Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Internet of Things-The Reality of Connected Health Care

Health Care is connected. 

How will IoT be able to increase the efficiency of the system benefiting both practitioner and patient alike?

Health Information Exchange, Portals, eRX, Mobile Health Apps, Health Insurance Portals, Secure email, Telemedicine, Webinars and the Cloud  During the past decade siloes of information have diminished substantially.


While interconnectivity can be a good thing there are some precautionary tales to tell.


Privacy, and security are at risk from cyber-sleuths who attempt to financially gain by accessing data-bases such as health insurance records, EHRs, Health Information Exchanges, and government data bases to retrieve personal information such as social security numbers, driver's license numbers and other data to be used and or sold. Criminal enterprises exist with the sole purpose of stealing digital data to be sold to other parties. Many physicians are reluctant to use cloud technology for storing patient records, however this is becoming more commonplace, as it decreases capital investment and the need for onsite software upgrades.

The 2015 HIPAA Toolkit and Customizable Compliance Plan aids in minimizing these risks.

"The Internet of Things, the idea that everything will someday be totally connected, is no longer a Jetson’s era fantasy. It’s becoming closer to a reality in healthcare."
We’ve discussed IoT in healthcare and what its impact could be, but what would that look like? How can healthcare be ready for this total connectivity? Most importantly, how will IoT be able to increase the efficiency of the system benefiting both practitioner and patient alike?

For example, some hospitals have begun to use smart beds, alerting nurses when patients are trying to get up, or the bed itself can help patients get up using varying pressure and support. Devices can even help patients once they leave the hospital like smart pill bottles that know when a prescription needs to be refilled or a patient hasn’t take their medicine."
"Greater connectivity will become apparent with these new devices, but how can these technologies be incorporated into everyday practices? Take for example Google Glass. Pierre Theodore, MD talks about the possibilities that Google Glass can provide for the doctor as opposed to the consumer. "

Remote monitoring promises to be valuable as a data collection source for patients during everyday activities. These metrics will be transmited to the cloud or directly to a provider's EHR for analysis.

Wearables offer self monitoring of fitness, blood pressure, pulse and other metrics for preventive health care. The addition of cell and internet connectivity brings these metrics to the provider. AliveCor offers a smartphone ECG real-time measurement device.

About the Author: Kelley Sullivan currently resides in the Boston area and is a health IT blogger at DICOM Grid. This article was originally published on DICOM Grid and is republished here with permission.

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