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What's stopping IoT from transforming the industry?

The silos must be torn down for IoT to flourish, with support attracted from every level of the organization.

"Unfortunately what happens is that we either have a top-down approach or we have a bottom-up approach," explained Gupta. "We don't do an all-in approach."

Cultural barriers to IoT in healthcare

Many members of society are uncomfortable using emerging technologies, particularly the elderly who are so often the intended beneficiaries.

Robots, telemedicine and chatbots are services expected to become increasingly common methods of helping an ageing population live independently at home.

Japanese company SoftBank already sells a "humanoid robot" called Pepper to care for the country's elderly that they claim has the ability to perceive emotions, but the adoption rates of such technology will vary depending on the cultural acceptance of using it.

Cultural hurdles apply to professionals as well. Practitioners often make assumptions about the preferences of the patient, rather than giving them a choice of the available treatments.

"The whole patient pool is like a customer segment," said Gupta. "Hospitals should segment the customers too...to understand who the right candidate for what kind of thing is."

Options should be offered when the service user is discharged, while data mining utilized to cluster service users by their type of care, condition or age. Older people may be resistant to IoT innovations such as chatbots, but millennials may prefer them as they're more convenient than an in-person visit.

Misconceptions about IoT in healthcare

Practitioners also need more impetus to promote emerging technologies, such as incentives to see people remotely.

"The hospital reimbursement system at this point in time has got different reimbursement rates for online or in-person, and that's something which we have to change," said Gupta.



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