Healthcare services have been present to us since our stone age, at that time also when people got injured they were treated, even though there was no cure for diseases. As time passed and humans evolved new diseases came into play, which challenged the healthcare services provided by humans. There have been many catastrophic disease epidemics in the past which shook the human race, to name a few are SARS and HIV many more, and the list is never-ending. But, humans have always succeeded in defeating them by creating a cure or by preventing it, every century saw a new disease, and we suffered severe losses but ended up winning. Healthcare services have evolved a lot now and have reached a level which no one ever thought about a few years ago.
Early in time, things were a lot different, healthcare services were very domesticated and very less technology oriented, but in the tech century which is the 21st century, it has become essential for healthcare services to cope with the technology and adopt connected health services. Healthcare services are heavily influenced by today’s technology, it is all because of today’s technology that healthcare has been able to improve and transform drastically. The great computing power of today’s computers have helped scientists to find cures for diseases which were once thought incurable, laboratories are equipped with the latest tech which allows the scientist in researching. The new technology has even helped in a lot of other areas as well, and the biggest one is connecting the doctors with each other, doctors with their patients, consulting online and a lot more.
IoT (Internet of Things) has changed the way we live, everything is connected to the internet, and we have access to everything on the pal of our hands. There are many reasons which create a need for connected healthcare:
• A rise in the population of Aged People – With the increase in the number of ageing people efficient healthcare service have become a need, and the efficiency can only be achieved with the help of connected health services. This makes it necessary for us to create a healthcare plan and implement it.
• Rising use of health monitoring devices and mobile applications – The rapid growth of the IT sector has led to extensive use of technology which has, in turn, led to every person using a smart device. With every person having a smartphone the job of monitoring each and everyone’s health status can be an easy task if the idea of connected health services is implemented. Health monitoring devices like heart rate sensors, blood pressure sensors, cardiovascular exercise sensors, etc., are now available in wearable forms which makes them easily accessible. The easy accessibility has been possible because of their reduced size, with these devices present always around you it has become an easy task to keep track of your health.
• Evolving Lifestyle – With the continuous changing lifestyle it is essential for us to adjust accordingly and take care of our health. The best way to create awareness about the dos and don’ts is by proactively changing introducing care services best suited to the current lifestyle.
• Easy Accessibility to Data – The improvement in technology and the internet has helped the health industry. You see the expansion of the internet as a network has made it easy for people to stay connected and share information. The increase in the sharing of information has translated into increased awareness about new diseases and their shortcomings. Data is also available on the internet which analysts use to analyse the health industry.
But, connected health solutions is not all bed of petals and roses, it also faces some challenges in this day and age, like:
• A threat to Security – The data of every user can be at stake; many hackers would try to retrieve it for their personal benefit.
• Compatibility Issues – Every hospital will have to follow the same protocol if we want to make the dream of connected health services come true, which can be quite tricky. Every medical institution will have a different protocol and would be hesitant to follow the same one which every other is because it can be a threat to their data.
• Complex and high-volume data – It can get difficult for hospitals to keep track of the data and sometimes decode it. The amount of data which can be high may get difficult to handle.
The future seems bright with the current ideas and technologies even after the difficulties being faced right now, many companies like Harman and Deloitte are working towards solving these problems and are already ready with solutions. Many cloud-based services are now in the market to serve the purpose of connected health solutions and can be adopted by medical institutions.