I have just started another class called healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship, I dig a bunch of new terms like the Internet of Things, diffusion of innovations, healthcare engineering, the innovation process, and biodesign.
The Internet of Things is a novel, path-breaking technology that brings interaction in our world to a new level. Healthcare does not stand aside from technological revolution, but absorbs all innovations (e.g. internet and mobile communication network, infrared sensors, GPS, laser scanners, etc.).
How it will impact public health?
The Internet of Things can offer tremendous benefits like receiving updates on the latest status of healthcare information of remotely cared patients (as a part of emergency or healthcare monitoring service for chronic/elderly patients)
to assist in real time patient management that can save time & lives, as well as minimize costs to healthcare system by reducing the number of unnecessary visits, treatment prescription & refills, and real-time temperature monitoring for vaccine storage.
From the epidemiological perspective it could mean new capabilities like disease surveillance, collection of environmental data and its fast processing (tracking disease outbreaks/assisting in care coordination during natural disasters), basic and behavioral research, rapid dissemination of effective health care interventions, fueling data sharing between public health and clinical care systems.
Eric Dishman (general manager of Intel’s Health Strategy & Solutions Group) gives an inspirational presentation about “creating personal, networked, home-based health care for all” with demonstrations in his TED talk, titled “Health Care Should Be a Team Sport” hopefully this modern technology will be soon translated into action.
However, when we are talking about data in internet, the issues of ethics, concerns (data sharing, control,usage) are raised and the most important component security. I was genuinely excited about Google Health, unfortunately it was closed possibly due to consumer issues and online data management.
Can automated healthcare be secure? This topic is constantly discussed in numerous blogs and has many opponents. This issue needs debate and a public workshop will take place in Washington D.C this November.
I surely agree the system needs all possible protection, security measures in place, maintain the level of connectivity to provide constant service, protection of private data, prevention of unauthorized access or data deletion, etc, this poses new challenges for engineers and they are addressing it now. Roman et al., 2011 examine the Internet of Things security by blocks: Protocol and network security; Data and privacy; Identity management; Trust and governance; Fault tolerance; Privacy protection and present first steps of work in security mechanisms. More about The Internet of Things security in Cisco news site by L. Cruz.
I would like to finish with an optimistic quote from MIT technology review post, titled 2013:The year of the Internet of Things :”The Internet of Things probably already influences your life. And if it doesn’t, it soon will”!!