A new study suggests that healthcare is quickly emerging as one of the early adopters of the Internet of Things (IoT).
According to the report from P&S Market Research, the global market for Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare was valued at over $24 million (£16.5 million) in 2014, and is expected to rise with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.6 percent until 2020. The system and software section is expected to grow the fastest, with a CAGR of 40.7 percent over the same time-frame.
The rise is apparently due to increased demand in advanced healthcare information systems, an increase in lifestyle associated diseases, the need for remote patient monitoring devices, a demand for mHealth technology, and support from government organisations.
IoT healthcare applications include telemedicine, medication and workflow management, clinical operations, and inpatient monitoring. In addition, IoT is expected to help practitioners improve communication with patients and to reduce errors for better care.
However, a lack of security on these devices, as well as energy limitations and insufficient healthcare infrastructure in developing countries could well hinder the market’s growth.
This report follows shortly after a similar study from IDC, which revealed that IoT had great potential to improve healthcare – providing information security could not be easily compromised by hackers.
“Frankly, healthcare data is really valuable from a cyber-criminal standpoint,” explained Lynne Dunbrack, research vice president at IDC Health Insights, at the time. “It could be five, ten or even 50 times more valuable than other forms of data.”
IoT in healthcare has been front of focus of late, with the UK’s NHS England announcing a number of innovation Test Beds, including two which are to look at how the Internet of Things can be applied in the healthcare environment.
Elsewhere and there have been a number of new and interesting projects looking at everything from ingestible sensors and wearable patches to wearable devices like Google’s Glass. Google itself is making huge strides in this area with its healthcare company Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences).
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