Two biggest benefits hospitals get from Internet of Things (IoT) 🛰

The Internet of Things (IoT) is key to everything. The excitement it brings is revolutionary. First, with the advancement and convergence of technologies like sensors, AI, and cloud computing, we are approaching what we call a precision society.

📌 Internet of Things (IoT) and the precision society

Imagine an efficient society where we waste fewer and fewer resources. Imagine a world where everything works in extreme precision. We will know instantly who should take this job, see exactly how many hours this machine is used and when exactly it needs maintenance and be sure how many staff we need at this station in order to serve these exact numbers of customers.

A hospital will become one of the places where can gain the biggest benefit from this movement. Why? Because providing high-quality healthcare services is and will continue to be such a complex undertaking. The level of complexity that human’s brains cannot cope with. It will be vital to any hospitals to be able to handle the followings effectively and in real-time:

  • Analyze real-time information sent through sensors and gateways to build a sound notification system and to detect movement patterns of medical devices in a hospital.
  • Detect an anomaly of usage of medical devices by looking at areas of usage, time of usage, duration of usage, and transportation of devices to prevent thieves.
  • Predict daily demands of various medical devices from many locations inside a hospital by basing around historical usage data, number of patients, date, season, outbreak situation, and inventory level.
  • Dispatch a job to the most relevant staff to ensure the quality and timeliness of services at the same time minimize staff effort and maintain their morale and satisfaction.
  • Route a patient or a group of patients to the best possible path to guarantee the shortest wait time, and to reduce the length of stay in a hospital.
  • Record with high accuracy of a patient journey from the moment she steps into a hospital until discharged. Where she goes. How long she waits. Who she deals with? What medical equipment she uses and for how long. How much exactly the hospital should charge her.
  • Recommend possible options for improving hospital operations, for example, how can we reduce a patient’s waiting time at a checkup department? and what is the smallest number of infusion pumps we need at ICU departments tomorrow?
  • Process real-time data streamed from a wearable device in order to detect and predict what is going to happen with a patient, for example, when the body temperature rises too high, patient’s posture in bed, and if a patient’s walking pattern is abnormal to increase a safety level for her.

These are just examples of how we can bring “Optimization” to a hospital from a back-office’s point of view. For us optimization complements precision. And precision is a powerful concept to really utilize resources in hand to the level of optimum and reduce wastes. This is a really big market.

However, it is not as big as the next one.

💵 Internet of Things (IoT) and the outcome economy

We have lived in an ownership economy for so long. If we want something, we must buy that thing. Even though we use it just once a year, we have to buy it. A car is a prime example of this as research says we actually use our car just 5% of the time. The other 95% is a waste and the price to be an owner of a car is so high with gas, parking, maintenance and repair, insurance, and more. A business wants to sell products so much that it forces its customers to invest in a thing they actually don’t want.

Maybe just like we don’t want a car, but we want an on-demand transportation service. A customer doesn’t want our software they want to get their problems solved. Anyway, we convince, trick, lure them to “buy” what we want to sell without any guarantee if our products will solve their problems. The customer operates at their own risk. Have you ever heard of an abandoned-useless-expensive IT system that completely failed to deliver as promised? We bet you have. That is evidence of a cruel of the ownership economy.

But we are human, and human adapt. We learned about a decade ago that the ownership thing was a flaw. We then invented a new concept called a service economy, where we don’t sell the things, but we provide them instead. From a seller to become a provider. Sound better? The famous dialogue is “you don’t have to buy; you can rent or subscribe to our service instead.” Interesting. A customer doesn’t buy but they can rent and pay monthly or yearly fees. The ownership is gone. A customer invests less at first but pays gradually for equipment, software, and after-sales services. But is the service economy the best? The answer is unfortunately no with some clear reasons.

🤜🏼 A conflict of two business models 🤛🏽

First, normally a customer has to pay based on the numbers of those things she needs. Be it the number of equipment, the number of software licenses, the number of service times per year. With all these, is there a guarantee she will get her problems solved? We don’t think so. There is a reason for that.

It is due to a conflict between the customer’s business model and the provider’s business model. While she may want to reduce overall operating costs and increase revenue, but the provider wants her to subscribe and gradually and continuously pay for a service that doesn’t relate to how she can achieve her goals.

Let’s assume that they are a medical equipment provider who lends some infusion pumps to the hospital. While she, as a managing director, wants to make sure she has just enough devices to run the medical services, but she has to pay by the numbers of infusion pumps she rents. If she rents 100 devices, she pays for the whole hundred even though she doesn’t use some of them, some are under-utilized, and some are under maintenance. Not to mention, she also has to pay for a service fee. Then look at how she really makes money. Only when an infusion pump is used with a real patient, then she makes money. The question is why does she need to pay for all unused devices? This is the conflict we are talking about.

🤝 What if we can align the business models?

But Internet of Things (IoT) that powers the precision society and optimization can change that for the better. The category we are creating can fuel an outcome economy, where a provider can align their business model with their customers’. This is very powerful. Consider the previous example, what if this provider gets rid of the concept of renting completely? What if this provider starts to act as a real provider who provides tangible values, results, and outcomes to the customers?

This is how it will look. They simply provide a set of infusion pumps for the hospital including a management software suite, and an after-sales service – free of charge. The way they make money is exactly the way the hospital makes money — by using an infusion pump with a real patient. They charge the customer a portion of the revenue the customer generates from charging the patient. This is an alignment that changes the game.

Because Internet of Things (IoT), precision, and optimization give them a lot of information and knowledge of what, where, when and how their devices are used. They can say to the customer that “Every hour of device usage, we would like to share $1 from your revenue.”

The hospital pays based on the outcome its managing director is seeking. The more infusion pumps get used, the more money the hospital can make, so can the provider.

The outcome economy is really big, and it will affect every industry we can possibly think of. And now, we are moving toward that promised land with our proprietary platform, which is built to fully embrace this revolution driven by Internet of Things (IoT).

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