When I heard about the Internet of Things (IoT), I immediately pictured connected home devices and had visions of the “Jetsons;” toasters and coffeemakers connected to my snooze button. However, the tech world’s visions for IoT go far beyond the fantasies of lazy cooks like myself. With technologies like Google Glass, SmartTV and Fitbit and home security systems, consumer products and IoT seem like the perfect match.
The potential for what a marriage between Medical Devices and IoT could accomplish is mind blowing. This spring, Google (in conjunction with Novartis) patented a technology that would allow the injection of a computerized lens into the eye. This lens would correct vision problems, serve as a telescope, take photos, monitor blood pressure, pulse and blood sugar. These devices don’t even need to be charged because they’re powered by the movement and chemistry of the eye. It’s one of several new connected medical devices that will help physicians and patients — especially those with long-term illnesses like diabetes — monitor symptoms and treat chronic conditions.
Some sources estimate that the connected medical device market could be worth $1 trillion by 2025. This growth is largely driven by the potential cost savings for insurance companies who see huge benefits to monitoring patients with connected devices. IoT will allow providers to identify problems before costly procedures become necessary. Furthermore, the health care industry has been trending toward models that pay providers based on patient outcomes (just like manufacturing), increasing need for devices to measure results.
Medical device manufacturers also stand to gain from IoT.