IoT for Healthcare — A $163 billion opportunity
Internet of Things Enabled Healthcare
Healthcare is a highly valuable albeit highly contentious industry. Soaring costs, complex insurance regulations used at times as much for political leverage as for ensuring patient care, overworked doctors and nurses, and ongoing public health issues all influence the way patients interact with medical professionals and other caregivers.
To some extent all of these problems, along with many others that plague healthcare service delivery, could be streamlined, and outcomes improved, through better access to real-time information, innovative monitoring techniques and predictive diagnostics–all solutions the Internet of Things can enable.
IoT as a Healthcare Industry Disruptor
Based on research conducted by Accenture Consulting and published earlier this year, 73% of healthcare executives think IoT will be “disruptive” within three years. In keeping with a broader theme impacting enterprise IoT adoption, the research further finds that only 49% of healthcare executives say “their leaders completely understand what” the IoT means for the industry.
Despite an apparent hesitancy, digital research firm eMarketer projects an $163 billion value for IoT-related healthcare by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of more than 38% from a 2015 baseline.
An executive summary in the research report outlines a number of key use cases:
- Internet-enabled devices and sensors seamlessly collect and analyze real-time health and fitness data.
- Connect entire networks of medical devices.
- Locate healthcare-related assets.
- Streamline patient care and medical research.
It’s already tracking:
- Pharmaceutical inventory
- Helping elderly patients stay safe in their homes
- Powering prescription bottles that remind people when to take their medications
Value From Data
IBM has tailored its cognitive data analysis platform Watson for healthcare, and has placed major emphasis on its health-related products and services. For Watson Health, IBM cites four primary benefits of data insight created by connected appliances:
- optimized organizational performance
- better customer engagement
- enhanced decision making
- management of patient experience while gaining cost efficiencies