In the near future, it wouldn’t be unfathomable to find a paramedic at your doorstep with a fibrillator and preventive medication in anticipation of your heart-attack in 30 mins. With the proliferation of fitness and wellness devices your wearable wristband not only has the capability to track your daily physical activity (footsteps, calories burnt, active minutes, sleep patterns, weight, food intake) but it soon will help keep a tab on vital statistics such as blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate etc. Marrying this rich information with your medical records gives us the magic formula to save lives!
Welcome to Connected Healthcare.
The Internet was originally about connecting people and their digital assets. The Internet of Things (IoT) takes it a step forward by directly connecting these devices to one another. When mission critical data or in this case life-saving information is now shared in real time and preventive actions are triggered; amazing things can be accomplished. From connecting firemen suits with sensors and location trackers ensuring their physical safety & wellness to having smart prescription medical bottles (vitality glowcaps) increasing the efficacy of medication significantly and proportionately their effectiveness- the list of use cases are endless.
Being an active proponent of M2M/IoT and a technology enthusiast I wanted to put it to good use and achieve my ever eluding goal of getting fitter! A quick stop at fitbit.com ensured that a smart wristband along with a shiny new wi-fi enabled weighing scale were on their way- adding to it a smoothie breakfast, 2 runs a week and squash once a week I thought I was all set to get fitter. It worked- but not for the obvious reasons.
Tracking weight, bmi, number of steps I took in a day was all great but what really worked for me was the community effect/peer pressure it created. I now had a list of friends on my fitbit application (running on my HTC One device) and we all secretly competed with each other to lead the pack. I now knew when my peer walked 31Kms over the weekend as he sodded his lawn or a friend went to a wedding and danced her heart out! It was game time and I wasn’t going to throw the towel in. Six weeks in, am down 7 lbs and the hunger to be the most physically active on my friend’s list is still burning within. I can’t seem to get enough of it! The growing excitement around Apple’s much anticipated “Smart watch” might very well shorten the lifetime of my smart wristband, but really the possibilities for M2M/IoT in healthcare are limitless.
Health Insurance companies, federal & provincial governments are spending billions of dollars for Medical facilities management, extending clinical access, assisted living and caregiver programs- it’s turning out to be a no brainer to also spend on IoT sensors and Connected platforms to increase efficiency, improve productivity, lower costs and make healthcare more accessible to patients in need. We are just beginning to scratch the surface on the “art of the possible” with M2M and one day we hope that these tiny sensors will be disrupting most legacy industries and at the same time improving efficiency and productivity.