The modern world has never been better connected…bringing with it opportunities for a better connected health system and better health outcomes.

Professor Nilmini Wickramasinghe – Deputy Director of the Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute, Professor of Digital Health at Swinburne University of Technology, and Professor-Director of Health Informatics at Epworth HealthCare – is the co-author of a new book that considers the Internet of Things and how it could help drive the future of connected healthcare.

She provides a summary of the book here.


Delivering Superior Health and Wellness Management with IoT and Analytics
Wickramasinghe, N. and Bodendorf, F.
October 2019 publication by Springer, New York
More information – https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030173463


The Internet of Things (IoT) comprises a network of devices – all embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable them to connect, inter-connect and exchange data. [1,2,3,4]

This creates further opportunities for direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, which in turn results in efficiency gains, economic benefits, more effective operations and typically a reduction in human labour. [5,6,7,8]

In 2017, the number of IoT devices was over 8.4 billion [9] and this is estimated to increase to 30 billion devices by 2020 [10] while the global market value of IoT is anticipated to reach $7.1 trillion at this time. [11]

IoT involves extending Internet connectivity beyond standard devices – such as desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets – to any range of traditionally dumb or non-Internet-enabled physical devices and everyday objects. [12,13,14]

Embedded with technology, these devices can communicate and interact over the Internet, and they can be remotely monitored and controlled. [15,16,17,18] Healthcare to-date has been a laggard in embracing technology in general, and the full extent of the potential of IoT specifically; however, this cannot continue if healthcare is to deliver superior, patient-centred, high value care. [19,20]

Healthcare delivery in the 21st century is currently facing the triple challenge of exponentially increasing costs, ageing populations and the rise of chronic care. [20] This is leading most countries around the world to look at technology-enabled healthcare reform that provides better quality, better access and better value care in general, and leveraging the opportunities and benefits afforded by the technologies of the IoT for the healthcare domain. [20]

Our book serves to present a miscellany of papers that focus on critical aspects around embracing the technologies of the IoT to enable and support superior healthcare delivery and wellness management. This is still a very nascent domain, and many issues around health literacy, policy, privacy and security – not to mention the direct and subtle, as well as far reaching, implications for various stakeholders (patients, clinicians, healthcare organisations, regulators, payers and the community at large) – have yet to be fully understood or identified.

Our goal is simple in compiling the chapters to produce this work. We wanted to share with the reader some of the critical touch points, help to enrich discussions and discourse, and inspire further research into this critical domain – a domain that touches all of us (and thus all of us should form considered opinions about its future directions).

It is our belief that, through the judicious use of the technologies of the IoT, it will indeed be possible to enable and sustain an environment where digital technologies support better monitoring, better data and better communications, so we have better access, better quality and a high value of healthcare delivery and wellness management for all – as, when and how they need it.

The 30 chapters of this book have been arranged into four main sections as follows:

  • mobile and sensor based solutions
  • opportunities to incorporate critical aspects of analytics to provide superior insights and thus support better decision making
  • critical issues around aspects of IoT in healthcare contexts
  • applications of portals in healthcare contexts

Taken together, they comprise a diverse selection of chapters that shed light on many important theory, research and practice aspects that must be understood and resolved in order for the true opportunities of improved patient care access, better patient care coordination, higher patient and clinician adoption and satisfaction – and ultimately improved quality, safety, efficiency, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of patient care and wellness management enabled by digital technologies – to ensue.

No book can ever present in one volume a comprehensive collection covering all areas of IoT for healthcare; however, we hope the miscellany of chapters we present will challenge our readers and be thought provoking.

We also hope that our readers have as much fun reading our book as we have had in compiling and writing it. We trust that, on the completion of this book, researchers, scholars, practitioners, consultants and the general public will all have a better understanding of how the technologies of the IoT can be harnessed to provide superior healthcare delivery and wellness management, and will rise to the challenge of starting to build a better health and wellness environment for tomorrow, today.

Nilmini Wickramasinghe


References

1. Brown, Eric (13 September 2016). “Who Needs the Internet of Things?”. Linux.com. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
2. Brown, Eric (20 September 2016). “21 Open Source Projects for IoT”. Linux.com. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
3. “Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative”. ITU. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
4. Hendricks, Drew. “The Trouble with the Internet of Things”. London Datastore. Greater London Authority. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
5. Vermesan, Ovidiu; Friess, Peter (2013). Internet of Things: Converging Technologies for Smart Environments and Integrated Ecosystems (PDF). Aalborg, Denmark: River Publishers. ISBN 978-87-92982-96-4.
6. Santucci, Gérald. “The Internet of Things: Between the Revolution of the Internet and the Metamorphosis of Objects” (PDF). European Commission Community Research and Development Information Service. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
7. Mattern, Friedemann; Floerkemeier, Christian. “From the Internet of Computers to the Internet of Things” (PDF). ETH Zurich. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
8. Lindner, Tim (13 July 2015). “The Supply Chain: Changing at the Speed of Technology”. Connected World. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
9. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/diginomics/grosse-internationale-allianz-gegen-cyber-attacken-15451953-p2.html?printPagedArticle=true#pageIndex_1
10. Nordrum, Amy (18 August 2016). “Popular Internet of Things Forecast of 50 Billion Devices by 2020 Is Outdated”. IEEE.
11. Hsu, Chin-Lung; Lin, Judy Chuan-Chuan (2016). “An empirical examination of consumer adoption of Internet of Things services: Network externalities and concern for information privacy perspectives”. Computers in Human Behaviour. 62: 516–527. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.04.023.
12. Umar Zakir Abdul, Hamid; et al. (2019). “Internet of Vehicle (IoV) Applications in Expediting the Implementation of Smart Highway of Autonomous Vehicle: A Survey”. Performability in Internet of Things. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
13. Wigmore, I. (June 2014). “Internet of Things (IoT)”. TechTarget.
14. “Internet of Things (IoT)”. gatewaytechnolabs.com.
15. “The ‘Only’ Coke Machine on the Internet”. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
16. Mattern, Friedemann; Floerkemeier, Christian (2010). “From the Internet of Computer to the Internet of Things” (PDF). Informatik-Spektrum. 33 (2): 107–121. doi:10.1007/s00287-010-0417-7. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
17. Weiser, Mark (1991). “The Computer for the 21st Century”. Scientific American. 265 (3): 94–104. Bibcode: 1991SciAm.265c..94W. doi: 10.1038/scientificamerican0991-94. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
18. Magrassi, P.; Berg, T (12 August 2002). “A World of Smart Objects”. Gartner research report R-17-2243.
19. Wickramasinghe, N. and Schaffer, J. 2010. Realizing Value Driven Patient Centric Healthcare Through Technology. IBM Center for The Business of Government, DC.
20. Wickramasinghe, N., Johns, B., George, J., and Vogel, D. 2017. Achieving value-based care in chronic disease management: The DiaMonD (Diabetes monitoring) solution. JMIR Diabetes forthcoming.