Taking healthcare anywhere with the IoT

16 Mar 2016

As featured in DisruptiveViews

Perhaps the most exciting outcome from the revolution in mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) is the effect both are having on healthcare. From the simplest apps and ‘wearables’ tracking exercise and diet to the remote monitoring of patients, the potential benefits are immense.

The earliest use cases focused on delivering medical advice via mobile phones to far-flung outposts in the Philippines and Indonesia, in some cases extending to remote surgery being carried out. Today we are seeing more and more mass-market uses being envisaged to help control the rising cost of healthcare, particularly for the aged.

Over the past few years, a number of communications service providers (CSPs) and suppliers have been involved in the TM Forum’s Digital Health Catalyst project, which aims to explore the ways they can collaborate with healthcare stakeholders to improve the end-user health care experience.

Catalysts are rapid fire, member-driven proof-of-concept projects which both inform and leverage TM Forum best practices and standards, connecting service providers, technology suppliers, and global enterprises to create innovative solutions to common industry challenges.

The first use case developed in the Digital Health Catalyst project revolved around care at home – making sure that customers and health care providers could ensure quality of care by using IoT principles to better connect patients, their families, health care providers, insurance companies, government health agencies, and other stakeholders. The second phase expanded on this concept, leveraging data from connected devices to assess patient well-being and combat senior loneliness without intrusion into the patient’s life.

The latest phase, termed Connected Care Anywhere, expands the scope of digital health services even further because healthcare isn’t just required in the home or hospital. Patients, healthcare and insurance providers, and other stakeholders need to be able to deliver the same quality of care even when the patient is out and about.

There are two main roles in a Catalyst – champions (usually an organization seeking a solution to problem) and participants (organizations contributing to solving the problem). Verizon and Orange are the champions here, partnering with Ericsson (providing its Service Innovation Framework); BaseN (developers of scalable, inherently distributed and fault tolerant IoT and spime platforms); Detecon (a leading management consulting company) and Pryv (experts in patient data privacy) as participants. Working together, these players create an agile, even accelerated environment to come up with a solution that everyone can benefit from.

The Connected Care Anywhere Catalyst makes use of a digital ecosystem to expose functional and TM Forum APIs and demonstrate that it’s possible to marry health industry capabilities with communications services providers’ networks in order to significantly improve the quality of care and patient well-being. The Catalyst will be demonstrated at TM Forum Live! 2016 in Nice, France, in May.

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