The Internet of Things in Health, Social Care, and Wellbeing

Abstract: The Internet of Things (IoT) enables opportunities to remotely sense and control objects via communication networks. We study services based on connected devices and the collaboration they generate between the ICT and the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing (HSCWB) industries.In HSCWB, IoT can support a change from episodic treatments of illness to preventive care and wellbeing solutions. The IoT can be a supporter in cost efficient and high quality health care. The objective is to achieve healthier life years and more efficiency in health and social care. Even if the potential of IoT in HSCWB has been proven in pilot projects and small-scale solutions, the benefits and opportunities for many actors are still unclear. There is a research gap in studying the roles and business opportunities for market-driven technology-based solutions enabled by connected devices.The research approach separates technological and business domains. On the technology side, the focus is on advances in connectivity for IoT. We present the technical details on a limitation to support IoT devices in cellular networks. We quantify the limitations in the Random Access Channel of the LTE air interface to support IoT devices. Moreover, we propose the adaptation of an access mechanism to enable massive number of simultaneous access attempt in cellular networks.On the business side, we identify and present how the conditions of the health and social care structure in Sweden affect the establishment of IoT solutions in HSCWB. We then show how these conditions have generated three distinctive development patterns—to innovate within the public sector, to develop solutions in the private care sector, or to target the wellbeing sector to avoid regulatory setbacks.Based on these patterns, we look closer into study cases to show how business opportunities have been addressed from a business network perspective. When deploying an IoT service, not all critical challenges can be appreciated at a single firm level. Therefore, we rely on a network-level business model framework to analyze emerging IoT services in HSCWB.The findings suggest that IoT components can improve an existing service by automating internal working processes, or they can enable new value propositions and convenience to end users. In general terms, the collaboration can be used (i) to improve the efficiency of existing services in health and social care without an original intention to change the service offering, or (ii) to create novelty and differentiation, without affecting the internal logics of existing HSCWB services.