IoT technology trends for healthcare to watch out in 2018

Robby Gupta

We are currently in an era in which artificial intelligence, internet of things, and machine learning are all intertwined so closely we involuntary embrace them. Internet of Things (IoT) particularly has impacted lifestyle and the way trade is conducted on a global level.

In all its brilliance, IoT technology is truly making a difference in the healthcare industry. The technology has the potential to radically revolutionize the entire industry. Its penetration is already being witnessed globally as traditional practices and instruments are replaced with cutting edge, new and accurate IoT devices.

The pace at which IoT devices are being adopted by the healthcare industry is nothing less than phenomenal. If this pace remains consistent, then it would be easy to predict healthcare IoT trends for 2018.

The B2B spend on IoT technologies such as apps and other solutions is expected to cross USD 250 billion by 2020. Off this 250 billion, USD 15 billion is expected to be spent exclusively for the healthcare industry, proving that in a year, IoT will completely revolutionize the industry. With this spend, IoT devices will increase from an estimated 15 billion in 2015 to an expected 50 billion in 2020.

Here are a few expected IoT healthcare trends that may help healthcare providers in 2018:

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A General Improvement in Healthcare:

The benefits of IoT technology has impacted the healthcare industry greatly. From wearables that monitor heart rate, check blood pressure and blood sugar, to smart pill boxes, IoT devices have proliferated the entire healthcare industry.

In 2018, the prediction is that the revolution will be along the lines of analytics which will thereby increase data relevance while decreasing the time users needed to amass the data. Also, the industry will see something new on the lines of digital health advisors. These advisors will function as personalized health coaches to individuals who have chronic illnesses. These health advisors help in maintaining a balanced lifestyle, and improve mental health.

Additionally, IoT technology saves patients a visit to the doctor, which can be expensive in some parts of the world. The tech allows for remote monitoring. And a certain amount of self-medication is possible with such devices.

By 2020 almost 85% of healthcare organizations are expected to incorporate IoT.

What does improved healthcare actually mean, in terms of IoT tech?

Enhanced disease management – patient health can be monitored constantly and in real time. This allows for accurate and prompt diagnosis of certain diseases.

Better treatment results – with IoT, timely treatment can is assured. As IoT devices are connected via the cloud, healthcare providers can constantly and consistently checkup on their patients. This helps them make informed and timely decisions.

Decrease in treatment costs – in many parts of the world, healthcare is very expensive. IoT helps solve this challenge. Patients who need constant monitoring can be discharged early and their post-op progress can be monitored via mHealth apps. This would mean a decrease in hospital stays and expensive treatments.

Improvement in patient experience – with a decrease in costs, instant disease diagnosis, and a promise of better treatment, the entire patient journey is enhanced. This will only increase the trust patients place in their doctors.

The thing about technology is that, while it has many aspects going for it, there is always something against it! IoT tech too has some risks associated with it especially in the healthcare sector:

Read More: 17 Experts Tell the Most Exciting IoT Trends to Watch for in 2018

Security Breaches:

One of the main concerns is that of security. Similar to any network, IoT devices are effectively one large network. These devices transmit and receive PHI – personal health information. PHI, if fallen in the wrong hands can be dangerous. Hackers and data snoopers are always on the prowl to get sensitive information.

However, there are certain regulations and statues that need to be adhered to for any IoT or mHealth device or app. Encryption is needed here the most.

Patient Privacy:

With pacemakers and other such implantable devices being shifted onto the IoT platform, the need to traditional or otherwise bulky systems or process is avoided. The new age pacemakers can be monitored using Wi-Fi. Doctors can track their patients implanted devices and receive notifications or alerts in case there is a complication with the device of patient.

However, these devices are not secure themselves. As we saw in October 2016, a massive Directed Denial of Service attack proved that all unsecured IoT devices can be effectively turned into a bot-net! This provides hackers the chance to attack the servers from various IP addresses. Hackers can infect the devices with malware or virus and turn these devices obsolete.

While most of these problems can easily be prevented by simply changing and/or updating security protocols. Authorities have setup much needed regulations and needed to be adhered to. If a device or app is compliant with these regulations, it makes it impossible for hackers to gain access.

What do you think about this blog? Are you also just as hopeful of IoT technology in 2018? Let us know what you think by commenting below.

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about the author

Robby Gupta

Robby Gupta is the head of US operations for TechJini, Inc. He has had varied experiences working in New York, Cupertino, and Bangalore with packaged & amp; custom web and mobile app development for an assortment of industries. His current focus is Immersive Technologies, IoT, AI bots and their applications in the digital enterprise.