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Healthcare industry is cautiously optimistic about IoT: Sangita Reddy, JMD, Apollo Hospitals

Research agency Gartner predicts that more than 40 percent of the organizations expect Internet of Things to have a transformational impact on their operations over the next three years

And the data fuelled healthcare sector can benefit significantly from the use of Internet of Things. IOT led innovations can facilitate data enabled personalized analysis of patient health, improving clinical outcomes and effective patient monitoring.

In an interview with ETCIO.COM Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited discusses how early Apollo Hospitals is leveraging IoT to revolutionize heathcare, the potential impact of IoT and its robust future prospects in healthcare vertical.

What are some of the areas in which you are implementing IoT within your enterprise?

IoT clearly offers a promise of transforming healthcare with the use of technology. Effective integration of IoT with traditional solutions can be a force multiplier to transform healthcare with technology. Apollo Hospitals is committed to effective adoption of technology such that we can bring access and affordability of world class healthcare to every person.

With a mission to touch a billion lives, the effective adoption of IoT can make a big difference.

At Apollo, we have an identifier that ensures that every patient visiting our system is unique and the same can be used when availing services across our Health System. This means One Patient – One Record and a seamless care continuum.

Having established this sound and robust platform we are exploring IoT in areas of Disease Management. SUGAR is our Diabetes management initiative. Effective management of this rampant non-communicable disease (NCD) can lead to effective clinical outcomes.

Constant monitoring of the specific blood sugar levels using disruptive IoT enabled technology and transmitting them seamlessly to our PHR ( Apollo Prism ) has been effectively piloted and is now getting ready for wide scale usage.

In addition, we are looking at IoT in effective inpatient care, post discharge care and overall preventive health and wellness.

Integrated patient care in rooms and ICUs incorporating machines and devices with Hospital Information System (HIS) will improve efficiency for many and reduce discomfort for patients.

What do you think would be the potential benefits of implementing IoT in these areas?

Our planet and specifically our nation is reeling under the onslaught of NCDs such as diabetes and heart diseases. Effective management of NCDs can have very favorable clinical outcomes for the patients.

Our health systems are definitely challenged on the physical services that can be offered and India as a nation has a shortfall on the health services available versus the demand.

Given this situation using effective disruptive technologies in tandem with traditional solutions can greatly help us expand the reach of healthcare to all those who need it. This is a win-win situation for the IT solution industry, the healthcare providers , the patients and the community as a whole.

The economy supporting all of these is clearly going to benefit and it can create a very healthy business environment and also maximize the access to high quality healthcare.

What according to you are the biggest areas of concern when it comes to IoT depolyment? Why?

IoT is at its nascent stage. There is a promise it offers. But we have to bear in mind that when we use IoT initiatives in healthcare, we must ensure that they comply with safety and quality standards of healthcare.

In addition, IoT based technology and related embedded devices have to be very user friendly and seamless into typical workflows of every individual. The average consumer cannot get overloaded with devices which will eventually lead to degradation of adoption patterns. Utmost care has to be taken at the time of solution design to make the solution simple, easy to use and support friendly.

All of these are at early levels today. So I am cautiously optimistic.

What do you think the technology vendors offering IoT solutions should do to aid widespread adoption of IoT?

Technology solution providers should ensure that that they work in tight tandem with systems that currently run the enterprise. Effective support, technology integration services and inter phase protocols is key.

In addition to all of this, the cost and related licensing has to acknowledge the nature of healthcare industry and the associated costs as it relates to the consumer. Making it affordable and user friendly is the key to the adoption of IoT. The solutions are at early stages and we have to ensure that they live upto the potential that is being promised.

Source: ETCIO.com

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