Healthcare systems worldwide have had a long and complex history of independent evolution. Consequently, healthcare systems are fragmented, making healthcare less effective for patients than it could be. Therefore, business as usual in healthcare is not sustainable, especially in facing global challenges such as increased patient volume and illness complexity, and increased demands of functional care systems coupled with a universal healthcare worker shortage. The new era of information technology and the interconnection, via the Internet, of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data is paving the way for innovative healthcare delivery models. The possibility to collect, store, analyze, and integrate a massive amount of personal data has transformed the internet into the “the Internet of People,” changing how healthcare is delivered. The Internet of People is also enabled by the growing number of digital infrastructure, tools, applications, and devices.
The rapid development of digitalization worldwide has been transforming the way we live and has become the megatrend in next-generation technologies to connect anything, anytime, anyplace, any services, and any networks. The global digitalization trends have led to the development of the IoP in healthcare. For example, the emerging paradigm shift in healthcare driven by societal changes, advanced technology, and digitalization is transforming healthcare from doctor-centered to person-centered, and from hospital to home care. The boundary lines between home, formal healthcare institutions, and after care are blurring, making room for healthcare systems having greater integration and higher standards of quality. The greater integration in healthcare systems is supported by faster internet connections, availability of smartphones, emerging platforms, and evolving payment models. Volumes of data and information lows between all participants are rapidly increasing, as are the numerous internet-enabled personal and medical devices.
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