Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
Automation and asynchronous medical data flow can be advantageous for both doctors and patients, particularly in the treatment of those with severe illnesses and chronic disorders.
Currently, communication between patients and physicians takes place during in-person consultations, at which time patients get diagnosis, treatment (often the following testing), and/or instructions on additional procedures.
If a patient has a chronic ailment, does this treatment still be successful for treating common illnesses like the flu or a cold?
Not necessarily, as people who have chronic diseases not only need ongoing care and monitoring but also have a harder time making sporadic doctor appointments when necessary.
IoT applications in healthcare might help address these issues and assure improved patient care, for example, for people with chronic diseases who require ongoing monitoring and for those who reside in remote locations with restricted access to medical care.
In this post, we’re taking a deeper look at the possibilities of IoT in the healthcare business.
What is IoT precisely, and why is it significant in the healthcare industry?
IoT is, in a nutshell, the idea of fully ubiquitous computing, which is the processing of data connected to outside activities or things.
Connecting electrical gadgets with microprocessors and sensors so they can communicate with one another is known as ubiquitous computing.
IoT is similar to a ubiquitous network, except every electrical device on it has to access the Internet.
IoT in the healthcare sector is an excellent illustration of this ubiquitous computing.
For instance, it is possible to install hundreds of intelligent electronic devices in a hospital to continuously monitor patients’ health, communicate with one another, make decisions, and upload data to a cloud-based healthcare platform.
How Does IoT Function in Healthcare?
Let’s look at how IoT functions generally to better understand how the Internet of Things in Healthcare functions.
An IoT device is a gadget with a sensor that can communicate with the real world and transmit data to the Internet.
These gadgets can collect various patient data and take feedback from medical professionals in the field of healthcare.
A successful example of the Internet of Things in healthcare is continuous glucose monitoring for insulin pens used by diabetic patients.
All of these gadgets have the ability to connect with one another and, occasionally, conduct crucial actions that might offer quick assistance or even save a life.
For instance, if an old person falls down, an IoT healthcare gadget can make a wise decision like phoning the healthcare institution.
An IoT healthcare device would communicate this vital information to the cloud after gathering passive data so that clinicians can act on it – view the overall patient state, determine whether to call an ambulance, determine what kind of aid is needed, and so forth.
Internet of Things Healthcare can thereby significantly enhance patient health and provide assistance in urgent circumstances, as well as boost medical staff efficiency and streamline hospital procedures.
IoT applications in Healthcare
Heart Rate Monitors with Reporting
Patients can wear gadgets to track their heart rates and check their blood pressure to see whether they have excessive blood pressure.
When needed during checks and tests, healthcare personnel will have access to reporting of patient heart monitor data.
Even patients who are having arrhythmias, palpitations, strokes, or full-blown heart attacks can receive alerts from the wearable devices to the medical staff.
The difference between life and death can then be determined by how quickly ambulances are deployed.
Activity Monitors for Cancer Patients
The best course of action for a cancer patient typically depends on factors other than just age and weight. The right treatment approach for them will depend greatly on their habits and levels of fitness.
Activity monitors keep tabs on a patient’s activities, degree of weariness, hunger, etc.
Additionally, the data gathered from the tracker before and after therapy will let medical practitioners know what changes should be made to the suggested treatment plan.
Healthcare workers can readily identify items like wheelchairs, scales, defibrillators, nebulizers, pumps, or monitoring equipment by tagging them with IoT sensors.
Physical equipment frequently gets lost or is challenging to find, but with IoT, personnel will always be aware of its whereabouts.
Digital video pills
A smart pill has the ability to snap images as it passes through a patient’s digestive system. It can then transmit the data gathered to a wearable device, which would subsequently transmit it to a certain smartphone app (or straight to the app).
Additionally, smart pills can provide remote visualization of the colon and digestive system.
IoT applications have progressed to the point where they are employed to alleviate despair and anxiety. A linked bracelet, for example, can detect indications of a panic attack.
When such an incident is identified, the band notifies the user or their caregivers and offers soothing recommendations.
Similarly, Google Assistant and Alexa can help consumers discover and address possible mental health issues.
Sensors that are ingestible
Patients can now ingest sensors-equipped gadgets that resemble pills. After being digested, the sensors transmit data to a patient’s mobile app, which will aid them in adhering to the recommended doses for their prescriptions.
Most drugs aren’t taken exactly as directed because people forget or make other mistakes. This ingestible sensor makes sure patients are receiving the appropriate meds in the appropriate amounts at the appropriate times.
Additionally, certain ingestible sensors are being utilized to make diagnoses of conditions including irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer more precise in patients.
Numerous advantages of IoT in the healthcare sector. The most crucial benefit, however, is that because IoT healthcare devices collect very precise data, treatment outcomes can be considerably enhanced or maximized.
Due to the swift measurement and transmission of all patient information to a board of doctors or a healthcare cloud platform, medical institutions and practitioners would be able to reduce mistakes.
These IoT devices might also make intelligent judgments or recommendations based on the data already available thanks to AI-driven algorithms.
Reduced expenses are a fantastic advantage of IoT in healthcare.
IoT in healthcare will allow non-critical patients to remain at home while a variety of IoT devices monitor and relay all crucial information to the healthcare institution, resulting in fewer hospital stays and doctor visits.
Health facilities will be able to better manage diseases with the help of the detailed data collected from numerous IoT devices.
They will receive more data in real time than ever before. Nonetheless, this presents a variety of challenges.
The attack surface will expand with IoT devices.
IoT healthcare has many advantages for the sector, but it also exposes a lot of weak security points. Hackers might get access to medical equipment connected to the Internet and steal or alter the data.
In order to infect the IoT devices with the dreaded Ransomware virus, they may even go one step further and attack the whole hospital network.
The patients’ heart rate monitors, blood pressure readings, and brain scanners will all be held captive by hackers as a result.
Large-scale produced data inputs
A single healthcare institution with thousands of devices and another thousand providing data from faraway places in real-time will produce enormous volumes of data.
Storage needs for IoT in healthcare are projected to increase significantly, from Terabytes to Petabytes.
If utilized appropriately, AI-driven algorithms and the cloud can aid in organizing and making sense of this data, but this method takes time to develop.
It will thus require a lot of time and effort to develop a large-scale IoT healthcare solution.
The existing software infrastructure is antiquated.
Many hospitals have outdated IT infrastructures. They won’t permit the effective integration of IoT devices. As a result, healthcare institutions will have to update their IT procedures and use newer, more contemporary software.
Additionally, they will need to benefit from virtualization (technologies like SDN and NFV), as well as extremely fast wireless and mobile networks like Advanced LTE or 5G.
IoT in healthcare does not exist in isolation. To enable healthcare facilities to modernize meaningfully, all IoT devices and networks must be coupled with other technology.
IoT will change the healthcare business, but it will also require data, high-speed transmission, and sufficient compliance and security.
The healthcare IoT requires mobility and ultra-low latency speeds, which 5G will deliver.
The data lakes acquired from a variety of devices will then be understood by AI-driven solutions. Big Data techniques will employ these AI algorithms to examine data in real-time and reach important health judgments.
Old infrastructure in hospitals can be reduced or eliminated with the use of virtualization.
The healthcare industry’s provision of facilities is altered by IoT. By combining little modifications, these technologies enhance the product and have a greater impact.
In summary, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to bring about a transformation in a sector as crucial to the world’s health as healthcare.
There are still a lot of challenges, oddities, and technological barriers to be addressed.
Although the idea now has both benefits and drawbacks, things seem to be going extremely well for this modern innovation.