How The Internet Of Medical Things Could Combat Healthcare Costs

Author: Chloe Boyce
Posting date: 9/26/2018 2:05 PM
Healthcare in the US is big business. Could the latest entrant into the Internet of Things (IoT) help to combat its prohibitive costs? Let’s take a look at how the IoT has evolved from wearable devices into the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).

As Baby Boomers retire, Generation X gets older, and Millenials face mountains of student debt while raising a family and caring for their parents or grandparents, the cost of healthcare plays a significant role in our lives. However, technological advances may be able to offer a perfect balancing act between saving lives whilst, at the same time, lowering costs. Until Single-Payer Healthcare comes to fruition, lower bills just may be the next big benefit to patients and their families.

How the IoMT Could Change Healthcare

Far from the maddening crowd of paper files thick with paper information, the IoT within the medical industry has helped to streamline data. And, like the sensor technologies of wearable devices, the IoMT boasts a range of technological advances; sensors, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Big Data analytics, as well as blockchain.  

Could the advent of precision medicine and devices help to diminish negative side effects to patients while enabling their recovery? The IoMT is dependent on feedback loops – from the caregiver or provider to the patient. Big Data can help patients remember when to take medication or can offer medical diagnoses through Artificial Intelligence. 

Ultimately, the IoMT could save lives through precision medicine and technologies designed to define smart hospitals.

What are some Challenges Facing IOMT?

According to Deloitte, the Internet of Medical Things market will be worth just over $158 billion by 2022. Yet, stumbling blocks remain. 

From outdated funding, business, and operating models to the regulatory landscape adjusting to emerging technologies, barriers inhibit IoMT adoption throughout the industry. Other factors include a shortage of relevant digital talent among IT staff which could affect the ability to deploy IoMT tools. 

However, in order to work effectively, solutions must be able to talk to each other, meaning more data will have to be given up by patients. Healthcare organizations will need to learn how to maintain trust, given that more connected devices means more entry points for a data breach or cyberattack.

What are Some Benefits of IoMT?

Despite the risks, the IoMt offers several potential benefits including: 

  • Improved Drug Management
  • Patient Diagnoses
  • Remote patient monitoring

Remote patient monitoring is one of the innovations dramatically impacting Healthcare industry. Add to that AI, which can collect large amounts of data to help predict diagnostics based on complex algorithms, and advances in sensor technologies can improve patient Healthcare by keeping tabs on those who are connected on an ecosystem. 

Smart sensors enable the possibility for remote and home Healthcare advances. Improved communication coupled with wearables and sensors can also assist with real-time monitoring for those who are faced with chronic disease management, for example.

As healthcare costs continue to rise, with a Health Affairs study estimating spending will increase 5.5% every year until 2026, the benefits offered by the IoMT become even more essential.  Fortunately, whilst we wait for the IoMT and smart hospitals to become common place, there are other ways to lower health costs.

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