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A new research report urges healthcare organizations to embrace connected health technologies to meet the growing expectations of patients while improving data sharing, clinical outcomes, and medical research.
“Connected health has the potential to radically transform healthcare delivery, allowing consumers to be more engaged and empowered than ever before,” technology research analyst firm Frost & Sullivan said in a statement announcing the report, Why Now is The Time for Interoperable Healthcare Solutions. “However, with widespread concerns about issues such as ease of use, reliability, privacy and security, successful deployment of digital health strategies is clogged.”
The report argues that connectivity is redefining how healthcare is delivered, citing the increasing use of mobile health apps and wearables, in-home self-monitoring tools, social networking capabilities, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Roughly 60 percent of healthcare organizations around the world are using IoT devices such as smart patient monitoring products or smart energy meters, the report said.
“Healthcare is one of the industries that face significant disruption by IoT, and yet is only partially aware of the advancements, the potential, and its benefits,” Frost & Sullivan said. “Application areas for IoT in healthcare, or the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), cover the entire healthcare ecosystem - on body, in home, community, in clinic, and in hospital.”
In a 2017 market report, Frost & Sullivan projected the number of IoMT devices globally would grow to 20 to 30 billion in 2020 from 4.5 billion in 2015 as more providers realize cost savings and improve profitability and the patient experience.
“IoMT,” the research firm said, “is well-suited to meet the needs of the transforming healthcare industry, by supporting the transition from disjointed care to coordinated care and reactive to proactive care-delivery approaches.”