The technology surrounding medicine has been exponentially improving over the past few years. With diagnostic support tools and smarter ways of communicating across the spectrum, patients are more connected with their care teams than ever before. The success of these initiatives has pushed patient engagement into being one of the key drivers in the industry. Engagement correlates with patient outcomes, and as healthcare becomes increasingly more efficient (and lean), these trends will continue to see greater and greater adoption.
But, what are the next innovative steps that should see large-scale adoption over the next year?
The defining shift in 2017 will be the incorporation of the Internet of Things as a key component of healthcare. The technology is already built and available; what remains is for the pioneers in this area to start collecting data that showcases the benefits – both for patients as well as for the RoI for healthcare providers.
Imagine a future where patients can automatically submit their vitals to their care team, just by standing on a weight scale and putting on a blood pressure cuff. Bluetooth thermometers will record the patient’s temperature, while sugar levels will be recorded and tracked by digital blood glucose meter. Devices already exist that can do these, and it is only a matter of time before an all-in-one tracking device surfaces on the market.
Platforms like Twistle already have the capability to integrate with any Bluetooth enabled device. They serve as the ideal bridge to connect a patients’ devices with their care teams. As more systems adopt these platforms, it is only a matter of time before patient care, especially for chronic conditions, will be managed more and more remotely. This is especially important given that today’s population values time and convenience over in-office interactions.
Look to 2017 to be the year where healthcare finally embraces the benefits that this integration can bring about.