Healthcare in the Throes of Change / Prevention & Fitness
Connected Healthcare Systems Cut Costs, Improve Care
By using M2M solutions the healthcare industry can reduce costs and at the same time improve the quality of care.
Thanks to remote monitoring, hospitals can reduce or eliminate stays. Scarce hospital beds can then be freed up for more serious cases while the majority of patients can recover at home. Tracking solutions lead to increased security for patients and the elderly and to peace of mind for relatives. Meanwhile they can remain independent for longer in their own homes. M2M devices create a whole new lifestyle, preventing illness by making fitness monitoring fun.
M2M solutions for healthcare and fitness
Medical apps and wearables are highly in demand. In intelligent interplay with sensors they mitigate the cost increases in healthcare. Health insurers also benefit because the risk of secondary and subsequent diseases is reduced.
Being fit and healthy is no longer just a trend; it’s a lifestyle, and the number of digital helpers is correspondingly large. There are an estimated 100,000 medical apps around the world, and demand for them is brisk. In 2015 smartphone users around the world downloaded more than three billion mHealth apps. According to a recent study by the Berlin-based market research firm research2guidance that was a 35 percent increase on the previous year, and numbers continue to increase: The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly penetrating the private sphere.
This trend is observable in sports as well. According to a representative survey by Germany’s IT industry association Bitkom, M2M technologies are already almost as much a part of working out as jogging pants. Bitkom forecasts that smartphones are about to play a major role in medical care and to contribute toward alleviating rising healthcare costs.
Smartphone as a healthcare manager
Information and communication technology (ICT) solutions assist physicians, health insurers, hospitals and other medical facilities and patients. By using mobile health control devices consumers can measure, evaluate and save vital data such as blood glucose level, temperature, weight, blood pressure or pulse simply and swiftly. The advantage for physicians and patients is that both can monitor their state of health constantly and visiting a medical practice is in many cases superfluous. Health insurers in turn benefit from this because the risk of secondary diseases is reduced thanks to analysis of the data.
Measurement modules like VitaDock are simply plugged into a smartphone and vital data is measured by an app. Mobile devices thereby become digital health managers and can store all readings and evaluate them individually. The data stays on the personal device and is not passed on to third parties automatically.
Smartphone as a health manager
During training sessions M2M solutions monitor not only vital functions. Cordless fitness trackers such as Fitbit count steps or calories burned. The devices also incorporate acceleration sensors and altimeters, so activities such as climbing stairs can be recorded precisely.
The sensors in the fitness tracker relay feedback in real time by means of M2M communication and synchronize wirelessly via a docking station connected to the PC. The computer transmits the data automatically to the users’ personal online profile where everyone can review their personal progress. They can also check their progress via smartphone apps while on the move.