In an ideal world, You, Elon Musk, and I would have an equal fighting chance. We would have equal access to healthcare, opportunities, luxuries, etc. Unfortunately, the reality is far harsher than that. Access to necessities widely differs based on governmental wealth, generational wealth, and other factors. As a result, Kim Kardashian can buy herself a new face for her “reality” show’s new season while a single parent is dying of septic shock due to a lack of insurance and funds. Medical insurances are so expensive that you’d think they hold the secret to immortality. Today, we are on the verge of a medical IoT revolution that could either reformulate medical insurance or widen the gap between the privileged and the less fortunate.
The Bright Side of Medical IoT
Technological advancements have so much to offer the medical world. Quantum computing, for example, could reduce drug development time by half. And medical IoT holds similar promises; we have seen its brilliant application before. Out of the numerous use cases and benefits of medical IoT, I’d like to point out two strengths:
By Experts, For the Patients
Diagnosis is essentially an educated guessing game. Usually, if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck. But sometimes, it might be a goose with a defect raised by ducks. The efficient and accurate collection of data through medical IoT promotes precise diagnosis. IoT monitoring patient compliance with prescriptions is also crucial to speedy recoveries and better outcomes. A significant chunk of the population finds keeping track of medication difficult. It could be due to age or ADHD, for example.
Meet the Stonefish in the Sea of Healthcare
The stonefish is the world’s deadliest fish, capable of killing a man in under an hour. But who needs that when we have insurance companies? They are notorious for being difficult. Imagine paying someone a kidney’s worth of money for rainy days, and then they reject you when the time comes. There are reports from all over the world of hospitals refusing to administer care due to a lack of medical insurance or the insurer’s refusal to cover the bill citing some obscure loophole.
On the surface, insurance companies seem god sent. But they don’t cover several medical treatments, including brand-new technology. But some are wising up and studying IoT- and AI-based devices. Our concern is whether they plan to reserve these coverages for their higher-tier members, making healthcare even more inaccessible to the less unfortunate.
The world can be a greedy and cold place. And limited access to healthcare makes life more complicated than it needs to be. Unfortunately, people can find themselves drowning in debt due to a single ER visit that the insurance refuses to cover. Ironically, humans fast-track the development of life-altering medical devices using the most state-of-the-art technology just to gatekeep it and lock it behind an income bracket. The introduction of medical IoT will probably make the wealth gap even more apparent if no one protects the little guy.
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