IoT In HealthCare And The Impact Of Pandemic In Increased Adoption
As everything around us is getting digitized, a wide range of healthcare practices are leveraging IoT to improve their services more specifically. eHealth, mobile health, ambient assisted living, semantic devices, wearable devices, smartphones, and community-based healthcare services & applications are widely becoming popular due to the edge they provide to the healthcare services. In this article, we’ll explore some of these highly beneficial IoT applications and learn how the pandemic has led to the increased adoption of IoT devices and services.
IoT Applications In Healthcare
Heart Monitors with Reporting
These are wearable devices that patients need to put on and they monitor the heart rates, determining whether the patients have high blood pressure. Doctors can have access to the reports of these heart monitor data and analyze them during checkups. These wearable devices also alert medics in case their patients experience any critical condition like arrhythmias, palpitations, strokes, or full-blown heart attacks.
They are generally used in labs and hospital refrigerators to ensure biomedical materials like blood samples, chilled medications, etc are always stored at the right temperatures.
Any physical equipment like wheelchairs, scales, defibrillators, nebulizers, pumps, or other monitoring devices can be integrated with IoT sensors and thus easily located by healthcare staff. Often such equipment can be misplaced or at times hard to track down. However, with IoT, medical staff are able to locate where everything exactly is.
With the help of these remote monitoring IoT devices, doctors are able to monitor their patients who need to be under constant observation. For example, a patient who recently underwent critical surgery or who needs outpatient care, the doctors will receive instant alerts in case the patient needs immediate attention.
These applications enable healthcare institutions to make better use of their resources and provide quality and low-cost medical care.
The Impact of Pandemic in The Increased IoT Adoption
The adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the shutting down of traditional modes of health service delivery worldwide. Instead, efforts to reduce any implementation barriers that occur during technology-supported health-service delivery were encouraged. This highlights the potential of tech-based models to reframe traditional methods of delivery into virtual and distance services. Many countries, as a result, have successfully implemented tech-supported services to maintain their health care practices and social distancing at the same time.
Global leaders, too, are rapidly coming up with policies that potentially provide more access to tech-based health services in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. In these prevailing circumstances, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how the emerging IoT technologies can support health systems to deliver safe, secured, and effective care in a complimentary as well as an alternative way during the current & post-pandemic era.
Here’s how IoT devices are improving health service delivery, and how these technologies can affect global health care in the next decade.
Benefits of Adopting IoT Applications In Healthcare
Simultaneous Monitoring of Health Reports
Real-time monitoring and reporting through connected devices can be highly beneficial in cases of medical emergencies like asthma attacks, heart failure, diabetes, etc. With real-time monitoring of such conditions, connected devices can collect required medical and health data and transfer the information to a physician. Through IoT devices, medical professionals and their patients are able to stay connected more conveniently. They can be used to collect and transfer health data including blood pressure, oxygen and blood sugar levels, weight, ECGs, and so on. These data are stored in the cloud and can be shared with an authorized person (physician, health firm, your insurance company, etc) regardless of their place, time, or device.
Data Assortment & Analysis
Real-time applications usually receive vast amounts of healthcare data in a very short time. This makes it difficult to store and manage data if access to the cloud is unavailable. Also, healthcare providers find it quite strenuous to acquire data originating from various sources and analyze them manually. Here, IoT devices prove to be quite beneficial as they can collect, analyze, and report the data in real-time, cutting the need to store raw information. These processes are carried out over the cloud and healthcare providers can get direct access to the final reports along with graphs. In addition, medical organizations get access to vital healthcare analytics and data-driven insights. This helps them speed up their decision-making process and are generally less prone to errors.
Tracking & Alerts
Instant alerts in life-threatening circumstances are very crucial. Medical IoT devices gather vital data and transfer them to doctors for real-time tracking. Additionally, they drop notifications to individuals about critical conditions through mobile applications and other connected devices. These reports and alerts keep the users updated about the patients’ condition, irrespective of their place and time, aiding on-time treatment possible under critical conditions.
Remote Medical Assistance
With the effects of the pandemic still in play, remote medical assistance is highly essential. In events of emergencies, patients can directly contact doctors using smart applications even though they are several kilometers away. As mobility solutions are coming up in healthcare, doctors are able to check the patients instantly and identify the ailments remotely.
The growing trend of healthcare services worldwide is preventive, personalized, and participatory. However, the most vital attribute underlying these trends is the increasing digitization of healthcare. IoT, thus, has helped the industry as a whole to shift to a more closely connected network where transferring and analyzing data of various kinds (medical images, physiological and vital body signatures, and genomics data) has become much easier. When designed with standardized protocols and interoperability with international and cross-state health systems, IoT can further help build and strengthen the digital infrastructure of the medical industry.
If you find this article useful and are planning to implement IoT in your healthcare facility, get in touch with our experts.