The Internet of Things: Impact and Implications for Health Care Delivery

Jaimon T Kelly, Katrina L Campbell, Enying Gong, Paul Scuffham

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Abstract

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of wireless, interrelated, and connected digital devices that can collect, send, and store data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. The IoT promises many benefits to streamlining and enhancing health care delivery to proactively predict health issues and diagnose, treat, and monitor patients both in and out of the hospital. Worldwide, government leaders and decision makers are implementing policies to deliver health care services using technology and more so in response to the novel COVID-19 pandemic. It is now becoming increasingly important to understand how established and emerging IoT technologies can support health systems to deliver safe and effective care. The aim of this viewpoint paper is to provide an overview of the current IoT technology in health care, outline how IoT devices are improving health service delivery, and outline how IoT technology can affect and disrupt global health care in the next decade. The potential of IoT-based health care is expanded upon to theorize how IoT can improve the accessibility of preventative public health services and transition our current secondary and tertiary health care to be a more proactive, continuous, and coordinated system. Finally, this paper will deal with the potential issues that IoT-based health care generates, barriers to market adoption from health care professionals and patients alike, confidence and acceptability, privacy and security, interoperability, standardization and remuneration, data storage, and control and ownership. Corresponding enablers of IoT in current health care will rely on policy support, cybersecurity-focused guidelines, careful strategic planning, and transparent policies within health care organizations. IoT-based health care has great potential to improve the efficiency of the health system and improve population health.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20135
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume22
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

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