March 16, 2018

The Internet of Things (IoT) in 1 Minute

Like most of us, I hate having to present someone else’s slides and hate trying to present on a subject I don’t know enough about. Now those who know me well will give a wry smile as there have been many times along the way I have had to do both of the above to greater or lesser effect. However, here goes – the Internet of Things in Healthcare in 1 Minute in 5W1H order:

The 5W1Hs are – Who – What – When – Where-Why & How

Who is involved? – My guess is nearly everyone – and in the following piece, I’ll try to explain my thinking behind that statement or at least introduce topics for discussion.

What happened? – Great question! – a little difficult to answer – but in effect, whilst we’ve all been getting on with life,  – some really clever people have been pioneering all kinds of devices that are connected to the Internet – 127 new devices every second according to McKinsey – and the thing is many of those devices are sensors. These sensors are capable of measuring all kinds of things – from measuring bumps in the road – to detecting an irregular heartbeat – measuring the status of our blood  – checking we are who we say we are – and so on with millions more examples. As business people in healthcare, with the mission to deliver great products and hopefully shareholder value or as people charged with delivering the highest quality of healthcare within stretched budgets, this is important – I would say essential to understand and yet how many of us do understand enough to make big investment decisions on.

When – Now! Not wishing to alarm you, but try this little test to check how up to speed you are. Think of an app you may have used recently – for example Uber or City Mapper or  Google Maps.  All of these rely on masses of sensors and background communications all delivered seamlessly in a simple user interface on a phone. A personalized service at speed and with a great experience at low cost or free! Now think of the systems you are delivering your customers and tell yourself whether you are keeping pace or falling behind. For example – we’ve  all heard about the semi-autonomous vehicle – are you ready for the semi-autonomous patient? By all means decide that in your circumstances that may not matter or just kick that can down the road. But I think it should matter to many of us and if it does matter to you, I’d like to help by sharing my experiences.  We are all either potential users of services or tax payers or shareholders – we all have skin in the game.

Where – in healthcare, I really believe most sincerely that the greatest wins are in the areas of prevention and self / shared care – yes in the NHS – but equally yes for everyone around the world. This can be a force for real good in even the poorest countries. I haven’t just conjured this up – I believe with every bone in my body that this is true.

Why – another great question. If I was writing a Healthcare IoT word cloud – it would contain the following – Cost effectiveness – convenience – equality of access to services – people’s expectations – quality – innovation – protection – prevention – selfcare.

And finally How?  Again not simple to answer in this timetable as there are all kinds of ways – but let’s assume you are convinced or at least minded to do something – but like most of us are feeling a little cautious – but once we make a start , we don’t want to throw what we’ve started away – we may churn out old “Fail Fast” mantra – but do we really mean it. No – heck no! We all want to be successful. So my advice is to select a pressing business challenge or a set of pressing business or service challenges – make some time – get the right people in the room – invite a knowledgeable facilitator or even an expert and give the topics a good thrash using brainstorming or whatever works for you as a group – pick the cost benefit and do a SWOT. Put that to your board – get the go ahead – put your team together – pick a challenge – select a platform and crack on. And if that goes well – do it again and again and again. Good luck, thanks for your time and let me know if I can help.

Did that take more than a minute?


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