3 Ways the Internet of Things Is Improving Healthcare

Adebayo OnigbanjoThis article is an excerpt from a report written by Zebra Technologies following the acquisition of Motorola enterprise business.

The healthcare landscape is changing drastically and many organizations are seeking ways to make improvements amidst the evolution. To reach this new level of efficiency, accuracy and patient safety, organizations need real-time visibility and intelligence into their data such as patient records, specimens, medications, supply inventories, etc.

Solutions like electronic health records (EHRs) and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags have allowed healthcare staff to leverage data from patient wristbands to diagnostic test results—enhancing efficiency and accuracy. However, the actionable insight into operations and processes is what provides organizations that next level intelligence. This actionable insight is gained through a set of enabling technologies in the areas of asset management, cloud, mobile and Big Data.

From clinicians that need to identify patients, collect specimens, administer medication and monitor vital signs to pharmacists that need an accurate inventory count, with the Internet of Things, healthcare organizations can benefit from next level Intelligence.

I. Operational Efficiency

The healthcare industry faces pressures and challenges from nearly every aspect of operation. From managing equipment, inventory and time to tracking patients, the level of accountability is high. A good example is medical inventories. Many hospitals overstock certain inventories to prevent “running out” during an emergency.

Implementing solutions such as RFID and mobile scanners connected with cloud technology, organizations can gain visibility into these assets, providing real-time information to the people and transactions that require them ensuring hospitals have what they need, where they need it, when they need it. 

II. Improved Patient Care

In order to provide the best quality patient care, clinicians and staff need access to the right equipment at the right time. Moreover, hospital staff need to better allocate their time to patient care rather than manual documentation, and tracking down the right supplies. With mobile devices, wearable technologies and comprehensive electronic medical records stored on these devices, clinicians can spend less time doing needless testing or asking redundant questions, eliminating errors, and have more time to focus on the patient’s current problem.

With IoT solutions, healthcare organizations can now gain access to the information they need in real-time to improve patient experiences and outcomes. In addition, IoT also makes it easier to integrate data from consumer devices such as fitness band into hospital systems, which help organizations gather more data and deliver better care.

III. Leadership and Innovation

For healthcare organizations to stay ahead of the curve, rather than always fighting to catch up, implementing solutions that capture and analyze their data enables them to find common patterns and anticipate what’s coming.

With IoT technologies maturing at a rapid rate, the healthcare industry stands to benefit from this intelligence to improve performance and innovation.

When it’s said and done, by spending less time manually managing processes and tracking down resources, healthcare professionals can spend more time dedicated to patient care and building strategies that improve how they operate.

You can access the full version of the report here.

Adebayo is a strategic and technical marketing leader in the technology industry. He has 15+ years of successful experience in product and solutions marketing in telecommunication, AIDC, locationing, mobile and the Internet of Things space. He has worked for a variety of leading technology companies.

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