IoT and Healthcare: Driving Growth

Software, Media & Technology

Earlier this month, I wrote a blog post on the England’s £2bn Digital Health Plan. An article by Health Tech Digital explains how this can be put in place, specifically using IoT technology.

The NHS is currently suffering from a large backlog of elective procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has dropped the percentage of people satisfied with the quality of the NHS to 71%.

IoT technology will be helping healthcare professionals be more proactive. The article sums up a few key areas:

  • IoT enables healthcare professionals to be more watchful and connect with patients proactively. Data collected from wearable IoT devices can help physicians identify the best treatment process for patients and achieve better outcomes. In hospitals, IoT devices tagged with sensors are used for tracking the real-time location of medical equipment like wheelchairs, defibrillators, nebulisers, oxygen pumps and other monitoring equipment.
  • With hospital visits limited, remote patient monitoring (RPM) and telecare services increased during the pandemic and, rather than revert to in-person appointments for monitoring or support, the use of RPM and telecare is expected to continue on that trajectory. The goal of most healthcare providers is to have connected healthcare in every home that needs it, which is more than most of us realise. For example, one in three people worldwide suffer from hypertension, a condition that requires accurate daily monitoring to prevent serious illness.  

While RPM and telecare allows the burden to be lifted off healthcare professionals by reducing the amount of conventional long-term monitoring, there are some limitations. The success of RPM depends on the device, connectivity, accuracy and patients. For example, older patients may have a harder time adapting to new technology, which is why tech companies who create these products have to make them user friendly.

Another limitation is patient trust. Healthcare device users have to trust the technology they are using, but that may not always happen if it fails to connect or provide accurate readings.

Although there are some limitations on the user side, RPM and telecare will be enhanced with IoT. Patients, healthcare providers, and the government all agree that the only way forward is digital. 

With the new digital investment, this will spur up the healthtech market in the UK as new technology will be needed to coordinate this plan. At Polestar, an important sector that we cover is health. If you would like more details in this space, or need help on growing your business, please reach out! 

By Anusheh Khan on 26/07/2022