Internet of Things & Healthcare: Two Peas in a Pod

A recent article in Forbes states that the Internet of Things in healthcare will be a $117 Billion market by 2020. Seem overblown? Hardly. The Internet of Things and Healthcare were made for each other.

A recent article in Healthcare Information Management & Systems Society states that healthcare can benefit from the Internet of Things in three ways:

  1. Operational Efficiency
  2. Improved Patient Care
  3. Improved Performance, Leadership & Innovation

Imagine a world where your doctor could access all your vital statistics since your last doctor’s appointment. Wouldn’t that provide a better picture of your overall health than a one time snapshot at the office or an unreliable (and hard to remember) personal log? What if your pill bottle automatically alerted your physician that medication wasn’t taken (think about dementia patients!) or automatically sent a refill request to the pharmacy?

OK- maybe that seems too intrusive for you. What if the medical equipment in doctor’s offices and hospitals could relay your information more easily. A cloud-based world with IoT could enable that, allowing for up to date medical information the moment you walk into the Emergency Room, including blood type, recent medical problems, allergies, etc., all of which are potentially life-saving.

The only question is- where do we draw the line between life saving tactics and privacy?

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3 thoughts on “Internet of Things & Healthcare: Two Peas in a Pod

  1. Increasingly I have seen more and more hospitals begin using technology that certainly makes my life easier. With the development of systems such as MyChart, I can private message my doctor, access my medical records, get real-time updates when lab results are available not only from my personal computer but to my smartphone. Apps such as these make it so much easier to relay information to my doctor, especially when I may have to see many and they are not always affiliated with the same hospital. If I see my doctor and have to go to the ER, they can access my records immediately if they are affiliated with the my doctor and if they are not, I can just pull up my records on my phone. I don’t have to wait weeks for medical records to become available because they are quite literally at my fingertips. For my personal comfort, I want to know that my doctor has all of the information about me they will need in that moment in order to give me the best treatment possible. However I feel I should caveat this and point out that the ease at which we are now able to access incredibly personal information puts our privacy even more at risk. I worry sometimes about someone trying to access my records through these apps. What if I didn’t make my password as tricky as I thought? What if someone finds a way to hack these apps? What if I didn’t log out of my web browser? At what point will the ease of access put our privacy at an even greater risk?

    Liked by 1 person

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