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How the IoT and cloud are teaming up to disrupt healthcare

Given the constant pace of technological change in the cloud, experts note how quickly on-prem solutions can get “really old and dated."

Jeff Rowe | Apr 27, 2018 12:00 am

Big Data is getting bigger, the Internet of Things is increasingly disrupting healthcare, and the cloud is playing a key role in making it all happen.

That’s one way of summing up a recent article at Bio-IT World in which tech writer Joe Stanganelli talks to a number of stakeholders who spend their days on the cutting edge of where IT, well, is changing the world.

For example, Paimun Amini, Ag Productivity IT Lead, (R&D and Commercial) at Monsanto Company, told Stanganelli,  "You can assume that maybe 90% of the data that's generated for healthcare [will] be generated outside of a hospital or outside of a medical setting," and he pointed to the proliferation of consumer health wearables, agricultural biotic sensors, and "smart" peripherals for electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs). "So IoT is playing a huge aspect from the perspective of how it transforms how we're going to get the data and begin making insights.”

Indeed, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of cloud-computing and managed-services consultancy THINKstrategies, took it a step further, suggesting ”the rapid growth of the IoT in general would not be possible without the growing availability and maturity of cloud services, and [neither would] specific advancements in the life-sciences/healthcare sector in particular.”

According to Stanganelli, Kaplan and other cloud-computing experts have long held that IoT and the cloud go hand in hand—that you cannot effectively have the former without the latter. 

Moreover, Philip Skinner, a product manager at PerkinElmer, a biotech company, predicts that the combination of IoT and cloud laboratory-as-a-service solutions could evolve to the point of overpowering some of today’s research technology.

"I think the beauty of cloud-based solutions as a whole is [that] you can innovate…and you can start to push the boundaries of preconceived ideas—like you can get rid of the [electronic lab] notebook," said Skinner. "At some point, we could just phase it out, and at the same time we can push out new things very quickly."