Tech experts opine that connected devices have started touching every aspect of our lives, and the impact IoT has made on the medical industry has been indeed monumental. It is true that cars which can detect wear and tear, and schedule maintenance on their own are becoming popular, but the changes made to the health care industry is definitely much more exciting.
With connected medical devices, there has been an answer to the three main problems plaguing the people seeking medical care - affordability, quality and most important of all, health care access. The sad part is that millions of people do not receive timely or quality medical care, probably due to the disparity of income, geographical alienation and high cost of medical care.
With the proliferation of a number of connected medical devices, it is now possible for the health care industry to overcome these challenges and deliver better care to a larger number of people.
Connected Medical Devices in Clinical Care
An IoT driven, non-invasive procedure would be a great way to provide close monitoring care to patients residing in the hospital. Sensors are employed to collect comprehensive clinical and physiological information about patients, and this data would be stored in the cloud so it can be retrieved at any time.
This data would simultaneously be sent to caregivers so they can analyze the trends and review the health conditions of the patients.
Advantages at a Glance:
IoT collected patient data transmitted wirelessly to health care providers
Complete picture of patient health status
Helps clinicians to make reviews
Integrated with very high resolution and touch screen UI
Lowers cost of medical care
A lot of reputed companies are coming up with incredible solutions for remote monitoring possibilities. By providing seamless and continuous health monitoring through wireless devices that would be connected to various devices, and data stored in the cloud for easy retrieval, geographical boundary is no longer becoming a hindrance when you want to monitor a patient.
The impetus to deliver timely healthcare facilities to more people has been addressed while three major aspects in the healthcare ecosystem (the insurance people, the providers and the patients) are also taken into consideration. The insurance people are also known as payers and they target reduced hospitalization and controlled hospital visits.
Patients, on the other hand, are keener on better outcomes and faster recovery. The care providers feel the heat of increased cost demands while providing accurate diagnosis and prevention of diseases. These companies have leveraged the best of technology through connected medical devices with the sole purpose of including all the three aspects mentioned above.
Through IoT, it is possible to make enormous leaps in mobility, networks, analytics, cloud technologies and sensors and we can safely predict that healthcare is on the threshold of a major transformation. Through connected devices, it is possible to collect all the data collected from the patient and employ analytics to use them intelligently to help address patient conditions.
Advantages at a Glance:
A major help as there is an increase in raging population
Rising incidence of chronic lifestyle diseases
Prescribe medicines and perform diagnosis from remote locations
The patient doesn’t have to be physically present at the hospital
Wearable devices also play a major role in remote testing and diagnosis. There has been a tremendous sale of products that address the various requirements of patients. Some of these devices are available with the FDA, while some are available as off-shore devices.
Various innovative inventions have been taking place, like for example, a portable cardiogram system (EKG) for high-risk cardiac patients to help detect possible abnormalities. Another example would be the inhaler with asthma sensor embedded into it. This gadget would be able to track environmental changes that could be potentially harmful to asthmatic patients. This would help the patient manage asthma and even alert healthcare providers.
Other wearable devices that could easily chat and alert the health care providers are scales, heart rate monitors, blood pressure monitors and wirelessly connected glucometers. There are devices in the market that would help the patient/care provider consult an expert to take stock of his/her situation.
Thus, with properly connected medical devices the following things are easily possible:
Improved patient care
Less chances of redundant care
Better preventive and wellness care opportunities
Focused on value-based care
The Internet of Things helps you
create new value from data. Look at this simple example:
A patient with a prosthetic knee joint is under the care of a healthcare provider who has access to connected medical devices. She can detect potential issues with the knee joint by collecting and analyzing the data collected through the sensors that check the pressure patterns and the bilateral force distribution along the lower extremities.
The values would be checked during a 24-hour monitoring period and the healthcare provider grasps the first hint of strain suffered by the patient. This would not only bring the patient timely medical care, but it would also avoid remedial treatment and prolonged recovery.
In order to leverage the best benefits of connected medical devices, you need to connect handheld devices like tablets, smartphones, personal computers and even other wireless devices with each other. These should be embedded with standardized software interface to enable seamless data aggregation, data upload and download capabilities.
Secured network protocols ensure data security and confidentiality. The communication is done through standardized protocols to aid in wider support and security. Even when the medical data is uploaded to industry specific cloud services, they will be automatically synchronized to provide instant and seamless data connectivity.
All this just goes to prove that we’re only a step away from providing hi-tech, seamless healthcare for all through connected medical devices.
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