There are several factors driving IoT (Internet of Things) adoption in the enterprise sector, including the opportunity for revenue growth, the desire to remain competitive in a connected world, and the need to comply with government regulations, among others. Verizon’s, www.verizon.com, latest state of the IoT market report suggests 73% of executives are currently deploying IoT or actively researching it. However, hurdles such as security, cost, standards, and interoperability remain for more than 50% of executives who are interested in the IoT.
In the healthcare space, interoperability is a frequently cited concern for IoT adoption. In fact, as the number of connected medical devices grows, interoperability has become a key issue in the sector. In September of last year, the FDA (Food and Drug Admin.), www.fda.gov, took a step toward addressing the issue by making available a guidance that aims to support industry in the safe and effective exchange of data among electronic medical devices. The guidance, entitled “Design Considerations and Pre-market Submission Recommendations for Interoperable Medical Devices,” highlights considerations that should be included in the development and design of interoperable medical devices.
In the private sector, too, companies like Google, www.google.com, are working toward interoperability in the healthcare space. The technology company recently announced a new Cloud Healthcare API (application programming interface) in an effort to address interoperability challenges in healthcare data. Google’s says its overall mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” when applied to healthcare, means leveraging open standards to enable data sharing and facilitate interactive collaboration—both of which can help improve patient outcomes.
The new API provides a robust, scalable infrastructure solution capable of ingesting and managing various types of healthcare data, allowing customers to use this key data for analytics and machine learning in the cloud. Google says its goal with the Cloud Healthcare API, which is currently available in an early access release with a wider rollout planned throughout the year, is to leverage the cloud and machine-learning technologies to help remove barriers to adoption, such as interoperability, and help boost adoption of the IoT in the healthcare industry. If it succeeds, the industry will benefit from the ability to turn decision-enhancing data into meaningful actions and improve patient health by promoting preventative care and patient engagement and advancing care management.
As more healthcare applications move to the cloud, machine learning will open doors for the healthcare industry to gain critical insights that could enhance treatment decisions and make patients’ lives better. Google is one of many companies that continuously invests in its cloud services, which offer enterprises the ability to ingest large amounts of IoT data and connect to analytics and machine-learning services that can help drive and improve the all-important decisionmaking process.
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