IoT Applications In Healthcare
IoT is lately playing a significant role in every industry, and wherever this technology has swept in, you can just feel its Midas touch.
According to the reports submitted by the P&S Market Research, the healthcare industry will experience a compound annual growth rate of around 37.6% in the IoT industry, particularly between the years of 2015 to 2020. They claim that this rise could be attributed to the upper hand of remote monitoring healthcare system capable of detecting chronic life-threatening diseases.
The applications of the Internet of Things in the healthcare industry are numerous. Below, we have highlighted a few of them for your reference:
- Real-time Location Service
Through the use of IoT, doctors can use real-time location services and track the devices used in patient treatment.
Medical staff may sometimes keep those devices out of sight, thus, making it extremely difficult to locate. These devices, including the likes of scales, defibrillators, wheelchairs, nebulizer pumps, etc. can be tagged with sensors and located easily by the use of the IoT technology.
- Patient arrival predictions
With the intervention of IoT, clinicians can predict the arrival of patients who are recovering on the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).
This can also help them monitor patient status in real time.
- Compliance of hand hygiene
There are IoT-based hygiene monitoring systems capable of detecting the degree of cleanliness in a healthcare worker.
As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, about 1 in every 20 patients get infected from lack of proper hand hygiene. Numerous patients even lose their lives. This technology can play a huge role in keeping such issues at bay.
- Healthy budget and an improved patient journey
The healthcare industry has to keep a watchful eye on the budget and should also have excellent infrastructure to provide better patient experiences.
Thanks to the seamless and reliable connection of the IoT technology, it’s not possible for the medical staff to access patient information from the cloud as long as it is there on the cloud.
The IoT technology aims to provide a better patient journey through:
- Room lighting.
- Communicate through email to family and friends.
- Immediate attention to patient requirements.
- Remote Health Monitoring
This feature is an important application of IoT. Through the help of remote monitoring, you can give adequate healthcare to people who are in appalling need of help.
Lots of people die every day because they seldom get timely medical attention. With this technology, devices fitted with sensors send notifications to the concerned healthcare providers when there’s any change in the vital functions of a patient.
- Healthcare research
Composition analysis and protein research can benefit a lot from IoT.
This technology plays a major role by helping researchers analyze the accuracy of the equipment and shortening their workflow through the reproducible analysis of proteins.
Examples of IoT in Healthcare
As you can see, IoT has already opened up a host of possibilities in medicine enabling remote care to giving us extra insight into trends and symptoms.
Below, we have provided a few examples of IoT in healthcare. Let’s go through them all without any further ado.
- Treatment of Cancer
In June 2018, information from random cancer clinical trials was provided at the ASCO Annual meeting from. This trial used a Bluetooth-enabled weight scale and blood pressure cuff, including a symptom-tracking application, to respond to patients’ medical updates every week and to respond to feedback.
Patients using this smart monitoring system have experienced less severe symptoms related to the disease when compared to the group carrying on regular weekly physician visits.
- Continuous monitoring of glucose
Diabetes has an excellent track record for developing smart devices, as a condition affecting roughly 1 in 10 adults; ones in need of continuous monitoring and administration of treatment.
A CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) is a device that helps diabetic patients monitor their levels of blood and sugar for several days at a time.
Smart CGM devices send blood glucose data to an application on iPhone, Android, or an iwatch, allowing the wearer to check information and detect trends.
- Closed-loop insulin delivery
The open-source initiative OpenAPS is one of the most compelling areas in IoT medicine.
It’s a type of closed-loop insulin delivery system differing it from a CGM. It doesn’t only gauge the amount of glucose in a patient’s blood, but it also delivers insulin, thus, helping in closing the loop.
- Smart inhalers
Asthma, like diabetes, is a disease that has affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. Smart IoT technology is starting to help them better understand and control their symptoms and treatment with connected inhalers.
Propeller Health is the largest producer of smart inhaler technology. Rather than producing whole inhalers, Propeller has created a sensor that connects to an inhaler or Bluetooth spirometer. It connects to an app and helps people with asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) to understand the cause of their symptoms, to track the use of rescue medications providing allergen forecasts.
- Smart contact lens
These lenses are an exceptional application of the IoT technology in the context of healthcare. Although the concept has a lot of potential, it has not always managed to meet expectations.
Sudipto writes technical contents periodically and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He’s an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He’s got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation engineering.