‘The impact of millions of wearable devices tracking personal health care will put an enormous strain on traditional network infrastructures,’ says Daniele Loffreda
WASHINGTON – For a truly connected, innovative ecosystem—one with an influx of mHealth data—providers must upgrade their technology infrastructures, according to the American Medical Informatics Association.
The AMIA, which recently presented policy documents on the subject at a Capitol Hill briefing, also identified interoperability as another key obstacle to overcome.
“The pursuit of value-based care places new demands on the health care system that our IT infrastructure needs to be able to support,” said the authors of the documents. “Coordination is how we take the health IT tools of today and achieve the promise of better patient care tomorrow.”
Daniele Loffreda, an advisor with health care data specialist Ciena, said providers need to determine how they plan to manage the flow of data from home health technology devices.
“The impact of millions of wearable devices and sensors tracking personal health care or other factors will put an enormous strain on traditional network infrastructures,” he said, explaining that current legacy networks simply aren’t built to handle traffic from millions of sensors measuring all types of health conditions. “Growing investments in wearable device technologies only underscore how health care is driving demand for faster, agile and on-demand networks.”
The AMIA documents also recommend that the health care industry develop standards for the different data streams from wearables and other mHealth devices, and standards for application program interface (API) to ease the data flow.
Loffreda said many health care systems have seen the writing on the wall and are making investments to get their infrastructure up to par. While that’s a step in the right direction, it needs to happen industry-wide.
“Interoperability is imperative for today’s digital health care to work as intended,” said Loffreda. “Without high-performance connectivity, lag time and latency issues will hamper the effectiveness of devices, sensors and apps. In some cases, this situation could prove life-threatening.”