In just two years, by 2019, the majority of healthcare organizations (87 percent) will have adopted Internet of Things (IoT) technology and 76 percent believe it will transform the healthcare industry, according to a study from networking provider Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
To examine the current state of IoT and its impact across different industries, Aruba researchers interviewed 3,100 IT and business decision makers across 20 countries and from a number of verticals, including healthcare, although the study report does not indicate specifically how many healthcare leaders were surveyed, for the report “The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow.”
According to the study, healthcare organizations have introduced IoT technology to improve patient monitoring, reduce cost and foster innovation. Coming in as the third most advanced in its implementation of IoT, 60 percent of healthcare organizations globally have introduced IoT devices into their facilities.
Across the healthcare sector, 42 percent of executives rank monitoring and maintenance as the number one use of IoT—higher than all other sectors. This underscores the importance of IoT-enabled patient monitoring in the modern healthcare industry. Of the healthcare organizations that currently use IoT technology, 73 percent use it for monitoring and maintenance. Half of organizations use it for remote operation and control, while 47 percent use it for location-based services and 67 percent report they plan to connect their IoT devices using Wi-Fi.
Today, according to the study, many healthcare devices operate in silos and more than one-third of organizations don’t apply data from devices to other business processes.
And, according to the study, in the next two years, 50 percent of devices on healthcare networks will be IoT devices.
As far as the benefits of using IoT technology, eight in ten report an increase in innovation and 76 percent report that it enables visibility across the organization. Additionally, another 73 percent report cost savings.
The study also found that, today, IoT technology is most commonly used for patient monitors (64 percent), energy meters (56 percent) and x-rays and imaging devices (33 percent).
Alongside these positive returns, the study also uncovers a number of obstacles that IT leaders from all industries feel are preventing IoT from delivering greater business impact. In particular, the cost of implementation (50%), maintenance (44%) and integration of legacy technology (43%) were highlighted as key issues.
And, while the analysis confirms the clear business benefits from investments in IoT, the study authors caution that connecting thousands of things to existing business networks has already resulted in security breaches for the majority of organizations.
Within healthcare, 89 percent of respondents to the survey reported that their organizations have suffered an IoT-related security breach and almost half of respondents have struggled with malware. Further, 39 percent also reported concerns about human error and distributed denial of service attacks also are a concern.
Looking ahead, most healthcare executive leaders see great potential and benefits form the use of IoT technology, which will outweigh the risks. More than half of respondents (57 percent) believe IoT technology will enable organizations to increase workforce productivity and will also save costs. Thirty-six percent of respondents see IoT leading to the creation of new business models and 27 percent say IoT technology will improve collaboration with colleagues and patients
Chris Kozup, vice president of marketing at Aruba, said in a statement, “While IoT grows in deployment, scale and complexity, proper security methodologies to protect the network and devices, and more importantly, the data and insights they extract, must also keep pace. If businesses do not take immediate steps to gain visibility and profile the IoT activities within their offices, they run the risk of exposure to potentially malicious activities.”
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