IoT is driving the rapid growth of digital healthcare in the UK The NHS is suffering major delays in elective procedures due to the pandemic. This means that the proportion of individuals who are satisfied with the quality of NHS care has fallen to around 71% and only 53% are satisfied with how the healthcare system currently works. The good news is that the government is focusing on investing more in our health services, with health technology in particular as a priority. The Spending Review 2021 announced a significant increase in health spending, with daily spending in 2024/25 expected to be 13% higher in real terms than in 2021/22. In fact, by 2024/25, daily spending on health will account for 39% of total daily spending on public services, up from 29% in 2009/10. IoT enables healthcare professionals to be more proactive From a technological perspective, IoT enables better healthcare solutions and services. IoT enables healthcare professionals to be more vigilant and proactively connect with patients. Data collected from wearable IoT devices can help doctors determine the best treatment process for patients and achieve better outcomes. In hospitals, IoT device sensors are used to track the real-time location of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, defibrillators, nebulizers, oxygen pumps, and other monitoring equipment. With limited hospital visits, remote patient monitoring (RPM) and telecare increased during the pandemic, and the use of RPM and telecare is expected to continue this trajectory, rather than a return to face-to-face appointments for monitoring or support. The goal of most healthcare providers is to connect healthcare to every home that needs it, which is more than most of us realize. For example, one in three people worldwide suffers from hypertension, a condition that requires good daily monitoring to prevent serious illness. Conventional monitoring is resource intensive and expensive Long-term routine monitoring can be a significant burden for healthcare providers and be restrictive and inconvenient for patients, so RPM and telecare are the way forward. . They enable patient monitoring and support, even in hard-to-reach areas, and provide data back to medical teams for review and action if necessary. However, the success of these solutions largely depends on the connectivity, accuracy, and ease of use of the device for the target market, which is usually older people with little confidence in the technology. This means healthcare providers need to remove barriers for patients by simplifying the use of healthcare technology so patients can simply turn on the device and read without worrying about a faulty Bluetooth connection. This is important because—to truly improve the patient experience—physicians need daily measurements of blood pressure, glucose, pulse oximetry, weight, and temperature to quickly identify changes. -o and send a nurse, call a patient, or change medical care plans as needed. Ensuring patient trust, However, patients also need to trust the devices they use, and trust is lost when there is a constant failure to connect and transmit accurate data. This affects adoption and means patients and carers turn to less suitable alternatives. Many remote patient monitoring companies use Bluetooth to provide device connectivity but have found that it does not provide the reliability required. From our conversations, this is a common problem, with many finding a cellular connection to be the best option to provide the necessary coverage and connection reliability. Digital transition in 2025 Another healthcare trend driving mobile connectivity in telecare is the transition from analog to digital alarm systems. A remote social care alarm device located in an individual’s home allows individuals to call for help. An operator answers these calls at the Alarm Reception Center (ARC) and supports the person in solving the problem over the phone or summons additional on-site help. Traditional analog social alarm equipment relies on sending and receiving audible tones to communicate with PCOs, allowing them to understand the type of alarm received and prioritize accordingly. These social alarms have been in operation for about 50 years and rely on analog landlines. Around 1.7 million elderly and vulnerable people in the UK today rely on these schemes. But the new legislation means social health commissioners will have to act quickly to use the new digital systems as the analog network switches off in 2025. However, many misinterpret this as a target date to prepare for the transition, when in fact it is the date for the final transition of all analog network infrastructure to digital. In fact, switchboards started to transition in December 2020 and the pressure to go digital will only increase as a result. This means that many telecare systems must be upgraded or disabled in order to maintain service to users. Organizations should no longer purchase social alarms that only create analog communication links, they should purchase hybrid alarms that communicate both analog and digital protocols over a cellular connection. Improved support performance and customer experience Cellular connectivity is a superior connectivity solution compared to Wi-Fi as it offers network redundancy. If one network is lost, one SIM card can switch to the other, so there is no loss of connection. From the user’s point of view, it’s incredibly simple: the telecare solution has a built-in SIM card that plugs in and works out of the box, unlike Wi-Fi, which requires passwords and more. In short, global healthcare spending could reach more than $10 trillion by 2022. RPM and telecare are major growth areas but have historically seen accuracy issues in this area. Now, thanks to the latest innovations in mobile IoT connectivity, these solutions are helping to pave the way for a better, more reliable healthcare future.