First, however, providers must prepare accordingly, says David Frumkin, a digital business solution architect with CDW Healthcare, who shared insights at HIMSS 2018 about what organizations must do to capitalize on IoT. That means a deployment plan and an emphasis on a strong foundation.
“IoT needs to have agile development, because it’s a very fast-moving pace,” he says. “Going without a plan is planning to fail.”
Build a Strong IT Foundation for IoT
Infrastructure preparation, including network optimization, is especially key for reliability and consistency, Frumkin says. Organizations also must conduct skills assessments to ensure that end users and other IT staff will be ready to support such a strategy.
“It’s not just the hardware that’s available in your environment; it’s, are people capable of dealing with it? Can they extend the technologies?” asks Frumkin.
The advent of 5G networks is poised to have a major impact on the deployment and success of IoT in healthcare, as well. A report published by the University of California, Berkeley says that 5G will be a substantial enabler of personalized healthcare. Report author Dr. David Teece of U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business says that 5G will, in essence, turn the IoT into a general-purpose technology.
With deployment on the horizon, organizations should begin laying the groundwork today, Frumkin says.
“IoT has the ability to transform your business and your business model,” he says. Frumkin likens the preparation process to training for a marathon, where a runner must start gradually. That should entail getting a proof of value to assess what’s possible within your particular space, and then moving fast toward adoption, he says.
IoT also can transform the patient care process as a whole. The potential exists for better resource and patient tracking, enabling providers to deploy tools or clinicians to the right place at the right time. It also means an improved ability to incorporate data on social determinants of health into the care process.
Providers that prioritize IoT planning now will avoid having to play catch-up with other organizations, patient preferences and industry trends later.