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Implementing IoT: Catapulting us into the Digital Healthcare Future

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Going beyond Machine-to-Machine (M2M) scenarios, IoT is introducing automation in nearly every conceivable field and health care and medical care is one of the most attractive application areas for IoT.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a megatrend in next-generation technologies that can impact an entire business gamut. Linking the physical and digital worlds could generate up to $11.1 trillion a year in economic value by 2025 says a report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). 

Advances in cloud-based technology and smart devices operating in conjunction with deep sets of data have made it possible for consumers to take active control of their own health in a highly personalized manner. Organizations having the ability to combine medical technology with clinical informatics and cloud-based platforms will surely thrive.

Digitalization of medical products and related care has not only unleashed a whole new class of treatment possibilities but has also increased the applications of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) than ever before. In this blog, let us explore IoT-based healthcare services and how it is shaping the future of healthcare as we know it.
Wearables and Medical Devices 
From monitoring a person's real-time condition to administering medication, connected medical devices have made it simpler to monitor a patient's health continuously. Smart devices or wearables are eliminating the need for hospital visits and costly medical procedures as they provide early diagnosis, improving the quality of care extended.
This link between patients and devices that relay patient data to healthcare providers allows them to take appropriate action in time. Some measurable benefits of connected medical devices include:

  • Decrease in mortality rates
  • Fewer clinic visits
  • Lower rates of emergency hospital admissions
  • Decline in the length of hospital stay

Personalizing Patient Experiences
Providing personalized patient experiences is more than connecting and monitoring of wearable devices. In-depth awareness of a patient's situation by analyzing real-time data against their historical data empowers care teams to respond to a patient's need in time.
Industry players are identifying new ways to record and gather Patient-Generated Data (PGD) with smart medical devices. IoMT tracks a patient's activities, classifies their choices, gauges outcomes, and acts in circumstances that were previously beyond reach and influence. As digitally collected PGD is more reliable than the self-reported alternative, IoT applications play a significant role in improving and personalizing health care.
Simplifying Clinical Workflows
With the advent of applications from smart sensors to medical device integration, IoT has revolutionized healthcare IT systems. New platforms provide accuracy, speed, and power-efficiency like never before. 
To maintain effective workflow within a clinical area, the key components required are:

  • Real-time locating staff and patient  
  • Asset tracking and management 
  • Temperature monitoring 
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Tracking medical systems during clinical operations

 Streamlining workflow improves care coordination including, scheduling, follow-up, communication amongst staff and with patients, and delivering patient-centered care. Also, digitization expands the ability to reach patients outside the traditional clinic setup.
Building Advanced Workplaces
As patient care rises to become fully electronic, an enterprises' infrastructure must be always on. Addressing both clinical data management and the business, the IT infrastructure of a hospital needs to be able to support newer healthcare applications and manage tremendous amounts of data being generated.
From replacing inefficient traditional lighting with fleets of LED lights to monitoring people's behaviors, IoT is disrupting the healthcare landscape, making an institution's internal systems easy to use, manage and procure. IoT in a workplace:

Creates smarter, connected environments 

Advances user experience for workplace-as-a-service companies

Converts the ecosystem into a responsive, self-monitoring, data-driven organism

IoT maintains high levels of security, usability and predictability, and provides an infrastructure that keeps up with the latest technology while offering reliable digital experiences to customers.

Why healthcare needs IoT and Healthcare Data Security?
Technology might not replace human decision-making capabilities, but it can definitely simplify a practitioner's work. Bringing convenience, efficiency, and automation, IoT is a game-changer.
The Allied Market Research predicts that the Internet of Things (IoT) Healthcare Market size will hit a whopping $136 billion by 2021. The increasing level of IoT adoption in healthcare introduces complex compliance issues and unfamiliar cybersecurity risks that pose enormous consequences to human life. 
As industry standards evolve and rules like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) expand to govern IoT devices, investing in devices carefully, recognizing vulnerabilities and communicate clearly with end users will help in addressing threats more quickly than ever before. In the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study by IBM & Ponemon Institute, health care tops the list as the most expensive industry for data breaches.
Cybersecurity can no longer be an afterthought and bolted on after devices have been designed. Whether the data is on the cloud, in transit, or on endpoint devices, it needs to be protected. Smart devices will require tough, built-in security measures that last the lifetime of the product. 
Addressing concerns of an aging population, clinician shortage and most importantly patient expectations, IoT is set to solve myriad problems. 
Focusing on providing some balance to the ever-growing demands of healthcare IT systems, HARMAN is developing end-to-end solutions, tailored to meet your enterprise needs. With our IoT and connected healthcare business solutions, care providers can expect to see fewer missed appointments, improved adherence to care plans and improved outcomes such as reduced inpatient admissions.
Explore these opportunities and our comprehensive engineering solution for IoT adoption- from sensors and connectivity to edge processing and analytics. If you are looking for more information around any products from HARMAN, feel free to reach out to us here.
Let us make IoT work for you!​