Today, healthcare and technology go hand in hand. From endoscopic surgery to patient intake and processing, technology is everywhere. However, there are several of factors that stand out in their effect on the healthcare industry and how it will evolve in the future. Two of the most important to understand are network access and support, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Impact of the Network on Healthcare
Network connectivity is essential for all businesses today, and the healthcare sector is no exception to this rule. In fact, it is responsible for improving patient outcomes and streamlining the average patient experience in a wide range of ways. However, the current level of network technology within most healthcare organizations is insufficient to handle the demands that will soon be placed upon it.
A number of factors will impact existing network infrastructure, straining limited resources and causing issues that could lead to negative impacts on patient health and safety. For instance, the rise of blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and automation all need to be considered for their impact to network bandwidth and other resources, and the potential to affect both patient care and in-office operations essential to the smooth running of a healthcare business.
Important emerging factors can help to offset the demand of these new technologies, including SD-WAN (software defined wide area networks), as well as advanced Wi-Fi that offers unified communications capabilities.
The ultimate goal here should be to ensure that devices, healthcare professionals and back office staff can all communicate accurately and effectively to deliver positive patient outcomes.
The Rise of IoT in Healthcare
Healthcare might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to the Internet of Things, but it should be high on the list. There is an increasing push to foster machine-to-machine communication that allows improved health monitoring and better patient outcomes. This is visible in existing systems, such as pacemakers, but it will continue to evolve.
For instance, there is a wearable device under development that offers an MRI-like view into a patient’s body without the need for bulky stationary machines. Another example is the rise of miniature devices that can be implanted into patients to manage pain or even to detect disease as it begins to develop.
These are all emerging uses of IoT technology within the healthcare sector, but there are others, and they’re not limited to patient-facing applications. Healthcare organizations must also consider the business-side of things, and IoT technology will have a considerable impact on back office operations.
Examples here include the ability to better predict costs, the ability to perform predictive maintenance on equipment to eliminate the possibility of downtime and ensure the best return on investment, as well as smart building technology that allows better monitoring of patients and staff, better security and safety for vulnerable individuals, and much more.
As you can see, IoT technology has a great deal to offer patients, healthcare practitioners, and even office staff.
In the End
Ultimately, healthcare organizations must take a proactive stance when it comes to technology, particularly network-based systems and wireless technology. From improving patient outcomes to reducing operational costs and bolstering profitability, the Internet of Things and the modern network have a great deal to offer healthcare businesses.
With that being said, moving forward with these ever-evolving technologies requires a smart strategy from the outset, as well as a partnership with or investment in experts who focus on emerging technology and its possible uses for and benefits to the healthcare sector.