Modern technologies have transformed the medical and drug industries dramatically over the last 50 years. New treatments, research, and diagnostic tools have improved significantly, but the way that doctors and hospitals communicate with most patients has evolved only marginally. Sure, early efforts have included basic information websites and simple phone apps, but the integration of IoT devices and direct messaging will rapidly overhaul medical communications in the immediate future.
According to David Kaplan of GeoMarketing, “Providers will be able to craft responses to patients that are more personal, efficient, and cost-effective.” (How Will IoT Impact Doctors, Patients, And Pharma?, GeoMarketing.com, 1/6/17) Smart devices that continuously measure and collect medical data will keep patients and their loved ones more informed than ever before.
While patients have seen significant developments in how doctors treat their ailments and monitor their health, the age of IoT will usher in unprecedented changes to the information they get and how they get it. There will be more data than patients and personal caretakers have ever dealt with before, as well as increased variation in the types of data accessible remotely. It will take forward-thinking developers and insightful business leaders to make this communication seamless and allow patients and their loved ones to take advantage of the changes IoT will bring to the health industry.
A June 2016 survey of mobile health professionals worldwide conducted by Research2Guidance found that mobile health apps related to remote monitoring, diagnostics and medical condition management will reach over $26B and 1.7B users in 2017. The doctors and scientists will take care of the medical side, but savvy business leaders are needed to make it all work for consumers.
According to eMarketer.com, Moving Beyond the Pill in the Healthcare Sector, (1/5/17)
“Today’s beyond-the-pill solutions can collect, monitor and analyze health-related information, track patient activity, improve medication adherence, provide personalized decision support, predict medical crises and streamline medical care using a variety of advanced computing techniques.”
The Internet of Things will make all of this information accessible and mobile communication, like UIB’s UnificationEngine will make it seamlessly accessible for consumers.
Ranging from remote monitoring to fitness tracking, and from condition management to record retention, each and every supplemental service will provide a vast amount of new data. It will be critical for medical practitioners, hospitals and patients to implement a fluid system to decipher the most relevant information in one convenient location.
Speaking with Computerworld UK, Leon Marsh (CEO of the body-sensing technology firm Inova Design Solutions) stated that,
“The IoT market is about a continuous way to perform non-invasive and accurate monitoring. If issues arise, they will be apparent before it becomes an emergency situation.”
As such, greater telepresence will provide a big win for remote healthcare and dramatically cut down on the necessity for formal reviews and checkups. Patients will also be allowed to leave hospitals and clinics earlier, as healthcare practitioners grow more able to monitor them from home rather than keeping them in hospitals for observation. (Internet of Things in Healthcare: What’s Next for IoT Technology in the Health Sector, Graysen Christopher, ComputeworldUK, July 19, 2016.)
With the advent of IoT technologies in healthcare, patients will have more information, they will get monitored by their healthcare provider more regularly and they will not have to show up for as many onsite examinations, but to make it all work, they will need clear and concise messaging and seamless ways to access their data. UnifiedInbox will make this easy and more efficient, and bring healthcare communications into the 21st century.