I won’t be exaggerating when I say that IoT has given the midas touch to every industrial sector it has touched. Internet of things has connected objects and also has enabled every industry to gain an edge and healthcare is one of those industries on which it has generated the most serious impact. 37.6% of the increase is noted in the adoption of the internet of things in the healthcare sector in the span of just five years (2015-2020). The concept might be in its nascent stage according to some tech experts, but it has entangled quite well with the medical sector and has got itself a new name, Internet of Medical Things. The rise in the use of IoT technologies is attributed to the remote monitoring system which enables the institutions to monitor and detect chronic diseases from distant locations.
Furthermore, the personalised environment which is created through the connected devices has taken the healthcare services to the next level. The devices can be programmed to remind people of their calorie count, appointments, medicines, blood pressure variations, heart rate and many more.
The opportunities and applications of IoT in the healthcare vertical is in abundance. Some of these are mentioned below:
- Pinpointing the location of devices during an emergency
In many instances, it happens that the less used equipment goes out of sight and during any emergency situation it becomes hard for the hospital staff to actually find it. With the help of IoT and sensors, the devices can be tagged and can be traced when new medical staff arrives or there is a shift change. Wheelchairs, nebulisers, scales and other instruments can be tagged with the sensors and their location can be tracked easily.
- Monitoring patient’s status in real-time
With the correct utilisation of the IoT techniques, clinicians can monitor the condition of the patients who are recovering or are in the post-anesthesia care unit. The major advantage is that the doctors can monitor the patient’s real-time health even from remote locations.
- Ensuring hand hygiene compliance
It has been noted that patients catch infections when they come in contact with any healthcare worker with unhygienic hands. Since patients are vulnerable and healthcare staff has various responsibilities to handle, this situation is not uncommon. With the help of IoT, notifications, alerts or alarms can be set when any staff member forgets to clean their hands before checking or treating patients. The alarming device also possesses the capability of capturing the staff’s details, feeding it in the database and sending the same to concerned authorities enabling them to avoid the further occurrence of any such incident.
- Notifying the correct way to consume medicines
A survey done by the World Health Organisation concluded that 50% of medicines are consumed in the wrong manner. The sensors that are empowered with the IoT technologies are an ideal solution to this situation since these tiny sensors replace the prescriptions and send signals to the receiving devices when the medicine is dissolved in the stomach. Smart pills can enable the individual to ensure that none of the critical medicines are missed and the consumption of medical drugs takes place correctly.
- Enhancing patient’s care with limited resources
It won’t be an understatement when we say that the healthcare sector requires updated infrastructure every now and then to continue giving superior quality care services. But with the retention and modification of the existing infrastructure with the help of IoT, updating hospital equipment becomes economic. Furthermore, IoT introduces different capabilities such as controlling the light or offering adequate care to the patients in emergency situations.
- Putting your smartphone to the correct use
Monitoring the patient’s health with the help of smartphones has become possible because of IoT technology. The smartphones are a treasure trove of all the data collected from fitness apps and hence enables doctors to take quick actions in case of any emergency. Management of health with mobile devices also known as mHealth, is again a huge benifit to the people who can’t afford regular hospital visits or the places where healthcare facilities are not available in abundance.
The Bottom Line
Like every coin has two sides, the introduction of IoT in the healthcare domain has its sets of benefits and drawbacks. But it is also evident that the latest solutions such as smart pills, connected medical records and mobile health have helped hospitals to offer quality and personalised care services. And, although there are disadvantages, hospitals are including IoT technologies in their environment and improving their existing infrastructure. To discuss in-depth about the role of IoT in the healthcare industry, contact us now.