The average life span has soared dramatically over the past 100 years as antibiotics, vaccines and breakthroughs in medical tech eradicated major diseases and viruses. These three pillars shaped the healthcare system we have been using until the digital age arrived. The new time adds a new component to the scheme, the Internet of things (IoT) and related healthcare software solutions, and this element is about to overhaul the system.
Seen by many as the last frontier that digital revolution will disrupt, healthcare remains a conventional craft. Despite the increasing computing power, cloud technologies and mass adoption of smartphones, we are following the paths introduced decades ago. Think of the healthcare services you receive throughout your life. The usual methods are paternalistic, slow and fully anchored to the hospital you visit. Essentially, doctors are ready to help you when you ask, but they do it on their own terms and in their own space.
The arrival of IoT does not improve or modify the traditional healthcare model, but simply destroys it. The concept introduces the connected environment where different devices follow every move and breath we take, collect the data and gradually learn our habits. It means in the near future we will be constantly streaming wireless information that our body generates to the healthcare provider we chose. In return, we will receive medical feedback and on-demand diagnosis. Simply put, your healthcare app will tell you when the next illness strikes before you or your doctor even start suspecting something.
The biggest challenge for IoT-based healthcare is not cloud storage or perfect connection between scales and refrigerator. While the hardware side matters greatly, healthcare innovations should ultimately benefit patients, and that is why the major focus for any developer is the dialogue with users. From weight measurements, to calories consumed and to blood pressure check-ups, the flow of medical data becomes a detailed story of one’s health, and the right program will not just reflect the lifestyle, but will evaluate and change it for the better.
As health system moves from face-to-face to asynchronous communication, patients expect to receive texts, reminders and cautions from doctors at different parts of the day. As a result, top-notch medical solutions come with a communication chat, web dashboard for doctors and report server that creates detailed and digestible charts for both sides. Enhanced with motivational UX and UI tricks, the new generation of health apps is a mix of creativity and deep input from clinicians that know what patience should really focus on.
Cross-platform care and control
OCSICO’s experience in delivering healthcare solutions shows another trend. Within one major medical project, our team usually builds software for several applications, each with its own UI approach. For example, doctors mostly use apps on wide screens, as it helps to analyze the data more effectively; nurses tend to utilize smaller tablets in their day-to-day work, while a smartphone app is the right informational tool for a patient, relative or friend. All the apps reflect the same data, but present it in very different styles, tailored for different requests and different operating systems.
Another crucial feature that OCSICO’s developers usually fit into a consumer-focused healthcare project is a separate chat that connects a patient’s TV with a doctor’s laptop or PC via a regular browser. With a home application installed on a patient’s device, a separate module for video and voice chat, as well as WebRTC technology, communication becomes regular and proactive.
Overall, the unbelievable efficiency, constant surveillance and big data are transforming the healthcare, and the system gradually switches to continuous diagnostics and targeted therapy. The IoT will help more and more doctors to scale their reach and deliver expertize globally, and patients will simply enjoy the services they need. Supported by the right developer, the connected health solutions will turn your business or clinic into the first and leading enterprise in the new blue ocean.
If you need more insights into IoT in healthcare, IT consulting or first analyses of your own project, contact one of our managers, and let your IoT revolution begin.