Upcoming Health Technology Forum Conference – Internet of Things (IoT) and Healthcare
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On May, 20, 2014 the Health Technology Forum annual conference will take place in San Francisco. An eminent panel will discuss the impact of IoT on Healthcare. The panel will be moderated by Vishal Gupta, VP – Global Healthcare at Cisco, a telemedicine leader and will include Matt Douglass, Co-founder and VP at Practice Fusion which provides free Electronic Health Records for medical practices.
Internet of Things (IoT) is the new big buzzword in technology innovation. With IoT, objects like medical devices contain embedded technology so that they can interact with internal states or external environment.
As I see it, IoT is about empowering devices to gather and share information directly with each other, with people, and over the cloud, making it easier, convenient, faster, cheaper, and more effective to collect, record, and analyze data streams. IoT will empower devices and finally, this will give a way to put data to use, in real time and it can help solve all sorts of interesting challenges and will likely to revolutionize healthcare.
Consider that currently, it is people who enable most of the flow of healthcare communication. For instance, consider a patient in critical condition who needs to be constantly monitored and his vital signs checked by healthcare professionals. Now consider that instead of a professional coming in at regular intervals, this can be done with automated flow of information.
People have a limited bandwidth. People’s limits in attention span, time etc. can and do lead to all sorts of errors. But technology has advanced and there are smart sensors that can collect, record, and analyze patient data more easily. We already have smart sensors and connectivity to make all this possible. And yet, right now only 1% of things are connected, according to Joseph Bradley, General Manager of Cisco Consulting Services.
Now consider a world of such connectivity that every one of over a trillion everyday items have at least some ability to store and process information. The Internet of Things promises to be the most disruptive technological revolution since the advent of the World Wide Web. Projections are that over a 100 billion uniquely identifiable objects will be connected to the internet by the year 2020.
Kevin Ashton, General Manager at Belkin, who coined the term “The Internet of Things”, envisions a world of such connectivity where not only trillion everyday items store, process and share information but they can also share that information, over the global internet with other trillion items. Imagine connected roads where the information of slowing traffic is instantly connected through sensors embedded in the roads so other less busy roads can instantly open up carpool lanes to everyone. Now imagine a smart band aid that directly communicates to the physician whether the diabetic foot ulcer wound is healing or getting worse and timely intervention can save an amputation.
In the healthcare arena, the implications of such connectivity will be huge. Not only it will make hospital and nursing facility stays shorter and care more affordable, but home healthcare will become routine as monitoring becomes easier. It will have implications for the aging population. An American turns 50, every 7 seconds and most older individuals would prefer to live in their own homes for as long as they can. Sensors and systems like Lively are working on making this possible.
I am looking forward to exciting discussions on IoT and its impact on healthcare at the Health Technology Forum Conference on May 20th in San Francisco. To learn more about the other panels and speakers at the conference and to sign up, please click here.