Across industries, the “Internet of Things (IOT)” is altering the makeup of viable business models, with an increasing emphasis on service and seamless data integration. Decision-making metrics and customer data integration are changing what it means to do business, and this is especially true in the healthcare industry. Access to increasingly accurate, remotely collected data has revolutionized both medical science and patient relationship management.
Telecom is at a major crossroads. Healthcare providers are moving from a handful of connectivity touchpoints (phone, networked computers and DSL internet) to hundreds or thousands of smart, interconnected devices in hospital and clinical settings. As the IoT changes the face of healthcare monitoring and data collection, industry leaders and managers are tasked with integrating, storing, and analysis of that information onslaught. As of March 2015, Gartner predicted that the IoT industry would represent 26 billion units generating incremental revenue exceeding $3 billion, largely in service-based businesses.
Increasingly savvy patients and healthcare clients are challenging telecom providers to create customized, agile, immediately responsive systems that interact seamlessly with healthcare professionals and patients alike. The ‘healthcare consumer’ described in a report by PwC wants transparent pricing and functionality, easy-to-use interfaces and product options.
As governmental interests introduce new modes of competition and change the shape of insurance and healthcare offerings, wise telecom providers will pay attention to fresh pain points caused by the changing IoT topography and market demands. According to another PwC report, 6.7 million were enrolled in government-sponsored healthcare plans by the fourth quarter of 2014.
As underlying costs grow steadily and reimbursement pressure in the insurance sector grows, the same PwC report predicts a 20 percent drop in hospital margins by the end of the decade. Those numbers are supported by a drop of 14 percent between 2007 and 2013. Cost effective, technologically powerful, end-user friendly solutions will get the most play in this brave new market.
Big data answers big questions. As healthcare is increasingly able to assess long term trends across ever-larger sample sizes, questions of population health are moving to the forefront. When approaching these larger questions, consider outsourcing telecom management as a way to improve focus. Service models are powerful–and demanded by current market trends–but particularly time consuming to implement.
The changing landscape of telecom service models provides a massive opportunity, but is not without cost. IT departments need powerful systems, utilizing cutting-edge enterprise technologies, to handle the data being generated on a daily basis.
Finally, it’s not just about operational cost savings–it’s about improving value propositions and increasing patient outcomes. As Deloitte reports in WSJ’s CFO Journal, the IoT has the capacity to change fundamental business values, increasing revenue growth and innovation as well as risk management. IoT can help the healthcare industry create value over the long term through building lasting, fully networked relationships between patients, healthcare providers, suppliers and even assets.
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