Embracing A More Connected Vision Of Healthcare

One of the most promising areas of innovation and transformation in healthcare today is the move to distributed care, achieved through the creation of patient-centered networks of intelligent, connected devices that span across the home, workplace, community and the mobile spaces in between. Data capture and analysis, and communication between the patient and their care team can all be enhanced and harnessed to deliver more effective healthcare to more people at lower cost.

Connected Care, Everywhere

In the home, this will be driven by new types of consumer medical devices and smart-home connectivity and features. In the workplace and the community, new mobile devices and services including kiosks will be available. And for persistent real-time data and connectivity, new purpose-built and general purpose devices will fill in critical gaps.

Community Care Impact

In the home, sensors are transforming the way we care for the elderly, helping them stay more independent and spend longer at home, thus improving general well-being and reducing costs to the provider. Mimocare’s sensor solution is a great example of just how the Internet of Things can help us move the focus towards prevention rather than cure.

For community nurses this kind of distributed care is a win-win, they’re alerted (remotely) to patients showing abnormal signs earlier which enables a more speedy intervention and appropriate care is delivered more quickly, while also reducing the need for unnecessary monitoring visits too.

Patient-Centered Connectivity

I’d highly recommend reading a recent blog on the use of the Intel® RealSense™ 3D Camera by GPC too, which can help clinicians in a hospital setting make better-informed decisions in the area of wound care management. It’s an exciting development as wound care management accounts for a high-spend by most care providers, for example,  in the UK the NHS spends some £3 billion per year in this area.

RealSense™ is available across a range of mobile devices today so I see a future where patients are able to play a greater role in their wound care management in the home setting by recording the healing progress of wounds using the 3D camera and sharing the results with clinicians. This is undoubtedly more convenient for patients and more efficient for clinicians and providers.

Balancing the Demands of Modern Healthcare

These patient-centered networks of intelligent, connected devices generate significant volumes of data which can be analyzed by healthcare providers to help balance the demands of an ageing population with increased pressure on costs.  Patient preference to stay - and be clinically managed - at home is driving this shift to distributed care. The tools are available today, so let’s embrace a more connected vision of healthcare where we deliver even better care to patients.

Joan is speaking on the 'Technology empowering nurses with mobility, collaboration and communication' panel at Microsoft's EU Innovation Empowering Health event in Brussels, Belgium on 01/26/16