In January 2019 the NHS released the publication of its long term plan to create a health service for the future. One of the key areas highlighted in the publication
indicates the need to make better use of data and digital technology, in fact chapter five of the report is titled “Digitally-enabled care will go mainstream across the NHS”. The Internet of Things (IoT) will without doubt form some of the core services to realise this long term goal, in order to improve the patient experience, reduce costs and maximise efficiencies, thereby allowing health professionals to focus on patient care.
The IoT is an enabler of digital transformation based on the premise that data collected by “things” can be analysed and shared to provide insight and create more efficient ways of working. This opens up a world of possibilities in the health sector, where connected devices can provide the data to provide insight into symptoms and aid diagnosis, enable remote healthcare, and free up health professionals’ time to focus on primary care and patient contact. This ultimately allows for a more personalised level of care for every patient.
This paper looks at some of the use cases that can be met through adopting IoT technologies across the health sector, some of the key challenges to overcome for the IoT to reach its full potential and deliver the required outcomes, and why data sharing will be vital to creating long term sustainable services.
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