A healthy life is one of the most promising blessings than an individual can ever experience. In fact the future of healthcare is slowly taking its shape in front of us with every passing day. Through state-of-the-art technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), 3D Printing, Nanotechnology, Robotics, AR/VR and more, the crucial technological trends associated with the future of medicine is emerging. With the momentum through which technology is supporting the medical sector, it becomes compelling to take into account that we humans are keeping a close watch on the medical circumstances through technology and not vice versa.
In all these, it is the internet of things that has managed to stitch together the technical aspects of healthcare. Well, the Internet of Things is a humongous network that has been designed through extended internet connectivity into physical devices and everyday objects. These devices and objects interact with each other over the internet and can also be controlled and monitored effortlessly.
Let us explore how the Internet of Things has revolutionized the healthcare sector.
1. For the patients
These days, fitness bands, heart rate monitoring cuffs, blood pressure measuring bands, glucometer and etc provide a patient with personalized time and attention. They gently remind the patient to keep a check on their regular calorie consumption, improve exercise routine, identifies irregular blood pressure trend and more. For the elderly patients, it gets crucial to track their health conditions on a daily basis and these devices make their lifestyle easier by letting them know about any possible danger beforehand! An alert mechanism is always sent to the patient as well as to the patientâ€™s family members in order to alert them about the unexpected fluctuations in the patientâ€™s health conditions.
2. For the hospitals
It is prominent that applications of IoT in healthcare help in monitoring the regular and minute details of the patientâ€™s health. Apart from this, there are several other aspects where IoT makes hospitals perform better. Be it the wheelchairs, oxygen pumps, nebulizers, defibrillators or some other monitoring equipment, they are tracked down on a regular note to be aware of their real time locations. The IoT sensors associated with these, help the hospital authorities to track their real time location in just few minutes. Medical staffs are required to be present at different locations and their deployment could also be traced easily.
Hospitals are vulnerable and the spread of infections is a huge concern. But with IoT enabled hygiene monitoring devices, this has become a thing of the past. The patients get better protection and hospital asset management (pharmacy inventory control) and environmental monitoring, room temperature, humidity and temperature control too could be encompassed.
3. For the physicians
These days, physicians or personal nurses can keep a better track of the patientâ€™s health through wearables and some other home monitoring equipment. These are embedded with IoT sensors that support the physicians to track the patientâ€™s health status effectively. Planning the patientâ€™s treatment schedule, staying alert about those patients who require immediate medical treatment could all be done in effortless ways. A hospital holds several patients having the requirement of different medical assistance.
IoT helps in keeping a hassle free and systematic record of each patientâ€™s past medical history, current medical requirements along with the possible future medical support. With superior quality sensors, IoT collects data from different devices that are required to monitor every small improvement/deterioration in the patientâ€™s health. Healthcare professional can stay more aware about the patients and can stay connected with them proactively. The identification of the best treatment for the patients and reaching out to them with the knowledge of expected items is now possible with IoT.
4. For healthcare insurance companies
The ever-growing healthcare policies along with IoT connectivity is probably one of the next big things. Why? Well, this is because there are several people who claim to have health issues just to redeem the insured money with maximum benefits. It calls for a loss for the insurance company. So, through the clear authenticity of the IoT driven data, the insurance companies can leverage the captured data through superior health monitoring devices for underwriting and claim operations. Fraud claims could easily be detected through such solutions. Once this is done, the insurer can spot the unworthy prospects for underwriting. Plus, several times it happens that genuine health insurance policy buyers suffer due to the bluff that several other people had played on the insurance policy holders.
Keeping this scenario in mind, IoT devices have managed to design transparency in between the insurers and the customers in the underwriting, risk assessment processes, claim handling, pricing and some more. It is amazing to see the applications of IoT in healthcare have enabled data driven decisions throughout every operation processes. The customers will have fair visibility into the fundamental processes that are compulsory for the successful completion of the insurance processes. The IoT devices also enable the insurance companies to validate the claims through the data collected by some devices.
Apart from all these, IoT can also provide remote medical assistance. Accidents even inside the house can happen anytime and that too without any prior warning. In such events of emergency, a patient can contact a doctor who is sitting several kilometres away simply through some IoT driven application. It happens instantly that the medics identify the ailments of the patients through these mobility solutions in healthcare. With IoT, even the distribution of medicine on the basis of the patientâ€™s prescription and ailment related data becomes possible with IoT.
Healthcare benefits generated by IoT gadgets
IoT has designed several wearables that are improving the lifestyle of billions of people. Let us explore about them a bit.
As the next generation wearables, Hearables are on the rise. They are capable of streaming audio, modifying soundscapes or functioning as biometric sensors. They have successfully transformed the lifestyle of people who suffered from hearing losses and stumbled frequently while interacting with others. With IoT driven strategies, Hearables have become compatible with Bluetooth which syncs with the users smartphones. This serves fresh opportunities for the Hearables to collect behavioural data that capture device usage that arranges insights to adjust the settings of the device. This opens up gates for the user to filter, equalize and add layered features, associated with the real-world sounds.
The development of modern science reflects through these pills sized sensors that help in monitoring the medication in our body along with identifying the irregularities in it. Patients who suffer from diabetes can find solace through this. How? This solution will alert the user with an early warning sign for the disease. Plus, once the patient adopts the medication, these sensors will let him/her know how effectively the medicines are working.
An individual in the modern generation experiences different moods on each day. Be it balancing the household or keeping up with the organizational pressure, it is natural for individuals to stay off track and slightly confused majority of the time. This modern day solution improves oneâ€™s mood throughout the day. Yes! It is possible and a clear part of reality. These are head-mounted wearables send a frequency to the brain which elevates the mood. The frequency intensity is body friendly.
Patient charting is one of the most time-consuming tasks that the doctors go through on a regular basis. Different patients have different health complexities and this is the reason why the doctors are required to remain very alert about the sudden changes in the patientâ€™s body, hence it gets crucial for the doctors to stay updated with each and every minute details of the patient. This solution saves almost 15 hours per week. In these hours, the doctors become more comfortable and relaxed to carry out their regular work.
Well, healthcare challenges have never been exciting. Especially the ones those are recurring. Here, IoT conducts crucial health information through high frequency sensors that could effortlessly be shared with the physicians to eradicate the recurring health issues from the roots. IoT has become so strong that it has the potential to reach each and every human in the planet at some point or the other in their lifetimes. Gone are the days when a patient had to wait for a significant amount of time to get the reports for their check-up.
Now, through the modern IoT strategies, devices that required supreme connectivity to a server or a network are not waiting for any technological miracle anymore. The risk which interfered with the technological functionalities has become a thing of the past now. Healthcare products have become much more mature now as the doctors can identify vital signs of fatal diseases in real time and can reverse any possible danger to the patientâ€™s life.
For the matter of fact, IoT is becoming so pervasive in healthcare facilities that we can completely expect to see next-generation IoT devices bring intelligent services as part of their offering, allowing for real-time data processing at the edge. This is expected to happen at the device level which unclogs ways for some actions that are crucial to be executed by the device if the situation demands. Once, this is done, sending back the data to the patient that has been collected throughout this process takes place so that the clinical team associated with it can come for up with better treatment within the shortest time frame.