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The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), encompassing all connected devices and software applications that anchor the information technology infrastructure of the global healthcare industry, is growing at a rapid pace. Fortune Business Insights suggests that the global IoMT market will reach more than $187 billion in 2028compared to almost 31 billion dollars in 2021.
This rapid expansion is the product of both circumstance and necessity. As in most other industries, recent events have dramatically accelerated the digital transformation of healthcare. Given the physical distance between caregivers and patients, remote sensors, telehealth platforms, health monitoring apps, and various other once-innovative technologies have suddenly become essential. Now, this network of connected nodes generates a large chunk of the world’s data, and the share is likely to increase from here.
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Of course, IoMT was growing even before the pandemic, as healthcare organizations had long sought ways to leverage data to improve economic viability and patient outcomes. In many cases they succeeded. Connected devices and apps have enabled providers to make clinical workflows more efficient and provide more personalized patient care. In the process, they slowly removed the barriers that plagued the industry for decades.
The “Triple A” problem of health care
In general, technological innovation in healthcare has lagged behind most other industries due to three key barriers: accessibility, affordability and accuracy. Until relatively recently, providers have primarily relied on a mix of standalone devices that collect and store data independently, making it nearly impossible to create comprehensive health profiles for individual patients. Yet that’s exactly what providers need to deliver personalized care that could lead to more effective treatments and better long-term patient outcomes. With the proliferation of connected sensors, edge computing and other technologies, consolidating patient information is no longer an insurmountable task – and truly personalized care is no longer a pipe dream.
As technology improves, the economics of technology investments also become more viable. Processes that previously required an entire laboratory, equipped with expensive equipment and multidisciplinary teams of highly paid experts, now take place on portable devices managed with unique software platforms. This connectivity opens up a world of possibilities, many of which are only just beginning to emerge.
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Unsurprisingly, the immense promise of the IoMT is attracting more and more attention from entrepreneurs. For those hoping to capture a share of the booming IoMT market, here are three tips to keep in mind:
1. Research clinical applications.
Companies such as Fitbit, Apple and many others have developed products that use health data to empower consumers. Apps that monitor physical activity, sleep, diet and countless other factors that contribute to an individual’s health and well-being have given consumers a better understanding of the impact of their fashion choices. of life on their physical and mental state. In doing so, they have accelerated the reorientation of the sector from treatment to prevention.
Even though the market for consumer apps is relatively saturated, clinicians remain underserved by comparison. Yes, there is a growing ecosystem of tools that support workflow management, but there is a huge need for solutions that leverage IoMT to improve disease diagnosis and treatment. As the average age of the world’s population continues to rise, the patient-caregiver ratio will also increase. Entrepreneurs who can equip vendors with technologies that enable faster, more accurate diagnostics can help ease the growing burden on global healthcare systems — and perhaps also grab a piece of a rapidly growing market.
2. Play a platform game.
The IoMT is an amalgamation of disparate technologies that perform countless different functions. As vital as some of them are to providers, patients, and the industry as a whole, their value is largely dependent on the underlying platforms that connect them.
A stand-alone medical device that uses the most advanced technology isn’t worth much if it can’t integrate with other technologies that responders are already using. Rather than developing a single device that solves a problem for providers or patients, entrepreneurs can deliver exponentially greater value by developing platforms that connect multiple devices. That’s not to say there isn’t a demand for standalone sensors or applications, but by creating an ecosystem that can evolve with customer needs, entrepreneurs can have a broader impact and lay the foundation for success. sustainable growth and better long-term financial returns.
Related: The future of healthcare is in the cloud
3. Prioritize security during development.
Leading cloud providers have helped fuel the growth of IoMT by making it easier for entrepreneurs to develop solutions that comply with the various regulatory standards that govern the industry. Microsoft Azure, a platform as a service (PaaS), offers predefined plans (including a high-trust HIPAA-compliant plan) that walk developers through the steps to host sensitive data in securely in the cloud. Google Cloud and Amazon AWS, both of which are delivered through an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) model, also provide checklists for building a secure and compliant cloud infrastructure, though it’s up to the developers to follow them.
Healthcare data has always been subject to strict regulatory oversight, and entrepreneurs in the sector will increasingly have to take heed of a growing patchwork of data privacy laws in addition to established industry standards. This is largely a good thing. Vulnerabilities in IoMT solutions could result not only in the loss of highly sensitive data (which is valuable to hackers), but also loss of life. By prioritizing security and privacy at all stages of technology development, entrepreneurs can avoid the wrath of regulators and the potentially disastrous consequences associated with compromised health data.
As healthcare eases issues of accessibility, affordability, and accuracy, technology opportunities in the sector will grow by leaps and bounds, and IoMT will only become more ubiquitous. With the proliferation of individualized data, personalized, data-driven healthcare is closer than ever.