The world of connected things is gradually expanding with the growth of the Internet of Things. It has given birth to some of the exciting things in today’s century. If someone talks about IoT, the first thing that strikes the mind is often associated with manufacturing, warehousing, and other smart factories. But one thing is for sure that IoT is not constrained to these niches. It has also brought about significant developments in the healthcare and medical sectors.
According to markets and markets research, the expected market of IoT healthcare will grow to $160 billion by the year 2022.
Considering the research analytics, global IoT healthcare will be more profound than ever. From personal fitness trackers to robots doing the surgeries, IoT has brought about innovation and more efficient technology in the healthcare ecosystem. Also, the healthcare industry is one of the largest, therefore, it can be assumed to be a breeding ground for maximum exposure.
Let us explore some of the developments that IoT has brought in the field of the healthcare industry.
IoT Applications in Healthcare Industry
1. Emergency room wait times to be reduced
It is often seen that emergency room visits can sometimes take longer to complete, which seems boring and dull to many. With the help of IoT, the wait times have been reduced for around 50% of the customers.
For instance, Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York has been successful in reducing the wait time of the emergency room patients, who were in need of inpatient care.
They have done a partnership with a new IoT driven software, which allows them to keep a track of the occupancy of some 1200 units and factors. These are easily accessible and can be able to assess individual patients.
2. Monitoring patients’ health remotely
With the help of IoT devices, patients can be facilitated with the hospital services remotely. IoT in remote health monitoring is sometimes termed as telehealth.
This facility has helped the patients to reduce the cost and eliminate the unnecessary visits to the hospital, saving the travel time and the inconvenience.
Moreover, if the patients have limited options for mobility or if they depend on public transportation, an option for monitoring patients’ health remotely can be of great help.
3. Critical Hardware to be easily available and accessible
There are many software and hardware devices that are required by the modern day hospitals – some are even vital for human life. Like all other electronic devices, these equipment are also prone to a number of risks, ranging from power failures to system crashes, which could even be a matter of someone’s life or death.
Philips has come up with the IoT solution, named e-alert, which is built to solve the above problem. Rather than taking action after the system crash or device failure, this new system takes a proactive approach. It virtually monitors the medical hardware and other software and alerts the hospital authorities in case of any problem.
Philips has unveiled this product in collaboration with OpenMarket.
4. Easy tracking of staff, patients and other inventory
Often, the major concern of any hospital or medical facility is its safety. It is really hard to maintain security without tracking various assets throughout the building, i.e. staff members, patients, and other hardware.
In case the institution is small, it is easy to maintain security across all levels of the organization. But if the institution is large, featuring multiple structures and buildings along with a number of patients and employees, it becomes difficult.
IoT has become rescuer in this case. The real-time location systems have helped the hospitals to facilitate asset tracking. It is not only an effective method of day to day monitoring of the various hospital activities but also inexpensive and unobtrusive.
5. Management of Drugs in a simple manner
IoT has given way to new techniques to be used while giving a prescription for medication.
The pills to be given to patients contain a minute sensor (of the size of a grain), which sends the signal to an external device. This external device is usually worn on the body like a patch, which makes sure about the proper dosage and usage. Some might feel it like the work of science fiction, but the information gathering is done in a smarter manner. Also, the information can be really beneficial in ensuring the patients remember their prescriptions and also prescribing future medications.
Further, the mobile app could allow the patients to access the information, in order to track personal performance & make changes in their habit accordingly.
6. Treatment of Chronic disease
In case of recurring health problems, IoT has contributed exciting solutions to the treatment of such issues. Also, there is not one device that is helping in the treatment of chronic diseases; it comes in the combination of wearable devices, gathered analytics and connectivity with the smartphone.
For instance, Fitbit uses IoT in order to help people monitor personal health, whereby information from the device can be shared to the doctors to help them solve the issues that are recurring.
One of the healthcare companies has developed a program for diabetic management, aiming to improve clinical treatment and reducing the costs for patients. They have been able to produce astonishing results.
The potentialities of IoT are beyond imagination as it is able to reach humans at one or other point of time in their life. From the factory floor to tech-driven hospitals, IoT has gone really far in a short span of time and is still developing, bringing about a transformation in healthcare IT.
With the growing advancements in the technology, IoT will continue to grow, but up to what extent can’t be guessed at this time.
If you have anything to say about how IoT will bring about a change in the healthcare industry, feel free to comment below.