fall into the wrong hands who can damage careers, reputation and health security of many individuals by hacking and falsifying their data.

Ezgi Tasdemir #exploringfuture

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Coming soon:

In the transition from sick care to healthcare, we will soon explore further the role of exponential technologies in medicine, such as artificial intelligence, diagnostics, companion robots, nanotechnology, telemedicine, genetic and tissue engineering, organ printing and virtual& augmented reality.

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Ezgi Tasdemir is a Novartis Oncology employee. This article is created by Ezgi Tasdemir. All the views, analysis, and perspectives are fully independent and belong to the author only, they do not represent the views or opinions of Novartis or any other company or organization. The author does not receive any funding or support from Novartis or any other pharmaceutical/non-pharmaceutical company for this blog.

Ezgi Tasdemir

Written by

Writer | Constantly curious & amazed | Passionate about healthcare, in pursuit of Positive Disruption to advance humanity.

Ezgi Tasdemir

Written by

Writer | Constantly curious & amazed | Passionate about healthcare, in pursuit of Positive Disruption to advance humanity.

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