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The Internet of Everything Opens the Door for Telehealth

Tapan Mehta, Global Healthcare Lead for Cisco Systems

March 9, 2015  |  Digitization + IoT  •  Telehealth

Editor’s Note: As TED (Iron Bow’s mobile Telehealth Education Delivered vehicle) continues its journey across the U.S. to spread awareness for telehealth solutions, we’ve asked our TED partners to give us their input on the trends and issues that are driving telehealth adoption. Tapan Mehta, Global Healthcare Lead for Cisco Systems, gives his thoughts on the impact of the Internet of Everything on the healthcare industry. Here is what he had to say:

It’s safe to say the Internet of Everything (connecting people, processes, data and things) is impacting nearly every aspect of our lives.

When we wake up in the morning, we can check our smartphones for weather updates and use that data to decide if we need to wear an extra jacket or bring an umbrella. In some cities, sensor-based parking spaces can allow us to check a smart parking app to determine where to park our cars and how much it will cost to park in a certain space.

But the Internet of Everything (IoE) does not just impact our morning routines or where we park our cars – it also is transforming healthcare and is reshaping the patient experience. IoE for healthcare is all about better health outcomes, increased productivity, and more patient choice that drives an enhanced patient experience.

Consumerism of healthcare coupled with growing adoption of technology across the continuum of care is truly starting to gain a strong foothold in the healthcare industry. Telehealth, efficient clinical workflows, population health management, are just a few of the many examples of how we’re seeing this rapid transformation of IoE in healthcare. According to Cisco’s 2014 IoE Value and Stake research, there is a $106 billion value at stake in connected healthcare and patient monitoring by 2022.

On Feb. 17, 2015, during the IoE and IoT Regional Media Forum, I had the privilege to meet with healthcare leaders based in Miami and global media to discuss what it means to truly capture IoE across the healthcare industry.

During the Regional Forum, Ed Martinez, SVP and CIO of Miami Children’s Hospital, said that a strong mobile strategy is key to achieving IoE. I also had the opportunity to speak with Mike Smith, the CIO of Lee Memorial Health System about how his facility’s implementation of telemedicine has enhanced the patient experience.

Other customers, such as University of Virginia (UVA) Center for Telehealth, use IoE capabilities to extend quality of care to medically underserved areas.

But IoE in healthcare doesn’t need to begin and end with patient/physician interaction, it and certainly does not need to be restricted within the walls of a hospital or medical care facility. Through the advent of wearable technology and analytics, devices such as FitBit, Charge HR and Apple Watch help many people (regardless of their health status) take a more proactive approach to fitness and health. I believe the ability to track burned calories, food intake, sleep are just some of the early parameters that consumer can self-monitor via these devices. The true potential will come when the data generated/collected from these devices can truly be harnessed as actionable data at the point of care, which by the way is not that far away.

As we continue into 2015, I look forward to seeing new examples of how physicians, payers, and life sciences can capture IoE to create smarter and more efficient processes in healthcare and to enhance the quality of care delivered to patients.

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