by Jason Butler
The interface and connectivity of infrastructure systems and equipment to information technology networks is rapidly changing and evolving. Recent advancements in computing power, data logging, on-board memory, energy consumption, and wireless connectivity systems now allow for cost-effective integration into healthcare systems and equipment. While this growth is providing astounding new capabilities for improvement in both patient procedures and satisfaction, it can be a complex and taxing challenge for existing healthcare infrastructure systems and budgets.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices embedded with connected electronics, software, and sensors that exchange data. loT gathers information quickly and increases the ability to access, process, and use that data by creating opportunities for efficiency improvements and economic benefits. Though this allows for more data to be gathered, too much data can be overwhelming if not organized and automated for the effective use of the information.
A key to the success of utilizing loT devices and integrated systems is organizing the acquired information to a single interface in order to analyze and understand the data. When applied specifically to the healthcare environment, IoT provides an enhanced ability to monitor the patient’s health and needs while improving their experience.
The use of new loT devices has been dramatically increasing over the past few years. It is anticipated that 20.8 billion loT devices will be used worldwide by 2020 (according to Gartner Inc.). This forecast is based upon the current trends indicating that the quantity of loT devices is increasing by approximately 30% per year for the past four years.
IoT devices have become more common in all aspects of our everyday lives and, as a result, consumers’ expectations have risen. Whether a hotel or hospital, consumers and patients desire, and have come to expect, the same capabilities they have at home when they visit or stay elsewhere.
Jason Butler is a healthcare market leader and principal at Fitzemeyer & Tocci.