In a relatively short time, the Internet of Things (IoT) has substantially changed health care. Connected devices allow older people to age in place safely for as long as possible and help doctors confer with specialists across the world about complex cases and monitor patients’ chronic diseases between office visits. But as with any technology, IoT also brings with it challenges to be overcome. Here are some challenges facing health care in 2019 along with suggestions for what practitioners should keep in mind when they use health care IoT devices in their workplaces.
Outdated Infrastructure Hinders the Medical Industry
Despite the fact that retrofitting can breathe new life into ageing infrastructure, taking advantage of IoT in a true sense is tricky if a facility’s infrastructure is outdated. Old infrastructure, which is also outdated is a known issue in health care. Hospitals have difficulty hiring the staff to make upgrades when they are in dire need of revamped infrastructure. Tech talent is in high demand and prospective candidates may not want to tackle old infrastructure.
IoT Poses Many Overlooked Obstacles
The most common use of IoT technology in health care is to apply it to patient monitoring systems as per research from Aruba Networks. Although it’s undoubtedly handy to take that approach, health organizations often forget that unlike websites, for example, those devices typically cannot go through planned periods of downtime and the updates have to instead occur continuously as people use the monitoring devices. Hospitals also depend often on IoT-enabled supply cabinets to track resources. The facilities can often reduce previous inventory management issues once those systems are in place, but even the smartest connected devices can’t eliminate human error. At the end of the day, we make those IoT systems. Just like humans are error-prone, IoT systems can inherit error-prone behaviour from us. Vendor assessments are also crucial to conquering often-unanticipated challenges. When some manufacturers are primarily concerned with outdoing the competitors with their products, many don’t build security into their processes from the start in the rush, in turn being surprised when customer databases are breached. For a hospital with above-average cybersecurity defences, patients may still be at risk from products that lack adequate security. Cybersecurity has to be uncompromising and complete but unfortunately, few current IoT systems are actually secure by traditional network security metrics.