When you think about the Industrial Internet, healthcare may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, the Industrial Internet plays a pinnacle role in healthcare and forms part of basically every single process in the healthcare system. The Industrial Internet revolutionised how machines and humans interact with each other and have substantially improved the way certain tasks are performed.
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Innovative medical technology helps improve efficiency, increases productivity and could potentially be life-changing (and live-saving) for healthcare practitioners and patients in general. Through the help of Industrial Internet technologies, the healthcare sector will be able to take advantage of some of the best medical machines on the market combined with medical expertise and experience from healthcare practitioners. This collaboration between man and machine generally raises the quality of the level of care provided to patients as well as improving business models and lowering costs and increasing profits for medical practitioners.
A massive way the Industrial Internet is saving lives is by connecting different practitioners around the world to each other to help combine their expertise. This results in a culmination of medical knowledge to provide patients with an efficient and accurate diagnosis and then provide the patient with the best care going forward in terms of treatment.
Healthcare practitioners never stop learning from each other and by being part of a global network of colleagues (so to speak) has the possibility to greatly enhance the quality of healthcare provided by practitioners by expanding their medical knowledge and exchanging and improving on techniques, diagnosis, cures, treatments, procedures and more. By digitizing patient data, practitioners are also able to easily share this data amongst each other, making patient referrals more efficient and ensuring each practitioner in the treatment chain has the patient’s full medical date, eliminating waiting periods and publications of tests and error in diagnosis.
Not only do technology tools like the Industrial Internet enable practitioners to collect a patient’s health data in real-time, they also provide practitioner with the tools to make predictions on your health and take preventative health measures. By being able to map out proactive medical routes for patients, practitioners are able to prevent health issues from ever occurring, which has the potential to save lives as well as costs on treatments for serious or chronic illnesses. It also helps patients plan for the future and adjust their health, lifestyle and spending choices, with the aim of providing them with a healthier and happier future.
A brilliant example of how medical technology and proactive measures can improve the healthcare system comes from a US healthcare system which recognised that infection is really bad for in-hospital patients and they are at high risk to contract infections and then die. By using technology tools to monitor patients and analyse data, the system was able to detect early signs of infections in in-hospital patients and medical practitioners were then able to treat infections at an early-stage, significantly lowering the mortality rates of in-hospital patients. This proactive stance on infections have led to saving hundreds of patients’ lives as well as money for the healthcare system.
Through the proper collection and analysis of data, certain new medical discoveries or concern areas can also be identified. Examples where the Industrial Internet is paving the way for medical innovation is in helping us live longer with the help of cutting edge technology like CT scanners, the human genome sequencing and 3D printed body parts. Making the world a healthier place will ensure that the average human life-expectancy keeps on increasing. Longer life can only be achieved if the health of the entire world is continuously improved and no single miracle cure will give us immortality; it’s a whole system of medical technologies, systems, treatments and lots of innovation.
Another way in which the Industrial Internet is saving lives is by improving efficiency in streamlining certain processes and taking the workload off of medical practitioners’ hand, who are then able to focus their time on tending to treating patients. Optimisation has a very positive impact on the healthcare system, and by streamlining certain processes could for instance decrease ER waiting times.
In general healthcare organisations acknowledge that the Industrial Internet plays a crucial role in improving clinical, financial and operational outcomes and have the potential to dramatically improve patient treatment. However, compared to industrial companies, the healthcare sector is lagging behind a little in the adoption of the Industrial Internet due to factors like budget constraints and lacking the proper knowledge of the positives.
In a nutshell, the Industrial Internet has provided the healthcare system with some worthwhile improvements and optimisation. But it’s not all about just providing new medical technology or better systems and process, it’s about giving healthcare professionals the tools and assistance to improve healthcare and possibility save patients’ lives. Medical experts suggest that the healthcare sector should focus on collaborative IT, which is where IT can get people and machines to work together. Collaboration between practitioners and technology, as well as between practitioners and patients will be essential in achieving improved health for everyone.