Jason Hope, The Guardian Discuss the Future of Patient Care Relies on Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things is coming to healthcare, according to a recent article in The Guardian. Jason Hope comments on the potential that the Internet of Things has to improve patient care and reduce strain on the healthcare system and medical professionals.

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Sometimes the smallest change can indicate intervention is necessary, but spending all of that time in the doctor's office is simply not practical

The Internet of Things has the power to change the future of humanity, and according to an article in the Guardian, this is clearly seen in the world of healthcare. After a look at the way the National Health System England (NHS England) is using the Internet of Things to improve patient care, SA Mathieson of The Guardian believes the future of healthcare may be in the Internet of Things. Jason Hope, entrepreneur and futurist from Arizona, believes he may be on the right track.

According to the June 8 article written by SA Mathieson and entitled "NSA and the internet of things: 'The future of care is about the patient taking control," NHS England is starting to experiment with using the Internet of Things to improve patient healthcare. Its NHS Test Bed program is introducing the Internet of Things to improve the efficiency of the health system, eliminating needless checkups and identifying problems earlier.

The test program uses connected devices, such as fitness monitors, blood pressure cuffs and weighing scales, that the patient uses at home. The devices link to the patient's mobile phone, then relay the data to a system used in the doctor's practice. This allows the doctor to focus on the patient that needs help the most, saving the practice time and helping it manage patients more proactively and efficiently.

"This could have great potential in patients with long-term or lifelong health conditions, like cancer or diabetes," said Jason Hope. "Sometimes the smallest change can indicate intervention is necessary, but spending all of that time in the doctor's office is simply not practical. This allows for more monitoring in an easier way, helping prolong life and protect quality of life, without too much strain on the patient or the system in general."

This type of technology, as with everything connected to the Internet of Things, does have a risk. Primarily, patient records must be quite secure, and linking with these types of records through the Internet of Things is challenging. Before these technologies can go mainstream, strict measures to protect patient privacy must be maintained.

Some healthcare professionals also feel overwhelmed or threatened by the possibility of collecting all of this data and analyzing it. The key to making this work will be using alerts effectively so that physicians do not have to analyze the sheer amounts of data collected by the systems.

But the potential is huge. The Guardian article quoted nurse Patricia Robinson, who was working on pioneering the technology, saying, "It absolutely frees you up. This enables you to prioritize individuals with symptoms that require intervention. We're into rituals as healthcare professionals saying 'come back in two to four weeks and we'll check you out.'" She said that the technology reduces routine reviews by keeping tabs on a patient's health at home, and alerting both the patient and the doctor when intervention is needed.

About Jason Hope

Jason Hope is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who resides in Arizona. He uses his resources to promote technology and healthcare interventions that will prolong and improve life. Learn more about his work at http://www.jasonhope.com.

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