IoT, Big Data and Long Term Care

The first wave of baby boomers’ retirement is set to take full action in the next seven years. Canada will face a paramount change in its demographics, along with increasingly more people becoming in need of sufficient and adequate healthcare services. The question now arises, how will the Canadian economy and healthcare providers and authorities meet the health demands? Raise tax-payers’ burden or reallocate federal and provincial funds from other equally necessary services? Neither of the two options appear to be quite desirable.

There is, however, a solution—the Internet of Things. With the potential to connect to over 28 billion things to the internet in the next four years, it is only a matter of time before these tools and technologies are being fully deployed all over the world, in a myriad of industries. Likewise, there will be endless possibilities to facilitate healthcare services by allowing the reduction of operating costs by nearly 30% and easing long-term care with the use of these “smart” tools.

Let’s consider remote diagnosis for the retirees, for instance. With simple and smart technology, machine to machine (M2M) communication allows linking a device at home and a device at a care center to send relevant data in seconds; once received by the health professional, he/she will be able conduct the diagnosis and following procedure without the retiree having to visit the center. This saves time, energy and allows fast services to be delivered. How about using RFID tracking? Enhanced Radio Frequency Identification monitoring will enable long term care centers to track their patients through the internet, receive information on their health status regardless of their whereabouts. And this could be expanded to help people of all ages. These are just a couple of examples of how connected devices can assist better living.

The purpose of providing long term care is to improve the quality of life for the patient. Being able to uncover the best solutions to do so and at the same time, tackle the rise in demand of healthcare services by the elderly is essential. With proficient and fast services, not only will there be improved benefits for the patients, coordination within the organizations would be vastly enhanced. While it goes without saying that there are several challenges in this implementation, particularly as the healthcare industry is immensely critical; it is prime time to acknowledge these challenges and find means to overcome them.

IoT and Big Data are prevalent and becoming more so at an exponential rate. These technologies are being deployed in nearly every industry, beginning from oil and gas to manufacturing and transportation, so why not healthcare in Canada? To learn more about the prospects that IoT and Big Data hold in the healthcare industry in Canada, join us at IoT & Big Data in Healthcare Summit Canada on June 21-22, 2016 in Toronto. Visit http://iotevents.ca/iot2/IoTHealthCare.html for more details.

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