According to the IBM Institute for Business Value, the estimated number of connected medical devices – that is, medical devices connected to the Internet – is expected to increase from 10 billion to 50 billion over the next decade. This presents several advantages from both a clinical and data perspective. We look at five such advantages below:
- Enhanced patient-clinician experience
- Remote patient monitoring
- On-demand access to current patient information, data insights and analytics
- Improved asset management
- Improved patient outcomes efficiency
Furthermore, the global delivery of healthcare has become increasingly focused on medical outcomes, achieving results for patients, and attaching industry incentives to those results. It is therefore not surprising that healthcare devices are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the IoT market. In fact, Fortune Business Insights predicts that the value of this sector – often referred to the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) – to reach $176 billion by 2026.
1. Enhanced patient-clinician experience
Analysing and collecting data using IoT technology fosters a more personalised patient-clinician experience in respect of both providing information to patients and offering training to clinicians. Training in this context can focus on meeting patient expectations in the digital age. Connected medical devices can furthermore aid compliance with recommended treatments or therapies and can facilitate early intervention for any noncompliance.
2. Remote patient monitoring
Medical device connectivity allows for the remote monitoring of chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. These devices (such as wearable medical devices) can transmit data from the patient’s home to the caregiver or clinician, providing a bird’s eye view of the patient’s condition and improving treatment effectiveness. In the current pandemic, it can even be utilised to monitor hand hygiene.
3. On-demand access to current patient information, data insights and analytics
In order to treat patients efficiently, guide diagnosis and consider treatment options, it is vital to have access to up-to-date patient information to ensure accurate data insight and analytics. Nevertheless, even the most thorough patient assessments are of little help to clinicians if they are not documented correctly or in a timely way. This, in turn, creates inconsistencies in the documentation process and hinders data quality and integrity. Medical device connectivity can help eliminate these issues and provide healthcare professionals with complete, precise and current patient assessments on demand.
4. Improved asset management
Managing and maintaining medical devices used to be a laborious, routine task. With connected medical devices, stakeholders can now complete and collect device diagnostics remotely. It could also potentially help predict device failures. This boosts assurance that devices are working safely in the field. The access to real-time data puts CTOs and MedTech developers in a better position to optimise their workforce and so deploy staff to sites that need immediate assistance. It also simplifies and accelerates upgrades and bug fixes.
5. Improved patient outcomes efficiency
IoMT connects people (patients, technicians and clinicians), data, processes such as care delivery and patient support and devices to deliver improved patient outcomes efficiently.
The quality of clinical decisions is directly related to the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of patient data. With this in mind, it is no longer enough to only think about elements of the solution, such as connected services. At Polymorph we think about all the ways in which connected devices can support patients, MedTech providers and clinicians and then evaluate the system holistically. This ensures end-to-end solutions that are focused on patient outcomes and results while simultaneously enabling visibility and security of all of your connected medical devices.
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