One of the fastest-growing segments of the IoT market is the sector of healthcare devices. In fact, this industry – also known as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), is predicted to explode in the coming years.
Before the Internet of Things, patients needed to book physical appointments with doctors or meet through teleconferences. It was exceedingly rare for doctors or hospitals to have the ability to regularly assess and make appropriate recommendations based on patients’ health records.
But now, thanks to IoT-enabled gadgets, remote monitoring in the healthcare industry is possible. These devices empower clinicians to provide superior treatment to keep patients safe and healthy. As access to doctors has become more available and efficient, it has boosted patient participation and satisfaction.
Without question, IoT has significantly benefited the healthcare industry. Let’s explore some of those benefits below.
Simultaneous Reporting and Monitoring
In the event of a medical emergency such as heart failure, diabetes or asthma attacks, remote health monitoring via connected devices can save lives.
Connected medical devices can collect medical and other required health data and use a smartphone’s data connection to transfer that information to a physician or a cloud platform. It does this while simultaneously monitoring the patient’s health condition in real-time via an innovative medical device connected to a smartphone app.
According to a recent study, remote patient monitoring of heart failure patients resulted in a 49 percent reduction in 30-day readmission rates. That’s because Internet of Things devices capture and transmit health information such as blood pressure, oxygen, blood sugar levels and weight and ECGs. This data is saved in the cloud and shared with an authorized person, such as a physician, an insurance company, a collaborating health firm, or an external consultant. Authorized persons can then access the information regardless of location, time or device.
Acceleration of Treatment Processes
Even on a typical day, hospitals lack the personnel and resources to provide all patients with the care they require. Now, in pandemic times, this lack of personnel and resources has reached an alarming new level, one that has exposed serious flaws in various healthcare systems.
What’s more, the rate at which hospital physicians can perform procedures and surgeries slow down significantly when variables such as a lack of specialists and poorly equipped rooms are factored in. Treatment processes can be accelerated, and more effective health outcomes can be attained, though, when IoT technologies are incorporated into health services.
IoT allows for automated workflows and accurate collection of data, making it possible for healthcare practitioners to offer speedy treatments and lowering the risk for errors. Consequently, this helps to shorten hospital stays and prevents readmissions.
There is a wide range of stationary medical equipment available that can be leveraged for various purposes. This includes clinical operations and connected imaging lab tests, patient health monitoring, drug delivery, and medication management, among others.
Indeed, the growing number of linked medical devices is changing how healthcare services are delivered. Telemedicine, or telehealth, has made healthcare more dynamic and patient-centered.
The volume of data generated by linked medical devices increases as the number of devices increases. Healthcare networks and equipment are growing smarter and more complex, necessitating more efficient, convenient, and cost-effective solutions.
Improved Patient Experience and Outcome
Most hospitals have measures in place to ensure the best experience possible for their patients. Unfortunately, the environment in hospitals and other care facilities often can be unpleasant for patients. According to a study published in the Journal of Health Environments Research and Design, patients and their families value privacy, accessibility, and comfort in hospital rooms. Another priority mentioned was security. According to studies, improved patient comfort can lead to less stress and a speedier recovery.
IoT technologies such as smart thermostats and adjustable lighting controls offer increased comfort for patients and control for caregivers in hospital rooms. Brightening a room aids caregiving chores and procedures, while dimming the lights creates a quieter and more comfortable environment for patients. Similarly, automated window blinds allow patients to benefit from the health and emotional benefits that sunshine can provide. Meanwhile, sensors in beds can track sleep patterns and alert personnel to any problems.
All medical equipment must meet certain standards and be inspected on a regular basis. As a result, IoT preventive maintenance technology helps to eliminate service interruptions caused by missed service checks.
For example, devices such as blood pressure monitors, bladder scanners and wheelchairs that need to be inspected or repaired can be easily located and scheduled, thanks to computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), smart QR code scanners, and GPS tracking technologies.
The Internet of Things is changing the way we think about and access healthcare. When it comes to delivering healthcare solutions, myriad IoT apps and devices have transformed the way healthcare providers and patients interact. Even more importantly, IoT has helped lower healthcare expenses and improved treatment outcomes.