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Russell Brown: Kia ora koutou. I'm Russell Brown and this is the "Internet of Awesome Things" podcast brought to you by Spark.

So far in this series we've focussed mostly on the possibilities of the Internet of Things for business. But some of the most fascinating IoT opportunities lie in a sector that's not about production and distribution but keeping us well: healthcare. Like most things in IoT, it's a little bit of the old and a whole lot of the new. You're probably familiar with the idea of medical alarms. Perhaps you or someone in your family has used one. We'll look at how alarms have changed and gone mobile, and we'll look at the way the Internet of Things is shaking up other areas of healthcare, sometimes in ways that highlight the need to update our laws and regulations. Someone whose job it is to stay across all of it is Spark's Digital Health Lead Dr Will Reedy and he's with me now.  

Kia ora Will, welcome. Now I guess we should start with the question, where does IoT fit in the healthcare landscape? It seems to me that the use cases are actually very broad. 

Dr Will Reedy: Yeah, they are, Russell. And I think that's one of the exciting opportunities in health particularly here in New Zealand. When you think about the health system currently there's about six and a half thousand providers of healthcare to you and me, whether that's your hospital doctors, your GPs, your community pharmacist or your ... I guess you physiotherapists and things like that. And I guess there's an element of thinking about health being a disease, an illness piece. So you've got a diagnosis and you need some intervention, but there's a massive movement globally (but increasingly in New Zealand) around managing health and wellness. And there's a big application from from our perspective as consumers to leverage IoT to manage a health and wellness before we need to touch the health system with a disease or illness. So it's, it's, it has huge implications. It's just making sure that, I guess, the solutions that a lot of people are thinking about actually improve your health outcomes for people like you and me. And, and, essentially these growing demands in health for evidence that IoT-type solutions make it better for us in terms of our health.

Russell Brown headshot for bio

Russell Brown
NZ tech journalist

Russell Brown has made a career out of getting his head around complicated topics and communicating them. He's been creating content for the internet since 1993, and he was the first blogger to win a national media award. Russell is a go-to commentator on the media, technology and music industries.