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A “connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications and health systems and services” promises to transform healthcare, but interoperability obstacles are hampering development of this Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), concludes a new report from research firm Deloitte.
The burden of overcoming interoperability barriers to IoMT’s success falls on medical technology (medtech) companies, according to the U.K.-based Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions.
“Interoperability is arguably the biggest challenge for medtech, including complying with various national and international standards and protocols around the exchange and use of data,” Deloitte writes. “For interoperability to work effectively, the direction of travel should be towards open platforms, based on open data standards. This will enable payers, providers and technology vendors to come together to make data more available to each another.”
Deloitte identifies several actions that medtech companies and other healthcare stakeholders can take to overcome interoperability challenges. Those include:
“Medtech companies will need to develop new strategies to harness the data provided by their digitally-enabled products and make their business and operating models relevant and competitive,” Deloitte said. “For some medtech companies, this will include shifting from a product-based model to a value-based system.”
Making that shift will require medtech companies to better understand end users and show how their devices can improve patient outcomes as well as create value for stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem, the report said.
The latter may be a tough sell to some providers. The 2016 Philips’ Future Health Index shows “cost of devices” to be the top perceived barrier to adoption of connected devices, cited by nearly half (46 percent) of responding healthcare professionals, with “privacy concerns/data security” a distant second at 29 percent.