As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand, so does the importance of a healthcare facility’s IT infrastructure in order to support the increased amount of connect devices. Whether it’s cellphones, wearable devices, or medical equipment, all require a strong, well-prepared IT infrastructure.
Back in 2016, Gartner predicted that there will be 6 billion connected devices that request the support of Internet of Things. This year, there are 7 billion Internet of Things devices with a prediction of 21.5 billion devices in 2025 (IOT Analytics). This is a significant amount of rapid growth in a small time frame. Growth that is happening while people are still getting sick and need proper care. Healthcare facilities should be adapting and taking it into consideration while discussing future plans.
Benefits of Growth
The Internet of Things is the inter-working of network-enabled devices that exchange and collect data with the other devices connected on the Internet. This runs global and includes both personal devices and secure enterprise devices. The Internet of Things stands to improve healthcare organizations by giving them real-time access to data from various medical devices. This will help them provide more efficient patient care and increase customer & employee satisfaction.
As these Internet of Things devices are continuously connected, they are able to provide valuable data for disease prevention and management. These devices constantly monitor patient vitals, administer therapies, and track self-administered therapies providing facilities extreme benefit. Patients are also using smartphones and mobile applications to manage their health needs. That data is then integrated with telehealth and telemedicine via the Medical Internet of Things (mIoT).
The Internet of Things is also improving healthcare organization’s operational efficiency. Medical equipment can communicate maintenance needs to staff while connected to IoT. This can prevent potential malfunctions and emergency situations. This preventative measure saves organizations time on repairs as well as saves money by extending the life of medical equipment.
As the Internet of Things is a rather new concept, a lot of hospitals and healthcare facilities do not have the proper infrastructure to support the growing needs of their organization. In order for the data collected from devices to be useful, the infrastructure needs to be able to support communicate between many devices. The growth is not slowing down any time soon, so it is important that healthcare facilities are taking a good look at their IT infrastructure. Being prepared for those 21.5 billion devices will save facilities time, money, and improve overall operational efficiency.