You probably aren’t surprised to hear that chronic diseases are on the rise in the United States. Today, six in 10 U.S. adults have a chronic disease, and four in 10 U.S. adults have two or more chronic diseases.2 Smart devices connected through the IoT can help to predict, manage and reduce the rates of chronic disease and related complications.
One in three U.S. adults has hypertension3 (high blood pressure), which can lead to other life-threatening conditions, including heart disease and stroke. So it’s imperative that those with hypertension receive ongoing proactive care.
Wearable fitness devices — like the Apple Watch® or Fitbit® smart watches — can provide ongoing, unobtrusive monitoring of vital statistics such as blood pressure and pulse. Some devices can even generate electrocardiogram data that, with your permission, are automatically and securely sent to your health care provider.
Such devices allow the wearer to go confidently about his or her day, knowing that any sudden irregularities in these key vital signs will be flagged and the connected application will immediately contact his or her health care provider. The care management team can then determine the next course of action, and quickly contact the wearer and/or authorized family members.
30.3 million U.S. adults have forms of diabetes, a condition in which the body doesn’t properly process and use the sugars found in foods4. Just as with hypertension, there are myriad opportunities for the continuous, IoT-fueled monitoring of individuals with diabetes. For example, cloud-based diabetes management programs — mobile health technology combined with health coaching — can help individuals better monitor and manage their blood sugar (glucose) levels. Another application for diabetes management is the use of implanted devices that monitor blood sugar levels throughout the day, automatically administering insulin to the individual as needed. This type of IoT-powered intervention can help in the case of a sudden, potentially life-threatening spike in blood sugar.
There are also IoT applications for diabetes management that can help individuals work with their care providers to better plan their care over time. For example, smart glucose monitors capture and send data to the individual’s care management team at regular intervals. The doctor or nurse reviews this data, notes any trends or irregularities and discusses the results with the patient at their next visit.