How is IoT Performing in the Healthcare and Medical Devices Market?

Expanding estates and hardware hurdles: The 2023 State of IoT Adoption in Healthcare and Medical Devices

Eseye author


IoT Hardware and Connectivity Specialists


The healthcare and medical devices sector is dominating the IoT adoption race, with larger deployments of devices than any other industry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, using IoT in telecare and telehealth has been extremely beneficial for both healthcare providers and end-users – reducing the need for face-to-face appointments, and empowering patients to remotely manage their conditions in their own homes.

In Eseye’s third annual State of IoT Adoption survey, 9% of respondents in the healthcare and medical devices sector said they had deployed between 10,001 and 100,000 connected devices. They also expect the momentum to continue, with 84% revealing they have plans to increase their IoT estates, higher than the overall average of 81% across the five industries we surveyed. Almost a third (31%) intend to double the number of devices they currently have in their fleet – the highest of all the sectors.

Given this, it’s unsurprising to see that 72% of healthcare respondents expect their IoT budgets to increase in the next two years to fuel their growing estates. Overall, more than half of respondents across all five industries expect to increase their budgets by between 25% and 50%, which is a generous injection of cashflow dedicated to IoT.

When questioned about how their business had benefited from deploying IoT, 55% of healthcare respondents cited the ability to increase revenue as the greatest advantage.

Continuously providing high quality, dependable services to users is crucial to sustaining and growing revenue and profitability. It’s a major concern, therefore, that so few respondents to our survey are reaching the necessary levels of connectivity. This was flagged up as an issue across the board, in fact, with only 1% of all businesses are achieving above 98% average connectivity across their IoT estates.

While 79% of those in the healthcare and medical devices sector told us that achieving near 100% global uptime is critical to their business case, achieving reliable connectivity across locations was cited as the top IoT challenge.

Given that connected products in this space tend to be monitoring critical factors – for instance, biomarkers that help patients manage chronic conditions, or sensors around the home that detect when someone falls – any downtime can not only shake users’ confidence in the service, it could also have a serious impact on welfare and even endanger life.

The respondents in the healthcare sector appear to be coming up against more hurdles than their peers when it comes to optimising their IoT devices and hardware.

According to 72% of respondents, the connectivity problems they experience can be traced back to the hardware they’ve implemented. Three quarters (74%) agree that building an IoT stack and dealing with a fragmented ecosystem of providers is a challenge, whereas only 57% of respondents in the manufacturing sector find this an issue.

Overall, 69% of the healthcare businesses we surveyed identified their IoT project failures as stemming from an issue at the device level. Difficulties with developing and debugging connected products has held three-quarters (75%) of healthcare respondents back from getting to market – a higher percentage than any other industry, indicating that this is a challenge which persistently plagues this sector.

Finding the right expertise to solve problems with devices is proving to be another barrier to successful IoT deployments: overall, 74% of respondents agree that embedded firmware developers are particularly hard to find, for example. Given the skills shortage in the market, working with external partners to fill the gaps is likely to be a faster and more effective solution than attempting to hire in-house.

All of the sectors surveyed in Eseye’s IoT research highlight a distinct lack of suitable partners that can provide end-to-end IoT expertise, with 72% of respondents finding this a challenge, despite high demand for such support. Almost 90% of respondents said it would be beneficial to subscribe to a ‘one stop shop’ professional IoT services offering on a monthly basis – much like Eseye’s IoT LaunchPad solution.

Of all the industry sectors that are building business models around IoT, healthcare and medical devices can least afford to compromise on connectivity – whether the issues are down to network coverage and reliability, or the hardware and devices deployed.

While getting IoT technology right is undoubtedly complex, healthcare businesses should remember there’s no need to go it alone, or strive to be an expert in every layer of the stack. Instead, they should seek a specialist partner with the capabilities and experience to guide IoT product development right from device design, testing and validating, through optimising connectivity, to deployment planning and beyond.

Get the full report

Discover the results of our largest State of IoT Adoption survey to date with insights into the challenges and opportunities that are hindering and helping IoT adoption IoT projects in the healthcare and medical devices industry.

Download report
Eseye author


IoT Hardware and Connectivity Specialists


Eseye brings decades of end-to-end expertise to integrate and optimise IoT connectivity delivering near 100% uptime. From idea to implementation and beyond, we deliver lasting value from IoT. Nobody does IoT better.

Nobody does IoT better Let’s achieve your goals

Build the IoT estate that meets your needs now – and ten years from now. It’s why global leaders trust Eseye.