In a recent panel we had at the Orlando IoT Meetup, we were discussing the future of the Internet of Things. Ashley Simmons, the Director of Innovation at the Florida Hospital, gave some insight to the future of healthcare when I asked each panel member what their field will look like in 50 years. She imagined a world where there are less hospitals and more in-home care, including monitoring and preventative care. This was a surprising answer from someone who’s paid by a hospital!
After some reflection, it’s an obvious direction to go in. Hospitals are notorious for cross-contamination of diseases, are hard to get to in an emergency, and while people are staying in a hospital their homes sit empty. In-home care fixes these problems all in one shot, but what’s preventing this from happening right now is our level of technology, regulations, and mindset.
Holistic and preventative care are becoming more in vogue in the healthcare field, and for good reason. You know how health insurance companies have started offering gym memberships and more mental health counseling? It’s because they know that covering your monthly $20 membership is much cheaper than paying for a triple bypass surgery or years of insulin. If you can offer better predictive and prescriptive care that automates away some of the more rote aspects of healthcare, everyone will be better off.
For example, if you have a Fitbit-of-the-future that can tell you what your blood pressure is and it knows that you have been eating McDonald’s every day and only getting 2,000 steps in each day, it can tell you to lay off the cheeseburgers and maybe take a walk. This has saved you the yearly lecture from your doctor about losing a few pounds and since it’s happening in real time, you can see your results in real time as well.
Undoubtedly, thanks to the Internet of Things, the future of healthcare is going to look very different. I can’t wait to see where it goes.