Last updated: 30 September 2014
This is the sixth in a series of posts around the Gemalto M2M Fact or Fiction quiz, which pits you against a series of scenarios – real or imagined – to test how much of an M2M visionary you are. For the whole quiz, click here, and for other posts in the series – click here.
Fans of Homeland and wearable technology will certainly have correctly guessed “Fact” on this question – smart medical monitors, from glucose monitors to pulse-tracking watches, have been an increasingly hot-ticket in the consumer electronics and medical technology markets. The sensors usually alert the patient themselves on whatever issue they’re tracking for, from sugar levels to pulse thresholds, but increasingly medical institutions will look to opportunities to capitalize on this data to improve patient care, and even cut the cost of healthcare delivery.
How can M2M cut the cost of healthcare delivery? Through a few key avenues:
- By preventing illness: smart body monitors won’t just motivate people to be fitter, they’ll give doctors a clear path to recommend pre-emptive treatment. Cut your diet or… these symptoms will result. A fitter public cuts demand for medical services and makes for a healthier society.
- By preventing emergency admission for chronic disease sufferers: remotely monitoring a patient’s vitals can trigger automated alerts if certain thresholds are reached. For example, a diabetic patient who exceeds certain glycemic thresholds can be called to ask them to come in to see a doctor before an emergency situation can arise.
- By preventing re-admission: Most (public) hospitals need to clear hospital beds as quickly as possible, which means discharging people as soon as they broadly seem well and able to recover from home. Emergency readmissions, however, can be very costly (Emergency Room cost of treatment is much higher than normal admission for a number of reasons). Remote monitoring of healthcare vitals can alert medical staff if a patient is exhibiting signs of needing further treatment before a home emergency results.
There are doubtless many other applications, and this is an area we expect considerable development to follow in over the years; after all, it’s good for the patients, good for the healthcare providers, and good for the public bodies that fund them (where State healthcare exists…).
As readers of our Homeland post will remember, security is particularly vital here, especially as the automation of M2M connected devices grows, so we’ve been working with key organizations to secure connectivity into healthcare M2M hubs.
Did you get this question right in our quiz? Take it here.