The Internet of Things is Coming to Healthcare

May 29, 2018 Gustavo Herrera

Ten years ago, slapping an LED display on a household appliance qualified as a significant technological upgrade, now everything from televisions to fridges, to bathroom scales connect to the internet – yet healthcare has failed to keep up. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is slowly but surely becoming integrated into many aspects of society but a number of the features we have come to expect in our homes have yet to be implemented in hospitals. Features such as real-time health tracking, easy access to health information, and instant messaging are all available at our fingertips, yet they are just out of reach for healthcare providers.

However, this wave of new technology is fast approaching, and providers need to be prepared to capitalize on it. Improvements in security–both technical and regulatory–thanks to the emergence of the ‘shared responsibilities’ framework has finally opened up IoT to the healthcare industry.

Taking advantage of the improvements and the desire for the new technology to be brought to healthcare, numerous medical device manufacturers and software vendors have started developing IoT devices and software. 

Internet-connected in-home devices that allow remote patient monitoring have been developed, activity trackers have been tested as a method to assist in treatments and send data directly to electronic health records (EHR), powerful patient engagement platforms are already available (such as Orion Health’s Engage), and the list of innovations brought by IoT goes on.  

To get the most out of these new technologies, and prepare for future advancements, it’s important that healthcare providers look to upgrade their own systems and one of the most effective ways to do this is by migrating from on-premise systems to the cloud.

Much has been said about the benefits of the cloud (lower-cost, high-speed, disaster recovery, etc.) but less has been focused on the ease of scalability and agility of the cloud. These two things are incredibly important in re-positioning a healthcare organization as a future-focused entity and allow the organizations to easily integrate new software and features —without the burden of purchasing and maintaining expensive hardware. 

IoT is ubiquitous, so for an organization having the backend of their systems on the cloud is the most natural, almost indispensable, architecture for the future – allowing users to get far more benefits than an LED display could ever provide.

To read more about migrating to the cloud, download the white paper here.

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