The symbiosis of technologies and medicine created a new concept named IoT healthcare. Over the past years, such technologies have gained traction and now grown into a whole new industry.
The application of IoT technologies in healthcare is beneficial for patients, doctors, and medical facilities. They allow to fundamentally revise the industry and bring it up to modern requirements.
What is Internet of Things?
The concept of the Internet of Things is not new, but it saw a huge rise over the last few years.
IoT entails the use of a group of interconnected devices that capture and monitor data. With the help of built-in sensors, such devices collect information from the surrounding environment and send it across the private or public network. The availability of devices that can collect and process certain data and trigger events increases efficiency and convenience. For instance, turning on the light when the home door is opened.
Right now, aside from the application in everyday life, IoT solutions have entered healthcare, making the life of doctors and patients easier. Such solutions can provide doctors with additional information about the patient’s conditions. This allows for early medical interference by constantly monitoring different health vitals like heart rate, temperature, glucose level, etc.
The world market size of the Internet of Medical Things, which is another name for IoT healthcare, is projected to reach $136.8 billion by 2021. In the years to follow, such solutions, along with dedicated applications are believed to become an integral part of medical services, making healthcare app developers a prime engine of this revolution.
Indisputable Benefits of IoT Healthcare
IoT is a real life-changing solution for the healthcare industry. With the help of different interconnected devices, it is possible to solve the problems that could not be addressed due to the lack of technical support.
Below you can check the main advantages of IoT healthcare, namely:
Real-time health monitoring – When it comes to timely medical assistance, real-time monitoring of healthcare conditions is vital. When a medical emergency occurs, the IoT system gets data from different sensors, identifies the problem, and sends data to the emergency stations. Such a system could potentially save millions of lives thanks to the early identification of health malfunctions and provide early treatments.
Access top doctors without borders – The ability to get help from the best doctors in the world is probably one of the most attractive and promising advantages of IoT healthcare. As it stores all the data in the cloud, including ECG, information about heart rate, blood level, and more, the top doctors from all over the world can take a look at the medical issue and consult patients regardless of their location.
Valuable insights from Big Data – IoT in healthcare is a great source of real data that can be used by scientists and doctors to identify the diversity of symptoms for an illness, learn how patients react to certain drugs, and much more. This data, received from thousands or even millions of patients, provides fundamental analysis and helps to come up with the most effective treatment methods.
Reduced costs – Frequent hospital visits and hospital stays can be reduced with the help of IoT healthcare solutions. Their implementation allows doctors to have a full picture of health conditions and provide better treatment. As a result, such an approach can reduce the number of readmissions and cut associated costs.
All in all, IoT healthcare is a promising industry that is growing fast from year to year. Provided ability to monitor health 24/7 allows for better and more timely medical treatment.
Future of IoT Healthcare
In the years to follow, the use of IoT solutions will only grow. Even now the development of IoT healthcare applications and platforms becomes a subject of information technology outsourcing.
Here is how IoT can be used in the healthcare industry.
Medical wearable devices – Such devices are not the thing of the future but a part of our reality in the developed countries. Wearable devices allow patients to stay in the comfort of their homes while their health is monitored by professional doctors. Medical service provides can identify healthcare problems and quickly address them based on the data that is transmitted in real-time.
Medication dispensers – Medical drug overdose is another problem that can be solved with the help of IoT solutions. Elderly people are at the highest risk due to a common decline in health condition and memory state with years. Home medication dispensers can not only address this issue but also be used to store drugs at proper conditions and notify doctors if patients stop taking the prescribed drugs.
Treatment for chronic diseases – The diversity of smart wearable devices allows to turn them into a powerful ecosystem of IoT healthcare solutions. Such devices constantly collect valuable data about the health of their owners, including heart rate, physical activity, sleep patterns, etc.
Thanks to the constant flow of data, doctors can easily identify patterns, which are especially valuable for the curing of chronic diseases. For example, if the level of glucose in the blood drops significantly, both the doctor and the patient would receive notification about the detected problem, allowing them to quickly react to this condition.
Inventory management – IoT healthcare systems can be utilized to track and manage medical inventory and accessibility. The implementation of this system would help medical specialists work more efficiently as well as receive information about available beds, wheelchairs, IV poles, etc. Even more, such systems can be used to monitor the performance of medical equipment and identify issues that can interrupt its functionality.
Telehealth surgeries – Telesurgeries is probably one of the most bright examples of the true potential of IoT in healthcare. This technology is based on the use of human-operated robots and tiny cameras that help doctors move through the surgery. By managing robots, doctors can perform surgeries to patients from across the glow. Telehealth surgeries have the real ability to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
Moodables – When thinking about the most interesting IoT healthcare solutions, moodables are the first thing that comes to mind. Such devices can read brain waves to identify the mood of a person. These are destined to become very popular in the upcoming years due to the ability to elevate the mood with the help of low-intensity currents. Moodables are aimed to help people cope with stress, attention deficit, and anxiety disorders.
IoT Healthcare: Looking into the Future
There is no doubt that IoT can revolutionize the healthcare industry within the next few years. By offering unprecedented insight into health conditions, it enables doctors to provide better medical help and saves millions of lives worldwide.
Thought the benefits of IoT healthcare are broad, the industry is yet to solve the most pressing problems of data security and privacy, and cost-efficiency of development and implementation of such solutions.
Ana Lastovetska is a technology writer @ MLSDev, a web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. She has been researching the field of technologies to create educative content of distinct topics including app development, UX/UI design, tech & business consulting, etc. The opportunity to deliver information for people who want to understand more about IT and app development processes is something that inspires Ana. You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.