“IoT [Internet of Things] is changing and transforming everything from business to life. Imaginations are boundless and opportunities are infinite.” – Mehul Nayak, Tech.co (see How the Internet of Things Is Shaping Our Future)
“The Internet will disappear. There will be so many IP addresses, so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with, that you won’t even sense it.” – Eric Schmidt, Google chairman (see Google Chairman: ‘The Internet Will Disappear’)
“Smart homes and other connected products won’t just be aimed at home life. They’ll also have a major impact on business.” – Jared Newman, Fast Company (see Right Now, The Internet Of Things Is Like The Internet Of The 1990s)
I first pondered the possible effects of the Internet of Things during a presentation by Thomas Herzog, Executive Vice President, Solutions & Operations, Netsmart Technologies at The 2012 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept in which practically every physical, man-made object can be connected to “the cloud” and have its own IP address for online connectivity and communication (for a deeper dive into our coverage of this over the last few years, check out The Internet Will Disappear, What Is The Internet Of Things, Again? and How The ‘Internet of Things’ Can Change Everything).
Some of the latest numbers from Boston Consulting Group (see Winning In IoT, It’s All About The Business Processes) predicts that within three years, the market for IoT technologies and services will reach $267 billion, thanks to a 20% annual growth rate. Another new report from McKinsey Global Institute, The Internet of Things: Mapping The Value Beyond The Hype, puts the estimated economic impact at $11.1 trillion per year by 2025.
What does this look like in the health and human service market? This includes an estimated value of $1.1 trillion for the improved health of chronic disease patients through remote monitoring, $170 billion for health and fitness, and $930 billion for public health and transportation. The IoT in heath care is being utilized for everything from monitoring consumers in the community, to tracking the availability of services and treatment interventions in real time.
The “Internet of Things blog” from IBM breaks this down even further, listing six benefits that IoT can offer health and human service provider organizations (see 6 Benefits of IoT for Hospitals and Healthcare). These include:
- Decreased costs: Hospital visits cost time and money in consumer travel, hospital stays, and possible readmissions. Remote monitoring with IoT is the cheaper option.
- Improved treatment outcomes: Better health is about timely access to care. IoT offers instant, real-time monitoring and response by clinical professionals.
- Improved disease management: Monitoring on a continuous basis identifies trends before they develop into health crises. IoT offer the chance for proactive care.
- Reduced errors: Metrics-based management for clinical processes needs accurate collection of data. IoT can provide accurate data and automation to reduce both wasted effort and errors inherent in the analog system.
- Enhanced consumer experience: Proactive treatments and improved accuracy, timely intervention by clinical professionals, and enhanced treatment outcomes are ultimately for the benefit of demanding consumers. IoT provides system-wide connectivity to make that happen.
- Enhanced management of drugs: This is a subset of cost management, and an important one. The science-to-service process for medications in health care is time-consuming and expensive. IoT can both shorten those processes and collect better data to make the final outcome better in terms of quality and usefulness.
Seem too far in the future to consider? Consider that the phrases “Internet of Healthcare Things” (IoHT) and the “Internet of Patients” (IoP) have already been coined (see IoT in Healthcare Is Really the Internet of Patients (IoP). And with the speed of technology in our market, I wouldn’t be surprised if the IoT became as commonplace as remote monitoring and telehealth in the very near future.
For more on the IoT, including setting strategies and business models and overcoming management challenges, check out these resources from the OPEN MINDS Industry Library:
- Healthcare IoT – Remote Patient Monitoring
- Planning Your IoT Strategy
- Are We Ready For The ‘IoT’ Business Model?
- The Dark Side & Management Challenge Of The ‘Internet of Things’
- How The ‘Internet Of Things’ Will Change Health Care Customer Service
And be sure to join me on November 8 for the session, “How Technology Is Shaping Addiction Treatment: Remote Monitoring, Mobile Apps, & More” at The 2017 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.