Yesterday on Twitter, we received a question from Heidi in response to an article we shared. Heidi asked how M2M might transform medical information worldwide. We thought that such a great question solicited a thoughtful answer– one with more than 140 characters. So, we asked our healthcare IT expert and guest blogger, Eric Abbott to weigh in on the topic.
In response, Eric pointed out three key areas that M2M will transform medical information.
First, M2M is able to exchange medical information in real-time or near real-time between a patient and clinical systems and caregivers, promoting timely access to care for patients. This is a bi-directional benefit, as caregivers can react to changing patient conditions in a transparent manner. For example, in some circumstances, both patient and caregiver are able to know that their treatment is working in a matter of hours, and not weeks, thus eliminating anxiety.
Industry trends show that M2M technology costs are decreasing while wireless networks accessed by M2M systems are becoming more pervasive. What this means is that monitoring of patients and people for disease management and wellness, respectively, are becoming less intrusive. Consequently, this improves quality of life, particularly since people are mobile and they don’t want to give up active lifestyles. Additionally, I want to mention that many different industry initiatives are currently underway specifically designed to promote M2M globally by tackling such hurdles as battery life of M2M devices. Indeed, self-powered M2M devices (i.e., via body heat or motion) are now reality. This particularly benefits disadvantaged regions of the World, where maintenance and operating costs for clinical M2M can be an issue.
Knowledge that Impacts Outcome
By providing data exchange between patients and clinical systems, M2M promotes knowledge exchange about the efficacy of treatments or even wellness programs across a diverse array of individuals. Hence, medical informaticists are able to analyze clinical outcomes across large participatory populations. This is incredibly important, because it helps to reveal trends, dependencies, and.or optimal courses of therapy, thereby promoting faster development of treatments, and mitigation/elimination of ineffective treatments, all of which lowers the costs of care, improves clinical outcomes, and increases the quality of care.
We thank Heidi for her question. It opens the doors for us to share more information on M2M and its impact on healthcare. If you’re interested in seeing how specific M2M applications have been implemented, you can see case studies and system diagrams here.
Do you have a question about the Internet of Things or M2M? Would you like us to cover a specific topic here on the iDigi blog? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter. We’re here to provide useful information for you, so we love your questions and comments.