Imagine living in a world of connected things that intelligently and intuitively respond to your needs and wants. From the clothes that you wear, the car that you drive, the places you live and work – imagine a world around you, where everything could seamlessly interact. This concept of hyper connectivity, where smart devices, personal clouds, wearable technology, and big data are all tied together via the Internet, is coined the Internet of Everything (IoE).
Sounds impossible? We might be closer than you think.
Consider for a moment the rapid growth trend of the number of things connected to the Internet. According to a recent whitepaper published by Cisco, in the year 2000, there were about 200 million things connected to the Internet. That figure has increased to roughly 10 billion today, on the heels of the mobile explosion. Furthermore, estimates show that currently 99.4 percent of all physical objects in the world are still unconnected – meaning a mere 10 billion out of 1.5 trillion “things” globally are connected. If connecting the unconnected is in fact possible, the potential is endless.
Many people believe that this concept is the next big thing for tech, and potentially healthcare. With a projected $14.4 trillion of value at stake for companies and industries embracing IoE, the healthcare industry is poised for a hearty share. Take the example of connected care and patient monitoring, which according to Cisco’s whitepaper, will account for up to $106 billion of total potential value.
IoE could enable better-connected devices and data driven management. The end result? More streamlined healthcare. If you follow our blog, we often discuss the inefficiencies in healthcare caused by a siloed approach to data management. For many institutions, distributing data across the care continuum and connecting disparate systems poses a big challenge. Due to lack of interoperability, patient information is not always readily available at the point of care. In addition, due to doctor and patient relationship, many tests are administered manually, and several diagnoses and treatment plans are not standardized across healthcare.
If the Internet of Everything takes hold, it will have a dramatic impact on care delivery. Forward looking predictions expect sensors to make better use of home monitoring systems, machine-to-machine and machine-to-people connections to reduce hospital length of stay, and more standardized knowledge sharing to occur.
Hospital technology systems will need to undergo huge changes to better collect and analyze information, while gateways and the cloud will share and store the data in an automated and continuous way.
In order for these transformations to take form, the IoE demands a fundamental shift in how services are delivered and used. In many ways, it’s already starting to happen. How have big data, cloud technology, mobility, and other early signs of this shift impacted your hospital or practice? Let us know is the comments section below!