This week I’ve been at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – the world’s largest show of all things mobile, where the big names like Samsung, LG and Sony are launching their new mobile phone generations.
As I’m walking around the halls and meeting people, I am seeing Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables everywhere. This rapidly expanding (and consumer-accepted) field is going to bring great progress in the area of healthcare provision and patient empowerment.
Amongst the in-home items like connected power sockets and lighting solutions, there is a huge number of health and wellbeing-related devices. There are lots of connected scales, armbands for measuring activity and heart rate etc. through to more focused medical devices such as blood pressure monitors and oxygen saturation monitors for a wide range of general wellbeing scenarios and specific medical conditions.
What’s very striking at the show is that the emphasis is mostly on the device itself. What is more interesting to me however is what is actually going to be done with all of that information. The device providers are coming to the table with apps that empower the user / patient to look at their trends, but for me the real power is only going to come when it is absolutely routine for that information to be added to the patient record, and made available to all those providing care for that patient.
This is where the Evolve Integrated Care platform comes into play. With its ability to ingest, store information from multiple providers (primary care, secondary care, patient devices), and make that information available to everyone within the patient’s circle of care, including the patient and their loved ones, I can easily see a future where my doctor is better informed of the “day-to-day” me, not just “in the clinic room, stressed at the journey to get there” me. I’ve been a big fan of the “information is power” mantra for a long time now, and for me having this more complete patient record available to those providing my care is a strong goal for the healthcare industry to strive for. Yes, there are challenges to overcome in the form of security and appropriate sharing, but these are not insurmountable, and when weighed against the massive benefits to healthcare organizations and their patients, I can only be excited about what this connected, empowered future holds for patients.
Now I’ve got to go, as there’s a big queue for the Virtual Reality booth, and who wouldn’t love to sit beside strangers and pretend to be on a rollercoaster?