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Arguably the most hyped technology around, the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to bring revolutionary change spanning every possible industry and the opportunities will be endless, especially for the healthcare industry.
But what exactly is IoT? Put simply it is a network of device connections, capturing and sharing real-time data via a cloud based platform through the use of sensors. However the concept is not a new one, the long anticipated IoT revolution is already underway.
IoT has huge potential to radically improve the health of the global population, proving very promising for the industry in terms of how healthcare is delivered and priced.
Although, the healthcare industry has been relatively slow at adopting the possibilities of IoT, some real-life developments are already in action;
The popularity and demand for this type of technology is rapidly increasing as healthcare providers, insurers and buyers collaborate and look for solutions to provide affordable and accessible healthcare whilst reducing unsustainably high costs.
Benefits for healthcare insurance providers
IoT is set to impact the way health insurers operate. Insurers could offer financial incentives to policyholders when using IoT devices which monitor the policyholder's health, meaning more active wearers could receive lower premiums.
Demographic changes impact the underwriting process, therefore IoT will ultimately redefine existing underwriting processes and pricing mechanisms as more personalised risk assessment will be enabled, meaning premiums could eventually fluctuate similar to utility bills.
Benefits for procurement
As an employer, employee health benefits are often a substantial cost component alongside salaries. Under government and compliance regulations such as the Affordable Care Act, employers are being forced into re-examining the way they provide employees with healthcare cover. As a result employers are seeking innovative solutions to help them control costs.
Buyers will be more able to negotiate insurance deals and avoid increase in long term medical insurance premiums as insurance providers will offer more flexible and more personalised cover.
Expanding popularity of IoT techonology within the healthcare industry comes with its own risks and challenges and as health data becomes more accessible; data privacy and protection needs to be top priority for those wishing to take advantage of IoT.
In many ways effectively utilising IoT is a win-win for all parties involved. IoT technology has the potential to enable faster, more efficient and more profitable healthcare.
The rewards for procurement professionals that successfully leverage IoT are significant. If companies can effectively identify and manage their costs and mitigate risk they will be able to build corporate resilience. It can be guaranteed that companies who fail to utilise the combination of IoT with healthcare will risk falling behind their competition.
To find out more about procurement of healthcare, please click here to download a snapshot of the latest Procurement Leaders Healthcare report.