It seems as though the Internet-of-Things (IoT) is quickly becoming a ubiquitous thread within our global social fabric. And, far beyond consumer applications of the technology, industries of all types are quickly adopting functionality to make their own business processes work better, faster, and smarter than ever thought possible. For instance, just a few weeks ago I read an article on how IoT is being used to save rhinos and elephants from poachers—if that’s not a perfect example of the reach and impact of IoT then I don’t know what is. 

But what about the technology that’s being used closer to home? As we move into 2019, one of the fastest growing industries to implement IoT technology is the medical industry. And with more than 962 million people aged 60 and over worldwide—comprising 13% of the global population—the need for extended care to the home is becoming a pressing argument for the adoption of new ways to connect to and care for the world’s aging population. 

The utilization of IoT in the medical industry doesn’t just begin and end with the elderly; in fact, far from it. IoT is being leveraged across the board for everything from remote monitoring of patients who suffer from chronic or long-term conditions, to the tracking of patient medication orders, to wearable devices, etc.  

Even within hospitals, IoT is being used to monitor a number of devices from infusion pumps to hospital beds with embedded sensors that monitor patient vital signs. 

As for the adoption of theses types of technologies, here are just a few statistics that show IoT adoption rates:

  • 60% of healthcare organizations have introduced IoT devices into their facilities.
  • 70% of healthcare organizations use IoT for monitoring and maintenance.
  • 87% of healthcare organizations plan to implement IoT technology by the end of 2019.

The reason behind such staggering numbers? For all institutions looking to implement IoT technology the majority cited increased workforce productivity (57%) and cost savings (57%)  as key drivers. 

However, as with all things in the modern age the risks of using new types of technology are always present, as well as the concerns pertaining to cybersecurity. For healthcare providers, breaches are of monumental concern, especially protecting health information through compliance with the stringent regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Even with so many regulations in place, it has not stopped almost 90% of healthcare organizations suffering from an IoT-related security breach through IoT devices. 

The lesson to be learned? IoT is one of the most important aspects and drivers of modern digital transformation to date. And with that, the adoption of the technology is going to continue to grow exponentially in the coming years. Therefore, when deciding to implement any type of technology, IoT or otherwise, choosing the right partner for guidance becomes imperative.