By: Utpal Mangla – Industry EDGE Cloud – IBM Cloud Platform; Atul Gupta – Lead Data Architect – IBM ; Luca Marchi – Industry EDGE and Distribute Cloud – IBM Cloud Platform; and Saurabh Agrawal – Practice Lead, Network Cloud, 5G & EDGE
Preventive healthcare has always been taught and talked about in most healthcare institutions, but seldom practiced. The collective benefits are immense, and the realization of a fraction of those benefits can help optimize the cost-delivery aspects of healthcare services. It can also act as a catalyst for scaling healthcare services for growing populations in most parts of the world.
The common issues in implementing Preventive Healthcare include providing guidance, educating the vulnerable population masses, and interacting with healthcare professionals. Most of the challenges in regular screenings or monitoring of diabetes, cholesterol, cancer, and mental health are known cost and labor related issues.
Technology has helped to achieve some primary objectives, but the ultimate goal is still far away. IoT and Robotics solutions have been deployed in healthcare facilities and continue to advance quickly. But with new tools, techniques, and cloud infrastructure, it’s time for innovative new solutions that come with emerging IoT devices, like increased connectivity, speed, and lower costs.
Intelligent Edge IoT can provide intense data gathering and processing before sending the prepared data into the Health Ecosystem. Early on, IoT’s were mostly sensors used to gather data and were often cumbersome when it came to software code updates, and they didn’t have enough compute power to run any data processing. The new generation of intelligent IoT’s, which can be deployed at the Edge, can compute and process data ahead of sending it to Cloud computing functions for more sophisticated analysis, including machine learning and deep learning algorithms.
These intelligent IoT’s once deployed as human wearables, facility sensors, etc. can transform EHR (Electronic Health Record) to next generation 24x7x365 EHR (Round the Clock EHR).
This innovation of ‘Round the Clock EHR’ can transform the healthcare industry by bringing healthcare professionals much closer to patients in understanding and diagnosing medical issues early on. It can continuously stream and feed data to ML (machine learning), DL (deep learning) algorithms to help and improve AI solutions. The risk factors can be constantly monitored, thresholds can be adjusted and re-calibrated in real-time with sophisticated software. The Preventive healthcare can not only detect the early signs but also feed it to research facilities for new research programs and eliminate unnecessary analysis.
The Preventive care strategies which also encompass social and environmental conditions can now be monitored with the ‘Round the Clock EHR’, which contains the patient or potential-patient data along with their detailed data on living conditions, geographical conditions, social setup which may trigger onset of a disease or unfavorable conditions. On a larger scale, the Healthcare ecosystem data and ‘Round the Clock EHR’ can provide feed into wider studies to generate health patterns as people move and Preventive Healthcare can lead to new advancements.
As referenced in https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537222/ [Prevention Strategies Lisa A. Kisling; Joe M Das.] – Primary prevention consists of measures aimed at a susceptible population or individual. Secondary prevention emphasizes early disease detection, and its target is healthy-appearing individuals with subclinical forms of the disease. Tertiary prevention targets both the clinical and outcome stages of a disease.
Analyzing these 3 preventive healthcare areas from the ‘Data and Intelligent Edge IoT Lens’, it is apparent that the commonality is gathering, processing, and providing good quality round-the-clock granular data to most sophisticated ML, DL algorithms can definitely transform this area of healthcare transformation.
Our advancing society needs blend of medical and technology research implemented in a way to foster growth, scalability, improvements at lower cost and implementation cycles. These de-coupled solutions are easy to implement and promote wider Healthcare ecosystem in our connected social network.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537222/ [Prevention Strategies Lisa A. Kisling; Joe M Das.]