It’s true, we are approaching the end of health care as we know it. But it’s a reason to rejoice. The reason we are approaching the end is that the internet of things (IoT) is disrupting and demolishing old, inefficient, and often ineffective ways of providing care to patients, both inside and outside the hospital or clinic.
A lot of the new capabilities are enabled by devices that originally were not designed for health care at all, such as smartphones. What is a smartphone? It is really a small, full-fledged computer optimized for communication. Communications standards such as Bluetooth enable can infinite variety of devices to be designed to connect and communicate wirelessly with the smartphone, and the smartphone then can transmit data, constantly if desired, to a medical provider or other data aggregator or analyzer.
The rapid advance in biometrics means that vital signs can be monitored non-invasively. At-risk patients can be monitored for tell-tale indicators of a stroke, heart attack or perhaps soon, an epileptic seizure.
Still this presents a challenge as all this patient generated health data (PGHD) needs to be managed and secured. In the US, this starts with—but does not end with HIPAA compliance. Adherence to a set of standards also ensures interoperability. How can a small doctor’s office, or even a major hospital for that matter, ensure that patient data is secure, that data gathered is accurate and usable, and that best practices are being followed? How can a device manufacture know what standards to base a design off of?
A very important first step is to properly select a cloud based purpose-built healthcare Internet of Things provider like our very own Orbita Health platform. This solves two problems immediately: One, the customer does not have to build the data platform from scratch, or try to adapt a generic solution, not designed with health care in mind, to the task. Second, the health care provider can focus on providing health care, not on maintaining, patching, and constantly upgrading a complex data platform—or the staff of programmers, engineers and architects it takes to do such.
Orbita is built from the beginning to comply with HIPPAA and other relevant regulations, as well as privacy and data security best practices. By employing such a platform, the health care provider ensures that its IoT health care application will be constantly updated and upgraded, without them having to re-engineer their application. It eliminates the need for a ground-up design, or getting into the business of managing a data platform, allowing the provider to focus on medicine and medical care.
It’s the end of health care as we know it, but the beginning of something much better: for patients, for health care providers, and for the public.