IoT (Internet of Things) has gained popularity in recent years. In this concept, electronic devices monitor data and trigger events automatically by connecting to the public or private cloud.
IoT can be used in a wide variety of healthcare applications. In hospitals, it is used for inventory management, workflow optimization, and tracking patient vitals, but individuals are using it to balance their dynamic vitals, diagnoses, and treatment suggestions.
With these amazing applications, we have compiled a list of different ways IoT is impacting health and making things better. Let's discuss them!
1. Emergency care
A patient's emergency care output is determined by the time, the accuracy, and the availability of contextual information. Additionally, it depends on the quality of data received during the emergency call and the information collected while the patient is being transported for immediate care.
The entire process of collecting, storing, processing, and retrieving data during that period is laborious and time-consuming. Data collected by IoT can be accessed by emergency care staff, such as paramedics and staff in the ER, for quick and better treatment. The data can also be sent in real-time to ER staff while the patient is on the way to the hospital - improving hospital preparedness.
2. Remote patient care
Hospitals are far away from many people in many countries. Consequently, when an emergency occurs, they have a hard time reaching healthcare facilities. In the same way, healthcare providers may find it difficult to visit patients with chronic conditions on a frequent basis. It is possible to solve the issue of time-consuming commutes with remote patient care enabled by the Internet of Things.
Using sensors and remote equipment, healthcare professionals can assist patients with prescriptions, medications, and biometrics. Any wearable or portable device can be connected to the cloud and data can be updated in real time.
IoT devices can also facilitate face-to-face communication over the Internet. While patients are on their way to the hospital, healthcare professionals can prepare care plans based on this information. Or even without them having to go to the hospital! Creating a roster of chronic patients' day-to-day health updates is useful for chronic patients.
Healthcare professionals can easily visualize the collected data using charts and diagrams.
It is possible to monitor patients' present condition without having to commute using live video and audio streaming.
3. Tracking staff, patients, and inventory
In any hospital or medical facility, safety should be of the utmost concern. Tracking assets - staff members, patients, and hardware - throughout the building is crucial to maintaining the highest level of security.
When it comes to larger institutions that have multiple buildings, campuses, and thousands of patients and staff members, it's easier to accomplish this task.
IoT and real-time location systems facilitate asset tracking. Furthermore, it is effective, cost-effective, unobtrusive, and cutting-edge.
4. Enhanced drug management
Prescription medications are one of the most exciting breakthroughs regarding healthcare and IoT.
Despite appearing to be science fiction, pills can send a signal to an external device - usually a patch worn on the body to ensure proper dosage and usage.
When it comes to ensuring that patients remember to take their prescriptions, and even when prescribing future medicines, such information could be invaluable.
Through a handy smartphone app, patients can also track their performance and improve their habits.
5. Health monitoring wearables
Tracking health with wearables is convenient and versatile. For chronic disease patients, they are particularly useful for recording dynamically changing vital signs. Their purpose is to monitor heart rate, glucose levels, blood pressure, and a variety of physical activities.
Mobile applications and wearables complement each other. The wearable sensors collect dynamic vital signs, which are then processed in apps to produce an output (in the form of an alert or recommendation). Patient records thus maintained help physicians analyze the patient's behavior in different scenarios to improve treatment by monitoring their health at regular intervals.
6. Augmenting surgery
IoT has also penetrated operating rooms in healthcare. Robotic devices powered by artificial intelligence are used to perform various surgeries. With robot-assisted surgery, surgeons can achieve greater precision.
In addition, IoT applications and connected devices can streamline the activities of the medical staff both before and after surgery. It is possible to collect, transmit, and analyze data using IoT sensors in both cases. As a result, the smallest details are recorded, which prevents surgical complications.
IoT has the potential to reach every human in the world at one point or another. In just a few years, it has transformed from the modern factory floor to the technologically advanced hospitals and medical facilities that are transforming the healthcare IT industry. As technology advances, there is no doubt that it will continue to do so - but to what extent remains to be seen.