10 Internet of Medical Things Solutions to Strengthen Your Healthcare Portfolio

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) market is expected to reach $158 billion in the next two years. Here’s a roundup of 10 different solutions to help integrators chart a path in healthcare.

 

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Image credit: The Wincomm Corporation Smart EMR Solution for e-Healthcare

 

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a large and complex ecosystem, and it’s growing fast. In fact, the global IoMT is expected to reach a $158 billion valuation in 2022, up from $41 billion in 2017. In 2020 alone, the market is expected to realize a growth of 29 percent, driven by chronic condition monitoring.

Deloitte defines IoMT, a subset of IoT, as a connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications and health systems, and services. The consulting firm further categorizes IoMT devices in three groups: stationary medical devices (x-ray and mammography devices, CT and MRI scanners, ultrasound machines), implanted medical devices (hip replacements, pacemakers, defibrillators), and wearable external medical devices (insulin pumps, skin patches, defibrillators).

Wisely, healthcare companies aren’t sitting on the IoT sidelines. They have been—and are—busily prescribing the addition of an array of medical and facility devices, so they can collect and analyze the data to deliver better patient care and reduce operational costs. Estimates show that 15 million IoT devices are now in use by healthcare providers. Among those, almost 64 percent are being used for patient monitoring. IoT and IoMT devices are connected to the network throughout the organization, including energy meters (56 percent) and x-rays and imaging devices (33 percent).

Top Priority: Security

The arrival of these devices is creating multiple opportunities for IoT solution providers, especially those with security and risk management expertise. On the network, IoT devices are connecting without the needed security requirements, such as strong password protection and encryption.When solution providers can review IoT device passwords and network access policies and offer best practices, they can help healthcare organizations reduce their vulnerabilities.

Multiple news outlets report that cybercriminals are attacking known IoT security gaps and using them to their own advantage. One study from Irdeto found that at least 82 percent of IoT-focused cyber attacks were targeted within 12 months in 2018 and 2019. These attacks ranged from highly sensitive information disclosure to denial of service for critical devices. On average, an attack can cost a healthcare organization $346,205.    

Among industry experts, there’s concern that the attacks will increase and become more sophisticated, targeting vulnerable devices or data. One survey revealed that some IoMT devices are running a version of Windows that stopped being supported in January 2020. Without scheduled security updates, the devices become more vulnerable to attack. The stakes are incredibly high, making it critical that IoT devices and networks effectively address cybersecurity challenges.

While the security gaps concern healthcare executives, they foresee advanced layers of security ahead for IoMT solutions that can mitigate risk. The healthcare leaders are looking at IoT solutions to integrate the technology to keep patient data and medical devices safe and in compliance with regulations. Many of the IoT solutions leverage AI analytics to ensure compliance with HIPAA EMR/EHR regulations and reduce privacy risks. 

Approximately 37 percent of executives are “very confident” that sufficient security and privacy controls are being built into their healthcare IoT deployments. Overall, across the entire IoTM ecosystem from devices, apps, analytics, and infrastructure, security advancements are constantly being built into IoT offerings to keep pace with rapidly evolving market needs.   

Improving Healthcare Efficiency

Healthcare organizations are seeking the best ways to use IoT technology to optimize operational, financial, and clinical processes, and to address privacy and security concerns. Looking at recent PwC research, 83 percent of those surveyed responded that IoT devices are critical to at least some of their business. Executives expect that IoT will allow them to:

This research underlines how large the opportunities are in healthcare IoT and IoMT. From deployment, to analytics, management, support, security, and monitoring, healthcare organizations are calling in their orders for IoT.

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