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New technologies for improving healthcare

Various thought leaders have opined that we are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as seen by the fact that new technologies are disrupting all industries, disciplines, and economies. By 2020, the digital universe will be 44 trillion gigabytes. This amount is doubling every two years.  Big Data will become so large that artificial intelligence (AI) will make sense of it for us. Already Google has launched the Google Deepmind Health project to scrutinize the data of patients’ medical records and provide better and faster service.

Mitchell Weiss, a robotics safety expert, identified the top three trends impacting occupational health and safety in 2017. They involve complexity of automation, collaborative automation, and complexity of user interface. Along with this there is an increase use of Big Data, artificial intelligence, and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) to do medical work.

Internet of Things (IoT) — the ability to connect any device to the Internet through an on and off switch — is a major component of telemedicine, which allows healthcare professionals to communicate with people long distance and provide consultation, diagnosis and treatment of various medical conditions. IOT Telemedicine, which has been gaining in popularity, is now expanding globally.

A Brief Primer on the Internet of Things

Internet of Things is a concept that can apply to things like washing machines, coffee makers, headphones, even parts of machines. The research and advisory firm Gartner estimates  that by 2020, more than 26 billion devices will be connected to IoT. Some analysts say the figure could go as high as 100 billion. In only a short time, our society will be a network of connected “things.” And these “things” include the robots and other devices that are connected to the Internet and can therefore consult with physicians and patients thousands of miles away.

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IOT improves healthcare

Healthcare stakeholders are searching for ways to apply Big Data to drug development. Until recently, clinical trials were the primary method of collecting data and measuring whether a drug worked well and was safe. But the recent digitization of health records and healthcare claims has sparked new ideas about which data is relevant when evaluating drugs, including real-world evidence.

Real-world evidence is data from patients’ experience with a drug, outside of research settings. Pharmaceutical companies, regulatory authorities, and insurance companies are determining how this data will affect recommendations for prescribing drugs.

If you stay current with technology news, you have certainly heard of the Internet of Things. If not, in a nutshell, the term essentially refers to any item or the capability of any item to be equipped with a sensor (e.g. in healthcare). This sensor would be able to collect data, and send it to another sensor or databank, and also be capable of taking action based on data recorded.

As far as healthcare is concerned, the IoT is not being utilized anywhere near its potential. There are devices and monitors in use now, but they are primarily personal use items such as fitness trackers and such.

There are an infinite number of uses for IoT in healthcare. There is the potential to improve patient care, facilitate research, streamline physician workloads, and from the administrative end of healthcare, save large amounts of time and money.

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Home is where the customer is

“Home” is where the customer is. The physical home is an extended home-zone, nowadays. If you want to be successful with your services, you have to reach the customer at his home where he uses his devices and sensors. More and more services are anchored at the customer-home – more services for easier coping with everyday life. The customer autonomy continues.
The battle for the living room of the consumer has not ended, as traditional lines of business still have to find their way to the living room of the customer. Technology is the enabler to reach the customer. The right sensors, the right App, the right Infrastructure is needed to generate a value added for the customer. And finally, (Data-)Security and Data Intelligence have to create real benefits for the customer.

Latest developments and examples are:

  • 3-D printing: manufacturing at home
  • Drones: logistics to your door
  • Smart meters: energy autonomy for your home
  • IoT: Sensors and Data-Intelligence decide for a lot of repetitive tasks what to do
  • Streaming vs TV: you decide what to watch
  • Smart loudspeaker

All those customer centric services increase customer autonomy. Technology is hereby an enabler. The more your business model supports customer centric autonomy, the higher the revenue potential.

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