Connected health had a big year in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of “forced innovation,” driven, in large part, by changes in consumer behavior as a response to the global health crisis. Fewer patients are getting care from primary care physicians, with nearly 50% of patients foregoing primary care for over a year according to Forrester.
Without that first line of defense in proactive healthcare and early detection of disease and chronic illness, a growing portion of the population will look to other methods of health monitoring. Connected health solutions can fill the gap with wearables, sensors, and devices the collection and transmission of health data.
Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), connected health solutions have the potential to improve patient outcomes, reduce errors, and drive innovation in healthcare. This is especially true for use cases such as decentralized clinical drug trials and remote patient monitoring, where IoT is helping to keep patients and providers safe without sacrificing patient experience or quality of care.
Remote patient monitoring has been steadily gaining traction, especially as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced new and enhanced reimbursement codes for remote patient monitoring services.
IoT drives innovation in remote patient monitoring as solutions are developed to meet the unique needs of our time. While most connected health initiatives have remotely monitored patients at home, a new IoT solution is helping to monitor diabetes patients who are hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, keeping nurses safe and minimizing PPE use while ensuring the patient still receives necessary blood glucose checks.
The IoT plays a pivotal role in connected health for clinical drug trials. The surge of remote monitoring brought on by the pandemic goes beyond chronic condition monitoring and plays a role in ensuring patient and clinician safety in clinical trials.
Decentralizing clinical trials requires using IoT devices to collect patient data and monitor biometrics, reducing or eliminating the need for in-person visits to trial sites. Patient data is typically collected through eCOA or ePRO software on handheld mobile devices and transmitted to clinicians, along with any necessary data from medical peripherals, such as connected weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters, blood glucose meters, and more.
The IoT has the power to unlock the full potential of connected health solutions, particularly in remote patient monitoring and clinical drug trials. Despite its numerous benefits, many healthcare companies struggle to deploy connected health solutions because of the complexity of IoT.
Deploying innovative healthcare solutions requires IoT expertise and experience, along with regulatory compliance and managed services capabilities. As a leading global IoT enabler, KORE offers a full suite of services to help providers manage costs while improving care and ensuring compliance.
To learn more about the future of the IoT-powered connected health ecosystem, download the whitepaper “Connected Health Powered by IoT.”
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