Word of the week: Internet of Things
The humanization of technology is upon us thanks to a growing tech trend known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Defined as devices that gather and share information directly with each other in the cloud, IoT is able to continually record and analyze data. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 75 percent of companies are currently either actively exploring IoT or already using it. The rapid implementation of IoT is expected to continue, with Gartner recently reporting that there will be nearly 26 billion devices in it by 2020. Healthcare insiders expect the IoT to revolutionize healthcare by simultaneously reducing costs and improving the quality of patient care. Major functionalities of IOT devices for healthcare include smart insulin tracking, remote monitoring of patient vital signs and ingestible sensors that can recognize and report if patients are taking their medications on schedule. A major goal of using the IoT in healthcare is to begin automating patient interactions, which can be achieved by incorporating IoT devices with existing mHealth platforms in order to provide physicians with more comprehensive patient profiles. IoT innovations could also help to better manage patients with critical conditions and those who have not previously had access to effective health monitoring. With the healthcare industry putting an increased emphasis on big data, the IoT has the potential to be a key player in providing physicians access to patient’s medical information in real time.