The following section will make an overview of the implications, challenges and results that collected in the empirical evidence chapter and that have been underlined in the process of implementing the technology. Analysis and discussion of the previously stated points will be provided in the Discussion and Conclusion section.
An overview of the results and challenges has been made in Table 2., in order to be in a more presentable manner to the reader. This section will present a generalization of the challenges and barriers (part 1) followed by a generalization of the outcomes (part 2) met in all six case studies.
Part 1 will show 4 generalizable common challenges/barriers which were found during the analysis of the results. They are as follows: ; technological challenges and barriers; user acceptance, engagement and perception; redeveloping healthcare models of delivery; additional challenges and barriers.
Technological challenges and barriers: All case studies confirm that the technology deployment is challenging both institutions and patients. From institutional point of view, large costly investments had to be made in order to redesign the way continuous flow of information is being communicated from devices to storage systems. Also, some cases show that there is a lack in stable internet access which is essential for the transmission of large quantities of data. Furthermore, in one case in particular (case study 1), defective equipment was challenging the proper adoption of the IoT technology thereby slowing down the process of implementation. Besides the latter, incompatible devices with applications supporting IoT instruments was also found as a barrier to start using the technology.
User acceptance, engagement and perception: The results show a common ignorance towards the new technology that is being implemented as a product of the technological challenges stated above. The results show that patients had to be educated, which was time consuming, in order to start using the case IoT technology. Additionally, elderly patients had a “fear” of technology and at first were reluctant to use it.
Redeveloping healthcare models of delivery: Some results found during the analysis of the case studies confirm that healthcare establishments had to redesign the way they were providing healthcare to the population because of the new technology. IoT systems need more information system teams to overlook the implemented equipment as well as there had to be allocated people monitoring patient data for possible emergency alerts. Moreover, special care transition teams were assembled to educate patients about the new system and to travel across institution partners and/or patients home. Thus, reducing the interaction time that could be allocated to individuals to provide better care.
Additional challenges and barriers: Some IoT applications could not be exercised due to limited touch points with patients. Also, problems with bug infestations of the disposed hardware that created downtime occurred in rural areas. This made the process of taking the hardware and giving it to another patient more costly and time consuming.
Part 2 will show eight generalizable common outcomes which were found during the analysis of the results. They are as follows: reduction in the cost of care for the patient and/or the healthcare institution; improved quality of care and life; decreased time and/or volume of readmissions; increased access to healthcare; improved patient satisfaction; improved patient adoption of the technology and adherence to self-managing their own healthcare; prevention of unnecessary emergency room visits and additional outcomes. Moreover, this part will be acting as outcome to Part 1’s challenges/barriers.
Reduction in cost: The analysis found that in five of the cases, 1;2;3;4;5, there is a considerable amount in the reduction in the cost of the provided healthcare for both patients and healthcare providers. Which has resulted in a more efficient, more accessible in terms of cost, and with increased positive perception health delivery. Thereby, enabling healthcare institutions to allocate more resources to active care programs or to attend to new problems that did not have the necessary resources to be improved. Confirming the research sub question can be study 1, which has proof that there is a large decrease in the amount spend per patient after the discharge of a IoT system, to be exact, patients average cost of care was $12,937 before and $1,231 after.
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