Above and beyond improved medical efficiencies, the Industrial Internet will result in fewer medical errors, in improved quality of life and in actual saving of life. Medical equipment can be monitored, modeled and remotely controlled and automated, driving down costs and providing home-bound patients with targeted, quality care. Intelligent machines will help to drive new efficiencies and drive down costs. Hospitals are already benefitting from intelligent equipment that improves patient wait and bed turnover times. Sensor-embedded medicine such as pills are being introduced to time-stamp and report the effects of medicine, smart sutures that detect infection, etc. PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates that the Industrial Internet can help drive down annual healthcare costs by roughly 25 percent, or about $100 billion a year.
There will be fewer errors as well, benefiting patients and hospitals alike. In the future, the Industrial Internet will help doctors to make more informed decisions on specific patient conditions, leading to safer procedures. A healthier workforce means fewer sick days and higher productivity across the board.
Future scenarios for healthcare include:
- Patient-centered medical home care that uses ultrasound to monitor activity in the home, to detect falls and trigger automatic ambulatory services
- Improved equipment efficiency that eliminating multiple device logins and adjusts user settings to help reduce risk, eliminate errors and provides a much better patient experience overall
- Auto-routing of patient information that finds the right doctor, eliminating the need for a doctor to track down tests
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