Paving the Way for IoT in Healthcare
According to IoT research conducted by Tata Consultancy Services, the healthcare market driven by the IoT is predicted to be worth $117 billion by 2020. Yet the healthcare sector remains one of the most underdeveloped industries in IoT due to regulatory restrictions and data security concerns. Tata reports that the sector planned to spend just 0.3 percent of revenue on IoT in 2015, but will be increasing this investment by at least 30 percent by 2018.
One leading healthcare manufacturer is notably ahead of the IoT curve in the industry. For nearly ten years, the company has been collecting data from its connected machines with the end goal of using that information to improve product functionality and customer satisfaction. Upon launching their IoT solution, the company observed an immediate impact on several areas of their business, where data provided insight into issues that previously would have gone undetected. Thanks to remote monitoring, the company’s service department has noted dramatic improvements in machine performance and up-time. Dashboards and reports have provided visual insights which save time and allow the company to take a more agile approach to decision making.The goal is to expand the success of the service team to other departments across the organization including sales, marketing, and product development. As a company representative explained, “really every part of the business can leverage the data we’re collecting.”
Overcoming IoT Challenges
One key hurdle the company encountered is remote monitoring, which poses a unique challenge when gathering data from equipment that has been deployed in hospitals for decades, purchased in bulk at a time when remote connectivity was nothing more than a dream. The company has met this task by retrofitting many of these machines.
Mobile development has been another challenging area. At one point, technicians were unable to receive any sort of mobile alert or gain insight into product performance prior to servicing. The company developed a workaround to this problem by creating a mobile app to provide real-time data to their technicians.
What’s next for this healthcare industry IoT pioneer? A priority is extending its success with IoT to its customers. The company aims to provide its customers with knowledge and insight into equipment performance by offering summarized, meaningful data. Ultimately, this will positively impact the performance of their deployed equipment.