‘Ultimately patients and providers both stand to benefit’
LONDON – The Internet of Medical Things market is expected to be worth $158.1 billion by 2022, according to new research from Deloitte UK Centre for Health Solutions.
The IoMT is a system of Internet-connected medical devices that can generate, collect, analyze and transmit data between each other, software applications and health systems, according to Karen Taylor, research director of the Deloitte UK Centre for Health Solutions. She discussed how the home health care industry can leverage the IoMT and what challenges are standing in the way.
HHTN:How can the home health care industry leverage the IoMT to create actionable insights from the data being generated through connected health devices?
TAYLOR:Key to realizing the potential is the scale and pace of adoption by health care organizations. They need to be able to judge the value of new IoMT enabled devices, which means medical device companies have to prove they are intuitive and easy to use and can be trusted. Ultimately, patients and providers both stand to benefit from IoMT, whether they’re using mobile medical applications or wearable devices to capture health data, or keeping tabs on the location of medical devices, personnel and patients.
HHTN:What are the biggest challenges standing in the way of a wider embrace of technology use in the delivery of home health care?
TAYLOR: The sheer pace of progression of the care IoMT is inherent with challenges, especially given some physicians and health IT departments are adjusting to the use of mobile devices during work, let alone more complex devices. Many technology analysts consider IoMT to be a disruptive technology and are concerned with its level of data privacy and security, as well as its ability to meet tightening health care compliance requirements. Other challenges include: outdated funding, business and operating models that might not be equipped to address emerging technological solutions; interoperability; a shortage of relevant digital talent among IT staff; and the patient’s comfort level with sharing their health information.
HHTN:How is technology impacting the way home health care is being delivered today?
TAYLOR:The patient care experience has extended well beyond the four walls of the hospital or doctor’s office—there are unprecedented opportunities to deliver personalized medicine, anytime, anywhere. The IoMT and proliferation of connected medical devices, when paired with the seamless integration of supporting online tools, is ushering in a new era of smarter patient care. While there are of course significant hurdles, the potential of connected health will be dependent upon the way in which the use of devices is seen as an integral part of a health integrated service model and how health care professionals support and coach their patients to utilize the devices effectively.
HHTN: What does the future hold for this market?
TAYLOR:In addition, non-traditional health care players, like developers of virtual assistants, for example, who have a strong understanding and insights on the consumer experience are entering the market and disrupting the status quo. This makes functionality and interoperability across these devices more important, as a malfunctioning device could result in the transference of incorrect patient data, or even failure to call a health care provider in an emergency. Also, as the lines between products and services become more blurred, there will need to be an integration of customer and device support. As complexity and demand increase, consumers will depend upon highly informed and equipped support teams to derive value from their connected health care devices.