The ability to connect people to providers through devices enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to increase patient wellness and self-advocacy, broaden the reach of healthcare through remote monitoring, and provide more insight to clinicians by capturing more data.
Network technologies, cloud-based applications, the more affordable cost of devices, and the ability to leverage IoT enablement services is positioning IoT in healthcare to grow in many key areas.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions leverage connected devices that collect patient data in non-clinical settings. These devices transmit data back to medical care professionals via cellular networks or through WiFi or Bluetooth that is connected to a medical data hub, which then relays the data. In both cases, medical data is distributed to the cloud and stored on the patient’s electronic medical record, where it can be monitored by medical professionals.
Patient benefits of remote patient monitoring include remote access to healthcare, greater patient outcomes, and improved quality of care. For healthcare providers, the benefits include increased revenue generation, the ability to scale easier, and practice safety can be enhanced.
Remote patient monitoring is typically leveraged for chronic disease care for more comprehensive monitoring. Use cases include congestive heart failure, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and hypertension. The use of connected blood pressure cuffs, spirometers, pulse oximeter, and other devices can collect patient data and help mitigate spikes or concerns before they become issues that require in-patient care or hospitalization.
Traditional clinical trials take place in a centralized location where clinicians require patients to make frequent visits for data collection. IoT enables connected devices to become woven into clinical trials so that patients are not required to make as many in-person visits.
In hybrid clinical trials, patients still come for in-person visits but are empowered with connected devices that help reduce the number of in-person visits. These devices include many of the same used in RPM, but also electronic diaries for eCOA and ePRO, which helps for more holistic data capture.
Fully decentralized clinical trials, also known as virtual clinical trials, are 100 percent remote with no clinician-to-patient interaction. DCTs use the same type of mobile and medical devices as hybrid trials, but additionally, they rely on recruitment and retention platforms, e-visits, and video dosing regimens for patient interaction and engagement
A rise is coming for consumer IoT wearables that track heart rate, fall detection, and other data or safety and wellness wearables that use GPS for geofencing, location detection, and pair with emergency services as is the case with mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems (mPERS) devices.
These devices can also fall under IoT health-related solutions and will meet some of the same challenges as RPM and DCTs, including data and privacy.
KORE SVP of Connected Health Kristie Swanson will join other IoT experts in a panel discussion moderated by Beecham Research’s Robin Duke-Woolley during the CES Preview on December 8 at 10 a.m. The panelists will focus on the successes in current healthcare solutions and look to the future including opportunities and challenges. Register now.
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