Healthcare has been identified as a key vertical in which the Internet of Things can make an impact, and for technology company Zebra Technologies, an upcoming conference will be the ideal platform to showcase its capabilities.

“Health Slam 2016 is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Zebra,” said Wayne Harper, Zebra’s senior technology director for the APAC region.

“As keen adopters of IoT principles for the healthcare industry, we’re excited to present our innovations to such an esteemed audience.”

The inaugural Health Slam 2016 IoT for Healthcare virtual conference is set to kick off on the 2 December, 2016, and Zebra will demonstrate a number of technologies.

The conference will explore the application of IoT in healthcare across a number of topics, such as digital transformation, security and privacy, regulatory compliance, consumer-driven health care, remote patient monitoring, patient-centred analytics, cognitive applications, device interoperability, and patient data sharing.

Coordinated by the Internet Of Things Community (IOTC) – the world’s largest community of business leaders and IoT practitioners – the event “aims to provide clarity and simplicity about the game-changing IoT opportunity facing the healthcare and life science industries.”

Zebra’s global healthcare practice lead, Chris Sullivan, will serve as chairman of the Health Slam Advisory Board.

“Zebra is pleased to join the Internet of Things Community and play a leadership role in its Health Slam movement,” he said in a statement.

“We look forward to collaborating with members of the IoT Community as we explore how to best leverage IoT in healthcare to connect the right patient to the right care at the right time.”

Recognising IoT's benefits to healthcare early

Zebra has long touted how technology such as wearables, Bluetooth and NFC could be used to track the progress of patient care, and to provide the patients themselves with information about their length of stay at a healthcare facility and waiting times experienced.

In Australia, Zebra is working with a number of aged care and dementia care providers to integrate wearable RFID tags with healthcare facility security systems to keep tabs on patients within a facility, and to prevent patients from accessing restricted areas.

“What [Zebra has] done is put reader technology that interfaces with a facility’s standard door security control systems,” Harper said.

“If a visitor or staff member comes in, they can punch a code into a door and unlock it. But if the sensing technology detects a patient – who is not allowed to leave the facility – is within that zone, the system won’t allow the patient to open the door.”

The data collected from these projects is also being used to understand how a patient’s mobility changes as they progress through their illness.

Such data can provide caregivers with valuable insight into the changing needs of patients, and provide family members a means to prepare for any future deterioration in condition accordingly.

Zebra is also leveraging its asset-tracking capability to provide devices for healthcare facilities, enabling greater visibility of asset utilisation and new processes such as predictive maintenance for equipment.

 “It’s all technology that exists today, it’s proven and used in the enterprise and can be really useful in the healthcare space.”