Internet of Things continues to drive modern health services

Vodafone launches 5th annual IoT Barometer revealing increase in use of Internet of Things among healthcare organisations

  • The fifth annual Vodafone IoT Barometer provides a detailed insight into how the IoT is transforming the world and what the future holds
  • It reveals that 27% of healthcare organisations have adopted the Internet of Things – up from 19% in 2014
  • 44% of adopters have been than 1,000 connected devices
  • 49% have integrated IoT with core systems
  • 86% are using more connections than they were 12 months ago
  • 53% use the IoT to increase efficiency, while 54% use it to improve or automate existing processes

The 5th annual Vodafone IoT Barometer shows huge growth for connected devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) is continuing to drive improvements and efficiencies within the healthcare sector, according to a new report from Vodafone.

The fifth annual Vodafone IoT Barometer provides a detailed insight into how the IoT is transforming the world of business and what the future holds.

And it reveals that healthcare operators and product manufacturers have seen use of the IoT increase from 19% in 2014 to 27% this year.

Although the benefits of IoT in healthcare have been well documented; it has been difficult for healthcare organisations to move beyond proof of concepts and trials to scalable IoT deployments

In addition, those that have already adopted IoT are rapidly scaling up, with 44% of adopters having more than 1,000 connected devices – up 22% on last year.

The Internet of Things connects objects, turning them into ‘intelligent’ assets that can communicate with people, applications and each other.

It enables things like cars, buildings and machines to communicate about their status and environment.

Commenting on the report, Erik Brenneis, director of Vodafone Internet of Things and chief executive of Vodafone Global Enterprise, said: “When we first started publishing the Barometer in 2013, IoT was still very much in its infancy and adoption was just 12%. Since then, the proportion of companies using it has more than doubled – reaching 29% in 2017.

“Nearly all of the companies that have adopted IoT have already seen a return on their investment and those returns can be significant – where adopters reported an increase in revenue, the average was 19%.

The Barometer results show that healthcare organisations are beginning to overcome barriers and can demonstrate the positive impact of IoT on patient outcomes, cost savings, and operational efficiency

“Adopters also have great expectations for the future. The majority think IoT will have an enormous or sizeable impact on the whole economy in the next five years and almost three quarters agree that digital transformation is impossible without IoT.”

The report provides snapshots across a range of sectors, including healthcare.

Key findings among health organisations – defined as any organisation involved in medical products or health services from occupational health providers and hospitals to pharmaceutical companies – include:

  • Adoption among healthcare organisations increased from 19% in 2014 to 27% in 2017 – a 1% increase in the last year
  • Those who have already adopted IoT are scaling up, with 44% of adopters now having more than 1,000 connected devices – up 22% on 2016
  • 86% of adopters are using more connections than they were 12 months ago
  • 49% say they have already integrated IoT with core systems and 80% say it isn’t a standalone technology, but is intrinsinctly linked to analytics, AI and other critical digital initiatives
  • 53% are using it to increase efficiency
  • 54% are using it to improve/automate existing processes
  • 58% are using it to offer new services

Private-sector healthcare organisations are also using it to offer patients greater independence through the use of connected wearables and to deliver care more remotely.

Analysis within the report states: “Although the benefits of IoT in healthcare have been well documented; it has been difficult for healthcare organisations to move beyond proof of concepts and trials to scalable IoT deployments.

“Long-standing barriers of funding and reimbursement, market fragmentation, and regulation have stood in the way.

“[But} the Barometer results are encouraging. They show that healthcare organisations are beginning to overcome these barriers and can demonstrate the positive impact of IoT on patient outcomes, cost savings, and operational efficiency.”

Looking back over the five years of the Barometer it’s amazing to see how far IoT has come, but I can honestly say, there’s never been a more exciting time to be involved

Key to its continued growth in the future will be new low-power connectivity options like Narrowband-IoT, the report says.

“28% of those that plan to adopt IoT in the future are already investing in Low-Power Wide Area network technologies,” said Brenneis.

“That’s exciting as we believed it will drive the next wave of IoT adoption.

But realising the potential will require more skills than most companies currently have. That’s why we’ve seen adopters increasing their use of partners to deliver and/or manage their IoT solutions.

He added: “IoT isn’t new any more and it’s still early days in terms of its potential.

“New tools, technologies and networks are making it easier than ever to build and manage IoT solutions.

“Looking back over the five years of the Barometer it’s amazing to see how far IoT has come, but I can honestly say, there’s never been a more exciting time to be involved.”

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