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HIMSS Recap: IoT Continues to Transform Healthcare Information

 

This week, I had the opportunity to attend the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference and Exposition in Orlando, FL. As a first-time attendee, I was in awe upon walking onto the exhibition floor and seeing the extent to which information technology has become pervasive in all aspects of healthcare.  

For us, it’s a great opportunity to see how the Internet of Things (IoT) are powering new healthcare innovations. Today, we tend to take for granted that the internet naturally connects all components of the technology stack. However, connecting the billions of IoT sensors and devices that act as “digital twins” for the physical world is no trivial task.  To get the marvelous insights that artificial intelligence (AI) can bestow, the data from IoT has to arrive in a reliable, scalable and semantically meaningful fashion.  

To that point, one of the highlights of the show was an inspiring presentation by Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, where she asserted that the judicious combination of cloud, analytics and artificial AI platforms, foretells a golden era for healthcare innovation.  As technologists, we tend to marvel and extrapolate rapid adoption.  Yet no matter how altruistic its motivation, adoption is almost always driven by business considerations.  

However, we may be at a point where healthcare business needs are accelerating the implementation of these cutting-edge technologies. According to a December 2016 report from CMS, “In 2015, U.S. healthcare spending increased 5.8% to reach $3.2 trillion, or $9,990 per person. The overall share of the U.S. economy devoted to healthcare spending was 17.8 percent in 2015, up from 17.4 percent in 2014.”

The distribution of healthcare spending in the U.S. by type of service in 2015 was:

Type of service

Share

YoY Increase

Factors Driving Increase

Hospital Care

 

32%

($1 trillion)

4.6%

Non-price factors such as the use and intensity of services

Physician and Clinical Svcs

20%

($634.9 B)

6.3%

Same: non-price factors

Other Professional Svcs

3.3%

($87.7 B)

5.9 %

Physical therapy, optometry, podiatry, or chiropractic medicine

Health, Residential, and Personal Care Services

5% share (163.3 B)

7.8%

Delivery to schools, community centers, and the workplace; ambulance providers, residential mental health and substance abuse facilities

Other Home Health Care

3% share ($88.8 B)

4.5%

Spending growth for freestanding home health care agencies

Dental services

4% ($117.5 B)

-

 

 

Another constant theme at HIMSS was the topic of burnout among doctors and nurses due to the increasing demands for documentation and paperwork. This—as we were told—often leads to patients being challenged by the limited “eye contact” and meaningful interaction with their healthcare providers. Traditional methods of data entry are seen as adding significant overhead that contributes to provider’s burnout, and that detract from an enriching patient experience. 

So one wonders, can IoT technology help to improve healthcare business outcomes? Can it foster better “bedside manners” from physicians and clinical personnel?  

IoT connectivity has the power to assist in addressing a business need, keep healthcare providers more engaged and give patients the facetime they are asking for. From the location management of hospital equipment to simplifying patient data input to making a more efficient healthcare supply chain, IoT can simplify any number of tasks—and in some cases, remove them altogether—leaving healthcare providers with more time to spend with patients and enhance their overall experience” 

In upcoming posts, we’ll take a closer look at how the two-pronged IoT approach of connectivity and digital twins can be implemented to ensure greater efficiency and—more importantly—increased patient care.

Learn how KORE’s IoT solutions help healthcare businesses succeed.

Topics: IoT, mhealth, HIMSS17

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