As startups lead the way and major players make moves to enter the market, connected healthcare is poised to advance from imagination to reality. Augmented reality (AR), wearables, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to have a major impact on healthcare delivery in the next few years by expanding access to data and facilitating interactions between providers and patients. This impending fourth digital wave, like personal computers, the Internet, and mobile technology before it, will have profound effects on the art and science of medicine.
Patients will first encounter advances in digital health at home. Here, connected devices such as pill bottles and medication dispensers will allow our aging population to maintain more autonomy at home longer. Sensors incorporated into garments will track and direct activity during rehabilitation. Data collected from implantable devices and health wearables will better track chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. This will allow physicians to create tailored treatment plans as well as personalized educational tools for patients.
Digital personal assistant systems such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home may soon be enlisted to help reinforce health and fitness activities. Similarly, telemedicine using real-time high definition streaming between physician extenders and physicians through smart glass may restore the age of the house call.
By MDDI Staff | MD&DI
Photo Credit: Alec Bari, MD