The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT): Key Implementation Challenges

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is set to change the way that the medical industry delivers healthcare. As with the other disruptive changes that have come from the IoT and other digital revolutions, there will be challenges that face the IoMT.  There are legitimate concerns about security and privacy, the rate and extent of adoption that determine the value that can be delivered and product scalability are some of the most pressing challenges to overcome. It will be a process of advocating and leading change that will determine how to push the IoMT forward for the economic, social and medical benefits for everyone.

Security And Privacy Challenges

Security is a primary concern for the IoMT, as is patient privacy. The devices that are rolling out as first examples of what the technology can achieve suffer from rapid development with little consideration to security. New equipment is beginning to address this by such measures as separating identifying information from healthcare data and end-to-end encryption.

Ensuring that the confidential records of patients remain secure is a paramount concern for an industry that contains so much personal information and holds privacy as one of its most fundamental values. Patient privacy is vital, as a basis for trust, and connected devices still need further development before they can consistently ensure it.

The Challenge Of Motivating Patients To Adopt Technology

To fulfill the potential of the promise of the IoMT, interface designs for devices have to be compelling to consumers. The IoMT will shift the balance of power in the relationship between doctors and patients, which can deliver high-quality results in medical care, with rapid diagnosis and alerting, at substantially reduced costs. The shifting of responsibilities is a mixed blessing for patients who must take more responsibility to select suitable devices to collect the data on which to judge their conditions.

Consumers often neglect health concerns until they become acute. The priorities of consumers tend to be more toward those devices that provide short-term gratification rather than health and the trends in IoT spending show no exception. Products must be meaningful so that they engage users to take advantage of their capabilities. Likewise, users of the medical system, healthcare providers, eHealth software developers, hardware manufacturers and patients will need new mindsets to gain the benefits that are becoming possible.

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Making IoMT Products Scalable And Meaningful

Products must be both scalable and meaningful if they are going to gain full adoption in the market while delivering the experience and utility consistently regardless of network or location. As devices become more consumer oriented, they face the challenges of competing in the market.

The changing state of the art means that it is a challenge for companies to find the right products and development processes; it causes companies to form new alliances that were unusual not very long ago. Large, established corporations and small startups now form partnerships to take advantage of the strengths of each.

Anticipating The Unknown And Managing The Change

The ultimate challenge is capturing and analyzing all of the data that devices of the IoMT generate. Current systems that only use small fractions of the data available to alert for anomalies have the potential to optimize operations significantly and to find patterns in the data that show hidden relationships and predict outcomes.

These challenges present excellent opportunities for the companies and entrepreneurs that have the insight to appreciate the significance. Changes mean opportunities as well as risks and threats. The lines between products and services blur. Developers for the IoMT need to address the risks and look deeply to find the rewards. They should prepare for high data volumes, to capture the full potential of data, ensure security and protect the privacy of patients.

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