The Internet of Things (IoT) is widely heralded as the next big thing and healthcare organizations, like all other sectors, cannot afford to get left behind on IoT. To achieve the integration, they must either adapt rapidly and seize competitive advantage, or risk losing market share and revenue to early adopting organizations. The fundamentals of any healthcare organization’s IoT strategy can be boiled down to four sequential areas of focus, or the four As of IoT: Access, Aggregation, Analysis, and Artificial Intelligence.
An accurate, data-rich picture of customers, operations, performance and outcomes is crucial for the healthcare organizations in the age of big data. It helps them maintain a competitive edge while also driving better business decisions, patient care and bottom line. This will eventually lead to secure and reliable data access from many unique and proprietary sources in people’s homes and bodies, such as embedded pacemakers, Wi-Fi scales, smart refrigerators, and other existing and planned IoT devices. This IoT data may vary in format, protocol, and real vs. non-real time, but it will contain valuable insights if leveraged effectively.
Next, the data from the sources need to be combined and normalized to be used effectively. A flexible data architecture not only supports analytic and reporting capabilities in an impactful way, but also ensures optimal accuracy, performance, and scalability. Additionally, it can streamline data storage for rapid retrieval of a variety of data types, formats and sizes. For companies looking to employ centralized cloud integration and real opportunities for reduced latency and the performance of complex analytics on the edge, challenges associated with the aggregation process can be especially difficult. Development of a robust integration and edge computing architecture will be a necessary component for IoT success.