Studies and anecdotes alike proclaim that it is far healthier to have social connections. They point to benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to better mental acuity and even improved sleep patterns. But, personal associations aren’t the only kind of healthy connections that matter.
Consider how the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable tech play a role in health and healthcare today.
Find Your Zen
Wearable health trackers do a whole lot more than count your steps. Innovative wearables and apps turn tech into a way to find your inner peace. For instance, there are apps that feature programs, tips, meditations and reminders to help us manage stress, focus on mindfulness and find balance. Other apps try to keep us on the right track by using artificial intelligence to collect demographic and other information to make daily recommendations. All, ostensibly, to make us healthier, happier humans.
Using Data to Fight Disease
Speaking of healthier humans, connected devices are making major inroads into improved health and wellness management. Wearable IoT medical devices can measure a host of vital signs to help diagnose and treat diseases. They can automatically monitor the wearer’s condition to provide healthcare professionals with mountains of data that can be collected and analyzed for research, as well as for personalized treatment plans.
Connecting with the Business of Healthcare
This accumulation of data brings with it the opportunity to advance medicine to more personal prevention and treatment plans, and even closer to precision medicine. In 2015, U.S. healthcare spending reached $3.2 trillion, which translates into $9,990 per individual and accounted for nearly 18-percent of GDP. National health spending projections call for a 5.6 percent rate of growth per year from 2016-2025. Needless to say, healthcare is big business—and technology is playing an increasingly vital role.
What It Means for Technology Providers
Selling to and servicing clients in healthcare and related fields presents a myriad of potential applications for technology. Consequently, given the massive size of the market and the wide scope of applications, it means that there are enormous opportunities for solutions and services providers around the devices and applications themselves, as well as around data collection, management and storage; analytics and business intelligence; security and compliance; high-performance computing; and networking—to name a few.