Our lives are connected in countless ways, no matter where or how we live.
Nowhere is this more true than in the world of IT. As technologies such as mobile computing, collaboration solutions and the Internet of Things evolve, the number of connections — both to people and machines — is growing rapidly. And as data analytics and software-defined networking mature, enabling organizations to take greater advantage of these connections, this trend will only accelerate. Indeed, Deloitte estimates that 48 percent of the medical devices produced today are connected, but that figure is expected to rise to 68 percent in five years.
Deloitte highlights a number of key objectives that connected healthcare solutions can deliver, including better medication management, decreased costs, enhanced patient experience, and improved diagnosis and treatment. All of these lead to the broader goal of better patient outcomes.
Connected solutions are influencing how and when care is delivered. For example, healthcare organizations are using telehealth tools to provide care to patients during natural disasters, when dangerous conditions make it impossible for care providers and patients to connect physically.
Similarly, integrated communication and collaboration tools are becoming a key part of the care strategy for many organizations. “Good communications for clinicians can translate to higher patient satisfaction, which translates to better reimbursements,” says Lynne Dunbrack of IDC Health Insights.
Connected Solutions Still Present Obstacles in Healthcare
But while these connections provide new opportunities for healthcare organizations, they also pose new hurdles. The HealthTech article “Will Edge Computing Transform Healthcare?" highlights a number of challenges that providers will face — including bandwidth, security and privacy issues — as they increase their adoption of medical IoT solutions.
Further, as connected solutions mature, the healthcare industry must establish standards that govern their effective deployment. These standards will improve results and help adopters avoid common pitfalls.