Rich Crocco

The Future of Healthcare: Big Data & IoT

Image via https://wtvox.com/2015/04/ibm-is-collaborating-with-apple-on-artificial-intelligence-health-program/
Image via https://wtvox.com/2015/04/ibm-is-collaborating-with-apple-on-artificial-intelligence-health-program/

Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are poised to redefine many industries including retail, automotive and healthcare among others. Healthcare is the sector I want to focus on here. How will IoT affect doctors, healthcare administrators & patients in the coming years? Do we like these changes?

 

Big Data

The healthcare industry has always been a form of Big Data center. Look behind the counter at your doctor or dentist’s office and you will see thousands of files invariably organized alphabetically and taking up rows of valuable space. What these industries lacked was sufficient technology to organize and use that data effectively. For instance, if you changed doctors your information had to be manually transferred to your new doctor. All that is changing with the use of Big Data techniques and IoT.

Companies such as IBM are working on “a solution that connects every single data source and analyzes structured, unstructured and real-time data.” Solutions like these are meant to pull together information from multiple sources including data from sensors (Fitbit, Apples Watch, etc.), public health records, insurance claims, family health history, etc. If all this information is pulled together and effectively analyzed, the patient would ultimately benefit. Imagine a healthcare database which included all possible relevant data to help with the diagnosis and care of a patient. The patient’s access to expertise just went from the local doctor’s office to worldwide. Read more…

The Internet of Things is Coming, Like it or Not

Image via http://www.luxcapital.com/blog/internet-of-things-needs-a-new-interface/
Image via http://www.luxcapital.com/blog/internet-of-things-needs-a-new-interface/

The Internet of Things (IoT) craze has grown to the point where the government is getting involved. Recently the U.S. Senate passed a resolution calling for a National Strategy on the subject. It was only months ago that I was hearing the term Internet of Things, but didn’t have a clue what it meant (not to mention the funny little acronym IoT. Now I’m seeing tech events popping up around the country utterly dedicated to the subject. Maybe I’m just late to the game here but it seems like IoT is gaining a lot of momentum.

So what to make of this craze? Some experts are saying it will be the next major shift in how the internet affects our daily lives. Some experts also say IoT is the largest reason the internet will be shifting from the traditional IPv4 protocol to the more robust IPv6. With IPv6 the number of IP addresses the internet can handle multiplies exponentially. The exact number is 3.4 X 10^38 if that means anything to you (not much to me!), the point is we won’t be running out of addresses anytime soon after the transition. The World Economic Forum projects by the year 2020 there will be 5 billion people on the internet along with 50 billion ‘things.’ Right now there are approximately 3 billion people connected along with 14 billion ‘things.’ The ‘things’ part of that statistic represents a 250% increase in five years. Read more…