IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) stands for devices that can collect and exchange data – either with users or other devices via the internet, and are used to allow doctors to be more aware of a patient’s condition on a real-time basis.” The main aim of IoMT is monitoring patients’ conditions and notifying the doctor in case of an emergency. IoT in medical and healthcare fields can include many things like wearable devices, a drug tracking system, a medical supply chain, remote patient monitoring, and more.
IoMT can help increases the accuracy of diagnoses due to constant monitoring of health changes. IoT applications in healthcare help users stay connected to doctors or nurses. They make working processes more efficient for healthcare workers who support many patients.
Benefits of IoT in Healthcare
Smart devices can track health conditions. IoT applications for healthcare can send an emergency signal if the patient has an asthma attack, heart failure, or another medical issue. Apple has integrated a Fall Detection System into Apple Watch. It detects if the user falls and shows an alert. The person needs to tap ‘I am OK’ for one minute. In another case, AppleWatch calls emergency services. They also send a message to emergency contacts.
Real-time monitoring via connected devices can save lives in event of a medical emergency like heart failure, điabetes, asthma attacks, etc. The IoT device collects and transfers health data: blood pressure, oxygen, blood sugar levels, weight, and ECGs. These data are stored in the cloud and can be shared with an authorized person, who could be a physician, your insurance company, a participating health firm, or an external consultant, to allow them to look at the collected data regardless of their place, time, or device,
One of the Internet of Things healthcare benefits is better drug management. IoT technology allows controlling the amount of medicine taken. Doctors can monitor the dose and track the effectiveness of treatment. The Internet of Things allows sending reminders to patients when they should take their drugs. Sometimes, it’s possible to notify the family member when the patient hasn’t taken a medicine on time.
IoT in healthcare enables interoperability, machine-to-machine communication, information exchange, and data movement which makes healthcare service delivery effective. Connectivity protocols: Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, Z-wave, ZigBee, and other modern protocols, healthcare personnel can change the way they spot illness and ailments in patients and can also innovate revolutionary ways of treatment.
Data Assortment and Analysis
A huge amount of data that a healthcare device sends in a very short time owing to their real-time application is hard to store and manage if access to the cloud is unavailable. IoT devices can collect, report and analyze the data in real-time and cut the need to store the raw data. Moreover, healthcare operations allow organizations to get vital healthcare analytics and data-driven insights which speed up decision-making and are less prone to errors.
Tracking and alerts
The on-time alert is critical in event of life-threatening circumstances. Medical IoT devices gather vital data and transfer that data to doctors for real-time tracking while dropping notifications to people about critical parts via mobile apps and other linked devices. Reports and alerts give a firm opinion about a patient’s condition, irrespective of place and time. It also helps make well-versed decisions and provides on-time treatment. Thus, IoT enables real-time alerting, tracking, and monitoring, which permits hands-on treatments, better accuracy, apt intervention by doctors, and improved complete patient care delivery results.
Remote medical assistance
In the case of an emergency, patients can contact a doctor who is many kilometers away with smart mobile apps. With mobility solutions in healthcare, medics can instantly check patients and identify their ailments on the go. Also, numerous healthcare delivery chains are forecasting to build machines that can distribute drugs on the basis of patient prescriptions and ailment-related data available via linked devices.
IoT devices can help automate administrative, manual, and routine tasks. Internet of Things medical applications can analyze a significant amount of information and create different metrics to see any changes in the patient’s health conditions. Automated processes of collecting data can reduce the number of errors in making diagnoses.
A lot of people die from chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and more. Using the analytic capabilities of IoT, it’s possible to provide patients with more personalized forms of treatment and care. Smart, Connected, or Wearable devices can monitor the health conditions of the elderly or patients with chronic diseases. Having all that data, doctors will be able to give better treatment and see the first symptoms of the disease.
Challenges of IoT in Healthcare
The main problem of IoT for healthcare is poor security. Data privacy is significant for the medical industry since medical history is confidential information. Malefactors may try to get access to healthcare IoT software and expose sensitive data. To avoid these issues, it’s necessary to focus on data security which leads to additional costs. Cybercriminals can misuse patients’ data to create fake IDs to buy drugs and medical equipment which they can sell later, Hackers can also file a fraudulent Insurance claim in the patient’s name.
Integration of Protocols
IoMT connects a lot of different devices. To create a flexible ecosystem, healthcare requires using the functionality of many devices with various protocols, However, there is no single solution regarding communication protocols and standards. As a result, the integration of IoT in the healthcare industry is quite slow and limited. So, even if a variety of devices are connected; the difference in their communication protocol complicates and hinders the process of data aggregation. This non-uniformity of the connected device’s protocols slows down the whole process and reduces the scope of scalability of IoT in healthcare.
IoT healthcare devices collect and process a lot of information. So doctors can face data overload and accuracy issues. The enormous amount of information can lead to difficulties in decision-making during treatment. However, IoT devices still record a ton of data. The data collected by IoT devices are utilized to gain vital insights. However, the amount of data is so tremendous that it is very difficult for doctors which ultimately affects the quality of decision-making. Moreover, this concern is rising as more devices are connected which record more and more data.
The boom in Healthcare costs is a worrying sign for everybody, especially the developed countries. To successfully implement IoT app development and to gain its total optimization the stakeholders must make it cost-effective otherwise it will always remain out of everyone’s reach except the people from the high class.
Use of IoT in Healthcare
Hospital Information Management System (HIMS)
IoT brings a lot of changes to hospital management systems. HIMS collects and manages such information as medical records, and data about doctors and patients. The system provides up-to-date information about appointments, hospital rooms, and so on. The hospital Information Management System brings several significant benefits to the healthcare sector:
- Easy search of documents
- Remote access to patient records
- High-security level
- Drug management
- Improved patient experience etc.
That can be used on various devices to provide easy access to the records. Among these systems are:
- Insta HMS
Electronic Healthcare Records System (EHR)
EHR stands for electronic health records. It provides real-time information instantly and securely to authorized users. EHR systems not only store information about patients. They can also share data among various specialists to achieve better treatment results. Electronic Healthcare Records systems tend to offer various benefits to the healthcare sector for doctors and patients. For example, doctors get instant access to the latest tests of the patient and can see the full disease history. As for the patients, they can contact doctors 24/7 which is important for patients with chronic diseases.
Such solutions also called mHealth applications that improve the patient experience. The App Store and Google Play offer approximately 320,000 mHealth, according to IQVIA. mHealth app development gives a lot of opportunities like getting consultations online, scheduling offline consultations, and more. It’s possible to use mobile healthcare IoT applications in two cases for emergency or regular treatment. Apps connected to wearables tend to collect data about physical activity or health conditions.
It’s possible to create IoT apps for wearable devices that can transfer healthcare data to smartphones.
- There are several types of mHealth apps:
- Meditation applications
- Sleep tracking applications
- Fitness apps
Remote Health Monitoring
Special IoT healthcare devices and custom software make it possible to read data from the medical cards of patients in a real-time. They allow doctors to conduct analyses and send notifications to suppliers and patients.
These gadgets continuously monitor the daily activity of patients, and they can inform about steps taken, burnt calories, heart rate, etc.
This medicine includes devices that can provide medical care considering all the individual demands of each patient using IoT healthcare sensors.
Medical Assets Monitoring
IoT helps medical employees spend less time on routine and management tasks. Specialists will be able to spend more time with patients due to the improvement of medical assets monitoring and managing them. So IoT and healthcare can be mutually beneficial for each other.
Applications of IoT in Healthcare
In Healthcare it has several applications :
- Reducing emergency room wait time
- Tracking patients, staff, and inventory
- Enhancing drug management
- Ensuring the availability of critical hardware
IoT has also provided several wearables and devices which has made the lives of patients comfortable. These devices are as follows:
Hearables are new-age hearing aids that have completely transformed the way people who suffer hearing loss interact with the world. Nowadays, hearables are compatible with Bluetooth which syncs your smartphone with it. It allows you to filter, equalize and add layered features to real-world sounds. Doppler Labs is the most suitable example of it.
Ingestible sensors are modern-science marvels. These are pill-sized sensors that monitor the medication in our body and warn us if it detects any irregularities in our bodies, These sensors can be a boon for a diabetic patient as they would help in curbing symptoms and provide an early warning for diseases. Proteus Digital Health is one such example.
Moodables are mood-enhancing devices that help in improving our mood throughout the day. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s not far from reality. Neurosciences are already working on it. Moodables are head-mounted wearables that send low. intensity current to the brain which elevates our mood.
Computer Vision Technology
Computer vision technology along with AI has given rise to drone technology which aims to mimic visual perception and hence decision-making based on it. Drones like Skydio use computer vision technology to detect obstacles and navigate around them. This technology can also be used for visually impaired people to navigate efficiently.
IoT devices such as Audemix reduce much manual work which a doctor has to do during patient charting. It is powered by voice commands and captures the patient’s data. It makes the patient’s data readily accessible for review. It saves doctors’ work by 15 hours per week.
Advantages of IoT in Healthcare
- Cost Savings: One of the greatest advantages of IoT in healthcare is that efficient autonomous systems will cost less to manage and ’employ’ in the long run. Things are even better when it comes to patient cost savings due to fewer hospital journeys as well as accelerated diagnostics and treatment.
- Accessibility: Doctors can view all the necessary data on command and check real-time patient conditions without leaving their office.
- Improved Treatment: It enables physicians to make evidence-based informed decisions and brings absolute transparency.
- Faster Disease Diagnosis: Continuous patient monitoring and real-time data help in diagnosing diseases at an early stage or even before the disease develops based on symptoms.
- Proactive Treatment: Continuous health monitoring opens the doors for providing proactive medical treatment.
- Drugs and Equipment Management: The management of drugs and medical equipment is a major challenge in the healthcare industry. Through connected devices, these are managed and utilized efficiently with reduced costs.
- Error Reduction: Data generated through IoT devices not only helps in effective decision-making but also ensures smooth healthcare operations with reduced errors, waste, and system costs.
Disadvantages of IoT in Healthcare
Lots of attention will need to be focused on data security, which requires significant additional spending.
Unauthorized access to centralization. There is a chance that dishonest interlopers may access centralized systems and realize some cruel intentions.
Global healthcare regulations. International health administrations are already issuing guidelines that must be strictly followed by governmental medical establishments integrating the IoT into their workflow. These may restrict possible capacities to some extent.
Read other posts