Blog Series: #IoT in Healthcare by Manishree Bhattacharya @ManishreeBhatt1

The opportunity for #IoT in Healthcare is estimated to be $2.5 trillion by 2025. How are we embracing this change? The Types of Opportunities that present themselves to the Startups, Healthcare IT organisations are tremendous.

During the #PhilipsChat, on the 10th April 2017, we asked the experts what they thought about the current trends and focus areas that the IT Industry, Medical Device Manufacturers, Hospitals and Start-ups will need to keep in view, in the near and short-term, while making their organisation ready for the Digital Transformation that can be and will be enabled by #IoT in Healthcare.  
Presenting the insights shared by Manishree Bhattacharya (@ManishreeBhatt1) on #IoT in Healthcare

Q1: In the near term (1-3 years), What are the top 3 innovations in IoT that can benefit healthcare?
Manishree Bhattacharya: 1. Remote monitoring of (cardiac disorders, COPD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, insomnia, diabetes, elderly, expecting mothers)
2. An integrated/connected surgical room, where devices are interoperable, regularly feeds in data into patient profile in EMR, to streamline post-operative care, both in the hospital and beyond, at patient homes
3. IoT for ensuring drug/treatment adherence, such as sensor-based pills
Q2. Do you see any device, connected via any protocol and with any cloud; as the future, if yes how will that be achieved? Standards?
Manishree Bhattacharya: Right now, developments are quite random and sporadic. To achieve larger goals, moving from connected devices to connected hospitals, some level of standardization and uniformity will be important to ensure an error-free, and secured transmission.
Q3: In India (or your country), what are the Digital Infrastructure requirements for enabling IoT based Innovations in Healthcare?
Manishree Bhattacharya: Seeing Digital Health take off in India in its full bloom is one of my wishes, and the preliminary requisite would be to encourage hospitals go paper-less – have EHR systems implemented, with a timeline set for nation-wide implementation. Just imagine how seamless healthcare delivery will be if primary, secondary and tertiary centres are integrated – data can seamlessly flow from one centre to another. Government has a very strong role to play here, that will help in creating the right infrastructure, timely adoption, establishing standards, lowering costs by promoting local manufacturing, and boosting HealthIT start-ups.
Q4. Please share use cases for Connected Care for: Healthy Living, Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment, Homecare:
Manishree Bhattacharya:
Healthy Living – Most consumer IoT devices aim to do that – tracking exercise regimes, diet plans
Prevention – Say a heart patient puts on a wearable device that continuously monitors and sends signals to nurses/doctors for any aberration – this can ensure timely treatment and prevent a severe episode.
Homecare – A person who has just had a surgery, and is on homecare – his regular vitals, diet plan, outputs are remotely being tracked by the doctor/nurse – who can selectively revise the diet or post-surgery recovery plan. Same goes with elderly who are on home-care.
Treatment – A sensor-based pill that sends a signal to a care-giver on ingestion of the pill.
The bigger purpose – We know that not all medicines work on every patient. Regularly tracking patients not only help in timely interventions, and more personalized treatments, it also opens routes to more clinical research on personalized medicines.
Q5: What are the Healthcare based Smart City components? How can Local, State and National Government’s make #IoT solutions in healthcare economically viable?
Manishree Bhattacharya: Answering to how can government make IoT solutions viable, my thoughts would be:
  1. By promoting indigenous manufacturing to curb costs
  2. Incentivising IoT adoption in hospitals
  3. Prioritizing HealthIT in the overall start-up agenda
Q6: How can private hospitals justify the RoI’s of Smart Hospital Components?
Manishree Bhattacharya: By improving quality of care; reducing hospital re-admissions, yet prolonging the care process that extends to one’s home; and finally improving patient engagement/adherence. A patient is more likely to visit a doctor who can provide a more personalized treatment than the one who cannot. Important would be define these key metrics/KPIs right at the beginning of implementation.

Q7. Tell us a 5 Year view of IoT in Healthcare and what would a Patient Experience be in a Smart Hospital?
Manishree Bhattacharya: First, we have to understand the purpose of IoT in healthcare – it is not there just for the sake of it, but to truly enable a coordinated and long-term care, that would eventually reduce mortality, morbidity, and hospital re-admissions. Patient experience is bound to improve. A patient will not have to run from one department to another, narrating the whole problem and showing multiple reports. So when a cancer in-patient enters a psychologist’s office, and the doctor already knows the problem, and also has the latest vitals of the patient right in his tablet, he knows that the patient was not able to get any sleep the previous night and has a high BP right now. The doctor would hence probably choose to talk about things that can ease the patient’s current situation. Now, that is truly an enriching experience.

Looking ahead in the future, we may also have AI-enabled voice assistants that will make a patient more comfortable in hospital settings.
Q8. Finally: What areas of IoT based innovations are you looking to partner with Startups for? Can you give us two areas?
Manishree Bhattacharya: Would love to connect with any start-up that can provide meaningful solutions for the Indian healthcare landscape. What I would also like to see is how these start-ups are using the tonnes of data that IoT devices generate, in deriving meaningful analysis – big data, AI, and so on.


  1. Here is the original Blog Post announcing the #PhilipsChat Tweetchat :
  2. 3 ways in which Information Technology can improve healthcare in India by Manishree Bhattacharya (@ManishreeBhatt1) on NASSCOM Community
  1. IoT in India – The Next Big Wave by NASSCOM
  2. Curated list of Tweets from the #PhilipsChat:
  3. Review the #PhilipsChat Transcript & analytics via @symplur here >>
Stay tuned to the #IoT in Healthcare Blog series. Bookmark this link to follow on the insights being shared by the experts on the HCITExpert Blog:

Manishree Bhattacharya

Manager – Research & Advisory at NASSCOM
Business professional with 7+ years of experience in research and advisory, across IT, healthcare, and medical technologies. At NASSCOM, responsible for identifying digital opportunities, driving thought leadership/innovation and delivering actionable insights for the Indian Technology Industry

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