The healthcare industry is at a critical juncture. Providers are under extreme pressure to offer better and more consistent quality of care, all while staying in compliance with HIPAA and EMR mandates, which involve tedious and time consuming tracking and logging. The number of patients is on the rise, while resources are growing scarcer and cost cutting and streamlining of operations are a harsh reality.
Healthcare providers are scrambling to gain their footing in this competitive and bleak environment, and fortunately, technology is becoming a major asset and helping them meet demands on all fronts. While technology certainly can’t replace the time and effort of a skilled practitioner, real-time communications (RTC) and WebRTC solutions are tremendous tools for practitioners that simply don’t have enough time and resources to get their jobs done effectively.
According to Pyramid Research, mobile network operators (MNOs) are an important part of the technology puzzle, offering B2B and B2C services to aid the healthcare market in achieving its goals. Solutions include SIM-based IoT connectivity services, enabling M2M communications along with value-added technology services like management, integration and time-saving apps.
Sleep apnea diagnosis and therapy along with cardiac rhythm management (CRM) represent the two largest growing market segments for SIM-based IoT and RTC in the healthcare field. Pyramid predicts SIM-based IoT connections will grow 31 percent through 2020, and the healthcare sector will be one of the major drivers.
MNOs are also moving beyond network coverage by offering connectivity for fitness devices and apps with applications for telemedicine as well as secure storage, archiving and analytics for the medical community. Specific offerings where telemedicine and RTC and WebRTC are playing an increasingly valuable role include CRM, remote electrocardiogram (ECG), blood remote monitoring and sleep diagnostic and therapeutic devices.
The Doctor on Demand application is a prime example of how RTC is making in-roads in the healthcare industry, and the app recently offered support for those in the southern U.S. impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The company offered its medical and mental health services to those in affected regions at no charge during the week after the storm. The application is typically used to diagnose common conditions like cold, flu and allergies, and the average wait time to connect to a doctor via smartphone or computer is less than three minutes.