Quick Read

  • An overview of IoT
  • The Challenges faced by clinical trials process
  • Benefits of IoT in healthcare
  • Key Takeaways

IoT in Healthcare

Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of virtual objects such as smart devices and sensors through which data is collected and transmitted for analysis. IoT can be implemented in the complete pharmaceutical value chain, from drug R&D, production and in supply chains, and enhance patient engagements. IoT helps Life Sciences companies in detecting errors, improve regulatory compliance, R&D effectiveness besides reducing operating costs.

Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices have the ability to improve clinical trials through increased patient retention and shorter trial spans. To reap the benefits, life science companies need to collate, process and transmit IoT data to healthcare providers in compliance. Today, pharmaceutical companies are keen to adopt effective drug development models to address key parameters such as effective safety monitoring and managing retention issues during trials.

Clinicians are now more aware of the immense potential of IoT based devices in clinical research, and is expected to grow rapidly. Clinicians are now more aware of the immense potential of IoT based devices in clinical research, and is expected to grow rapidly. Current IoT global market value is estimated nearly $14 billion, and expected to reach 50 billion by 2020.

Thanks to IoT, we now have access to huge volumes of real-time data of patients and individuals across the globe. IoT when combined with medical data, provides a holistic 360-degree view that healthcare players can leverage with minimal disruption for effective decision making. It enables early identification of the developments that contributes to improved decision making of the clinical trial, saves time, capital and efforts for pharma companies.

IoT has widely been used in healthcare, and the list of use cases continues to grow. One such usage of IoT outside clinical settings, is it enables Remote patient monitoring which is gaining attention. Allowing monitoring patients at the convenience of their home, staying connected is a true potential of IoT in healthcare.

In many cases, these remote monitoring devices are more user-friendly than medical devices. When external medical devices are portable “wellness devices” patients feel it more convenient to wear them as they monitor and transmit medical information. Wearable device usage including, glucose monitoring devices, electrocardiogram patches has the convenience to monitor vital signs at home. Other important use cases for IoT in healthcare is clinical drug trials, as it accurately collects high quality data and improve patient engagement.

Challenges faced by clinical trials process:

  • Lack of transparency at all levels of the supply chain
  • Highly uncertain and frequently changing demand
  • Specialized packing and labeling to facilitate randomization and blinding
  • Delay in decision-making due to lack of integration with contract research organizations

Benefits of IoT in healthcare, includes:

  • Enhanced patient engagement

    IoT makes a patient’s life easier and plays a vital role in healthcare. Devices are evolving to meet the growing demand of remote monitoring, besides how patients access data is changing too. Patients have increased awareness and better informed, patients use apps to access their health data and track the progress of their well-being.

  • Improved patient outcomes

    Implementing IoT, physicians & caregivers have access to real-time patient information that enables them to make informed decisions, thus can deliver better outcomes. When a provider can make diagnosis based on real-time information, it is a win-win situation. Patients that can be remotely monitored, can avoid doctors’ visits, hospital stays and re-admissions.

  • Fewer errors

    When data is collected and transmitted automatically, there is minimal rate of errors compared when done manually.

  • Superior patient experience

    Healthcare is more focused on patient-centric approach, IoT helps improve that experience by providing timely intervention and diagnosis, improved accuracy, proactive treatments, and better treatment outcomes.

Key Takeaways

  • IoT promises healthcare ecosystem to draw deep insights and contextual analysis
  • Accurate mapping of information from wearable devices, helps physicians and caretakers to give appropriate dosages of medicines
  • During clinical trials process, embedded and wearable devices helps to understand efficiency and risks associated with specific drugs.