Improving the Patient Experience via a Medical Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things is generating a mix of both excitement and apprehension around opportunities for transmitting data between connected devices and new services that can be delivered to customers along with fears about the security of the transmitted data.

The Internet of Things is generating a mix of both excitement and apprehension around opportunities for transmitting data between connected devices and new services that can be delivered to customers along with fears about the security of the transmitted data. One of the industries where these emerging capabilities are offering tremendous promise is in healthcare, particularly as industry players are identifying ways to equip patients with personal medical devices that can be used to provide physicians and other medical practitioners with vital signs and other critical information regarding patient conditions.

Opportunities for improving medical care through the Internet of Things came into view at Pegaworld 2016 in Las Vegas this week. The conference, produced by Pegasystems, included a keynote address by Jeroen Tas, CEO of Connected Care & Health Informatics at Philips.

Philips has partnered with Pegasystems to improve patient care through connected devices, cloud computing, and analytics. By connecting the Pega Care Management Application to the Philips HealthSuite cloud platform, physicians, hospitals, and other caregivers can now remotely manage a patient's care using connected healthcare applications to gain immediate access to a patient's health status.

Care teams can immediately identify potential health issues and deliver a timely response to each patient as needed.

Early results have been extremely promising. Tas said that the ability to remotely monitor 175 heart failure patients under a 4.5 year study involving six Dutch hospitals has resulted in a 52 percent reduction in readmission rates while reducing patient care costs by an average of 26 percent.

Some patients also seem to be responding positively to the use of remote diagnostics. In a Liverpool, U.K. study of more than 2,700 people suffering from chronic diseases, 90 percent of patients said they felt more in control of their condition and better able to cope, according to Tas.

"We bring in the deep, deep knowledge of your body and your vital signs and putting that data together in a way that's HIPAA compliant but also relevant and actionable for your care team," says Tas. "I think we'll see a huge impact on the outcomes of those patients" from the use of integrated medical data and medical Internet of Things networks, he adds.

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