As fresh technology enters the public sphere, different industries are contemplating adoption. Because mobile platforms, wearables and the Internet of Things are so new, businesses are still unsure of how they will translate into services and customer interaction. While there is some hesitancy, some companies could reap huge benefits by taking a chance.
Small businesses should be the risk-takers of the market. While their larger counterparts may be hesitant to introduce new methods before they are established as beneficial, small companies could drive business through implementing brand-new technologies before they become widespread. At the very least, the adventurous strategy will increase their exposure and attract curious consumers. At most, they find a solution or upgrade and lead the way for broader use.
One industry that is at the forefront of this conversation is healthcare. Some providers are already experimenting with 3-D printing technology, and there could be more innovation to come. Small healthcare groups that adopt wearable devices and machinery linked up to the Internet of Things could enhance their business model and drive up the quality of all providers.
Wearables offer more accurate health data
Doctors often rely on patients to accurately track their health, exercise, diet and other data points while they are away from the office. Unfortunately, people are forgetful and busy, sometimes neglecting to record the information correctly and consistently. As a result, the care provided may not be quite as good as it could be.
Enter the wearable device. All these numbers become much easier to enter and track on a smart watch or similar device. Athletes and gym-goers already use some of these features to determine calories burned, heart rate and workout duration; organize workouts; and create plans. It is a small step to include the day's meals or caloric intake. These gadgets can even calculate blood pressure and some are working on ways to collect blood sugar levels, reported Click 2 Houston.
For elderly patients especially – who can have a lot to remember and report – the ability to consolidate all of this information could prove invaluable. And for the office, it could save time and resources.
"It's not too much of a stretch to expect someone with a watch coming in and saying, 'Oh, I want to give you my blood pressure measurements from the last month' and they download it as they sign in for an appointment," Dr. Bob Duggan, foot and ankle surgeon with Physicians Associates told Click 2 Houston.
Internet of Things consolidates healthcare devices
With so many healthcare providers relying on high-tech equipment like MRIs and CT scanners, problems can arise if a machine goes down. There is the cost of repairs, but more importantly, the lack of availability to patients who may need them.
Connecting these instruments to the Internet of Things can reduce some of the common logistical and mechanical issues that may arise, Forbes reported.
For one thing, live diagnostics allow users to discover and address mechanical concerns within the device before they become problematic and cause the machine to go down. The same goes for supply levels, such as helium in an MRI apparatus. Healthcare workers will know exactly when to replenish a given supply or even set automatic refills. Additionally, the Internet of Things can examine broadly the use of all machines and create a more efficient schedule so that there is minimal downtime for patients.
Equipment and healthcare industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in healthcare equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.