The IoT industry has been closely watching the growth in the connected health space and speculating on when there would be a surge in connected health adoption. In 2020 we rapidly entered an era of “forced innovation” with the evolution of consumer behaviour brought on largely by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The connected health sector encompasses a handful of industry segments, each experiencing innovation through a number of unique use cases. Each segment has at least one use case at the forefront of connected health innovation.
Remote patient monitoring, or RPM, is a method of healthcare delivery that uses technology and connected devices to gather patient data outside of traditional healthcare settings. One of the most prominent use cases is in cardiac rhythm monitoring.
A top three global supplier of cardiac rhythm management devices was challenged with connecting an analogue monitor for cellular transmission of patient data. They achieved incremental productivity gains, cost savings, efficiency, and scale by partnering with an IoT enabler to power a safe, secure web-based data management system for patient transmitted data. Many cardiac patients rely on this technology, which includes wireless adapters, cellular connectivity, and analogue monitors.
Connected health within the clinical drug trials segment encompasses sourcing, securing, and connected mobile devices that are used for patient data collection within clinical trials. Within this segment, decentralised clinical trials offer a patient-centric experience that is aligned with the changing consumer behaviour seen in more broadly across the connected health sector.
Clinical research organisations like Parexel are leading the industry in decentralised clinical trials, offering fully virtual and hybrid options that result in broader test pools, increased diversity in recruitment, more accurate data, and faster time-to-market for critical drugs and new therapies.
In connected health, equipment monitoring and diagnostics entails providing remote, secure access and visibility into critical medical devices in order to aid in the delivery of care and ongoing equipment maintenance. A key example of this type of equipment monitoring within connected health is with kidney dialysis treatment.
With IoT solutions for equipment monitoring, at-home dialysis machines are powered with cellular connectivity and sensors that enable supply level checks, over-the-air updates, and general device maintenance. This results a higher quality of life for kidney patients that allows them to age in place.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only increased the demand for in-home monitoring, but has also changed the way patients are monitored while in the hospital. With the scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) in focus earlier this year, hospitals needed a way to keep their personnel safe while monitoring COVID-19 patients who also had chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Companies like Dexcom, a manufacturer of continuous glucose monitoring systems, are providing innovative solutions that allow hospital nurses to maintain visibility of COVID-19 patients without physical interaction. The Dexcom solution automatically measures glucose levels every five minutes and sends the data to nurses via a handheld mobile device, saving scarce PPE resources and reducing the risk of disease spread. Partnering with an IoT expert allowed Dexcom to deploy the solution in a matter of days - that's no small feat given the complexities of deploying connected health solutions.
Medical alert monitoring in connected health refers to assistance provided remotely through communications technology that allows older adults and people with disabilities to live independently. A primary medical alert monitoring use case is personal emergency response (PERS) and mobile personal emergency response (mPERS).
A common mPERS solution includes a wearable, pushbutton device and call center service that allows aging adults to signal the need for emergency help and call for assistance from anywhere. As the elderly population are experiencing quarantine situations due to the current global pandemic, the PERS and mPERS markets are seeing a surge in demand that’s driving innovation.
The future of connected health is exciting, with promising technologies that have the potential to completely revolutionise patient care and human health. Innovations such as drone delivery of pharmaceuticals, remote surgeries, and 3D printing could change the way healthcare is delivered and accessed.
While connected health solutions have countless benefits and hold immeasurable potential, it’s a complex process to develop, launch, and maintain scalable solutions that get results. KORE helps healthcare companies across all industry segments by streamlining the process of sourcing, provisioning, validating, securing, and connecting mobile devices for connected health. By handling the complexities of connected health deployments, KORE allows healthcare companies to focus on future innovation without sacrificing patient care.
Download the eBook, IoT in Healthcare: Future-Proofing Healthcare IoT Services, to learn how three companies have deployed their secure, scalable connected health solutions.
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