Park, A., Chang, H., & Lee, K. J., How to sustain smart connected hospital services: an experience from a pilot project on IoT-based healthcare services. Healthcare informatics research, 24(4), 387-393. 2018. (Pdf)
This paper describes an experience of implementing seamless service trials online and offline by adopting Internet of Things (IoT) technology based on near-field communication (NFC) tags and Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) beacons. The services were provided for both patients and health professionals.
The pilot services were implemented to enhance healthcare service quality, improve patient safety, and provide an effective business process to health professionals in a tertiary hospital in Seoul, Korea. The services to enhance healthcare service quality include healing tours, cancer information/education, psychological assessments, indoor navigation, and exercise volume checking. The services to improve patient safety are monitoring of high-risk inpatients and delivery of real-time health information in emergency situations. In addition, the services to provide an effective business process to health professionals include surveys and web services for patient management.
Considering the sustainability of the pilot services, we decided to pause navigation and patient monitoring services until the interference problem could be completely resolved because beacon signal interference significantly influences the quality of services. On the other hand, we had to continue to provide new wearable beacons to high-risk patients because of hygiene issues, so the cost increased over time and was much higher than expected.
To make the smart connected hospital services sustainable, technical feasibility (e.g., beacon signal interference), economic feasibility (e.g., continuous provision of new necklace beacons), and organizational commitment and support (e.g., renewal of new alternative medical devices and infrastructure) are required.