The Internet Of Things (IoT) has been making serious impact on every industry, and wherever this “technology” swept by, you can feel the Midas touch. After the “discovery” of Internet, IoT has been creating waves that not a single business in the world can deny or resist. Those who do will be long left behind as the competition is going to become stronger and tenacious.
In this article, we explore the mark IoT has made in the healthcare industry and how it will improve the lives of millions of people worldwide.
As per the reports submitted by the P&S Market Research, there will be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.6% in the healthcare Internet of Things industry between the years 2015 and 2020. They claim that this rise could be attributed to the upper hand of remote monitoring healthcare systems that can detect chronic life-threatening diseases.
By this we can assume that IoT has taken the reins and people can enjoy personalized attention for their health requirements; they can tune their devices to remind them of their appointments, calorie count, exercise check, blood pressure variations and so much more.
The applications of IoT in the healthcare industry are numerous. Here are six of them:
Real Time Location Services
Through IoT, doctors can use real time location services and track the devices used for treating patients. Medical staff may sometimes keep the devices in out-of-sight areas which makes them difficult to find when another medical staff comes on the scene.
Medical apparatus and devices like wheelchairs, scales, defibrillators, nebulizers, pumps or monitoring equipment can be tagged with sensors and located easily with IoT. Apart from real time location services, there are IoT devices that help in environmental monitoring as well (checking the refrigerator temperature, for example).
Predicting the Arrival of Patients in PACU
With the intervention of Internet of Things, clinicians can predict the arrival of patients who are recuperating in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). They can also monitor the status of patients in real time.
Hand Hygiene Compliance
There are hand hygiene monitoring systems that would detect the degree of cleanliness in a healthcare worker. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, about one patient out of every 20 gets infections from lack of proper hand hygiene in hospitals. Numerous patients lose their lives as result of hospital acquired infections.
The interactions in the hand hygiene monitoring systems are done in real time and if a clinician comes near a patient’s bed without washing his hands, the device would start buzzing. And that’s not all. The information about the healthcare worker, his ID, time and location will all be fed into a database and this information would be forwarded to the concerned authorities.
Tighten Budgets and Improve Patient Journey
The healthcare industry has to keep a watchful eye on the budget and at the same time have updated infrastructure to provide better patient experiences. Thanks to the seamless connection between devices that IoT has made possible, it is now possible for the medical staff to access patient information from the cloud as long as they are stored in there.
The goal is to provide quality medical care to patients, and by spending a small amount on IT infrastructure, hospitals can provide good care to patients at affordable rates. IoT aims to provide better patient journey by:
- Room lighting through personal control
- Communicate to family and friends through email services
- Immediate attention to patient needs
Remote health monitoring is an important application of Internet Of Things. Through monitoring, you can give adequate healthcare to people who are in dire need of help. Every day, lots of people die because they do not get timely and prompt medical attention. With IoT, devices fitted with sensors notify the concerned healthcare providers when there is any change in the vital functions of a person.
These devices would be capable of applying complex algorithms and analyzing them so the patient receives proper attention and medical care. The collected patient information would be stored in cloud. Through remote monitoring, patients can significantly reduce the length of hospital stay and perhaps, even hospital re-admission.
This kind of intervention is a boon to people living alone, especially seniors. If there is any interruption in the daily activity of a person, alerts would be sent to family members and concerned health providers. These monitoring devices are available in the form of “wearables” too.
Focus on the Research Side of Healthcare
Protein research and composition analysis benefits from Internet of Things. Through IoT, researchers are able to analyze the accuracy of the equipment, and it rewards them by shortening their workflow through quantitative and reproducible analysis of proteins.
When an infinite array of devices is connected, the healthcare industry is able to provide scalable solutions to its patients. A number of healthcare apps providing cutting-edge personalized solutions are released to them. Here are a few of them:
Medication Dispensing Device by Philips – so patients will not miss a dose anymore; perfect for elderly patients.
Niox Mino by Aerocrine – for routine measurements of Intric Oxide in a patient’s breath.
UroSense by Future Path Medical – for catheterized patients to check their core body temperature and urine output.
GPS SmartSole – this is a shoe-tracking wearable device for dementia patients who have the habit of forgetting things.
These applications are just a few of the numerous ways IoT can help healthcare professionals care better for their patients. There is definitely much scope for advancement for IoT in the healthcare sector.
Interested in leveraging IoT technology for a healthcare app? We’ve got you covered!