Healthcare IoT

3 ways healthcare IoT devices must evolve to advance value-based medicine

Gone are the days of tests for the sake of tests and expensive medical procedures when lifestyle changes could achieve the same results. Fee-for-service has been cast aside for a more ethical, engaged healthcare model. The era of value-based medicine and healthcare IoT has arrived.

Rather than fixing problems stemming from a lifetime of chronic illness, prevention is the order of the day. Wellness. Driving the rates of costly readmissions down saving patients and providers money along the way.

Moving from sensors to synthesis

Industry emphasis on the Triple Aim is speeding the integration of healthcare IoT. In order to succeed, technology must move beyond sensing data to aggregating and analyzing metrics collected from medical IoT devices.

1. Healthcare IoT device data must be integrated. Simply collecting personal health data in itself won’t save money and lives. How we apply it will. Understanding how to use the data to change behavior or inform care starts with creating a complete snapshot of a patient’s biometrics.

Right now, the picture looks much like a deconstructed puzzle. Valuable pieces of data exist. But they stand as individual pieces. They haven’t yet been assembled. Data users are collecting through personal heart rate monitors, blood-glucose trackers or wellness trackers like the Fitbit or Apple Watch aren’t yet being incorporated into patient health records.

Shipments of wearables nearly tripled between 2014 and 2015. Imagine what physicians could learn if this data wasn’t just being captured but instead funneled directly into a patient’s EHR. Interoperability between health IT devices and records must be achieved to truly expand the bounds of what physicians can understand beyond what patients can verbalize.

2. Medical Internet of Things data must be shared. Integrating all forms of a patient’s personal health data is just the first step to achieving a complete medical picture for all patients through IoT connected devices. It must then be made available to all parties with a stake in the consumer’s health. Providers are a given. Payers and employers (at the patient’s discretion) shouldn’t be overlooked. If a patient’s biometrics are already being tracked, sharing them with employers eliminates the need for wellness screenings to inform fitness-based insurance savings. Any opportunity to eliminate waste and redundancy shouldn’t just be considered, it should be chased down with the dedication of a marathoner.

3. Health data must be used to enable the co-creation of care between patients and physicians. The continued development of augmented intelligence for healthcare like IBM’s Watson have the capability to compare a patient’s medical data to an extensive array of collected data to provide treatment options. Making a variant of the tool available for consumers would enable them to make more informed health decisions. Think: Is that trip to the ER really necessary?

The potential for healthcare Iot devices to personalize the healthcare experience and arm professionals with more objective information leaves a lot for health activators to be excited about.

Want to really dig into wellness software development and the Internet of Things in medicine? Read this free eBook created by MobCon founder MentorMate.

Free Wellness eBook

Photo courtesy of Hilch.