As the role of technology becomes more integrated within patient care, providers are going to have to continue to adopt new ideas to stay on the cutting edge.
A recent report Internet of Things, Today and Tomorrow states that six in ten healthcare organizations are already using IoT, with patient monitors (64 percent) and x-ray/imaging devices (41 percent) being the main devices connected to the network.
But it isn’t just about making existing tools easier; it’s also about finding new ways of helping. Eight in ten of healthcare leaders reported that with the cost savings that IoT is bringing to the marketplace, they could use those resources to increase innovation.
For many medical organizations, it isn’t a lack of desire to utilize technology in their everyday lives; it’s fear. Security risks are real. But even with the potential problems and risks, it’s important for providers to jump on board and start integrating IoT wherever they can. No matter how much you might want to hold back, your patients are demanding it. And the advantages far outweigh the risks.
Decreased costs - connectivity means real-time monitoring. That means patients can be monitored from anywhere, not just inside an office. That can cut down significantly on office visits while at the same time improve the quality of care.
Improved outcomes - real-time information lets a provider see what’s happening 24 hours of the day, not just under stressful circumstances in an office. It allows both providers and patients to make better decisions and instill lasting changes into patients lives.
Reduced errors - data collection is in real time and accumulates in an automated process. The data can follow a patient as they weave their way through providers and specialists without increasing re-entry errors or costs.
Enhanced patient experience - the real winner is the patient. When a patient starts having more involvement in their health, they become more aware as consumers and as patients. Proactive treatments, improved accuracy with diagnosis, and enhanced interactions with providers can all create happier patients. And that’s a win-win for everyone.
So what does that look like in the real world?
Ochsner Health System has integrated Apple’s Healthkit into their treatment process to provide better care for their patients. Patients are enrolled in an outpatient program that includes an Apple Healthkit and Apple Watch to get their blood pressure under control. Results show that two-thirds of their patients accomplish their goals within 90 days of enrolling in the program. And they have a higher level of satisfaction with the process.
It’s about engaging patients and making it easy for them to use a provider’s services.
With the changes IoT is seeing every day, one thing is for certain: the clear winners will be the patients and providers willing to step forward and take a chance. If you do that with an eye on possibilities, the sky's the limit.
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