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By Marisa Spanial • October 31, 2016

Real Examples of How IoT is Changing Healthcare

The IoT market is booming.  With 20 billion things estimated to be in use by the end of 2020, growing from a measly 6.4 billion in 2016, the IoT movement will have far reaching effects in many industries, such as transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing. Possibly the most influential of the affected industries will, of course, be healthcare.

With the proliferation of wearables and sensors, IoT devices have already taken center stage in the healthcare industry. There were an estimated 78.1 million wearable devices in 2015, a 171.6% growth over the previous year. The healthcare IoT market is estimated to be $117 billion by 2020.

Healthcare Companies Innovating With IoT Devices

The positive implications of IoT in healthcare are numerous—from remote patient monitoring to predictive analytics—and can result in improved population health management

While this may seem like a futuristic daydream to those on the sidelines, leaders in the healthcare industry are already integrating IoT devices to improve healthcare.

Here are some of the most innovative companies making use of IoT.


Medical devices company Medtronic has developed an application that transmits wearables data to the IBM Watson analytics platform, and can alert patients to potentially life-threatening changes in blood glucose levels on a real-time basis.


Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis is joining hands with Qualcomm to develop an internet-connected inhaler that can send information to a cloud-based big data analytics platform for healthcare providers to use in treating patients.

 IoT and mHealth Whitepaper

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Medical devices company Dexcom has developed a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device that can be implanted in a patient’s body and can transmit real-time information to healthcare providers for timely detection and interventions.


Digital health company Proteus has developed ingestible sensors and sensor patches that transmit data to provide insights into patient health patterns and medication treatment effectiveness. This leads to more informed healthcare decisions for everyone involved.

Integrating IoT Data Into the Healthcare Ecosystem

IoT-based healthcare applications, though revolutionary,  are often only as good as the data they have access to. Many IoT applications are developed around data captured directly from the devices and have limited (if any) access to the rest of the patient’s data. While a siloed solution is good, enabling IoT applications and hospital systems to be interoperable is key to improving overall health outcomes.

This is, unfortunately, tougher than it sounds. Interoperability remains one of healthcare’s largest and toughest challenges.

You can learn more about the growth of IoT in healthcare and steps you can to start achieving integration with EHR systems here.