The Internet of things (IoT) is a modern concept rapidly gaining popularity in various industries, including healthcare. A system of interconnected medical devices able to function without direct human control has become a necessity during the ongoing pandemic.
It explains the growing interest of healthcare software solutions companies in this cutting-edge technology. In this article, we’ll outline the application of the IoT for medical purposes.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of things connects various objects with embedded sensors into a unified system with the purpose of collecting, processing, and exchanging data. One should keep in mind that the term thing, in this case, covers not only appliances, devices, or machines. It also means people wearing smart monitors or implants, or animals with injected ID chips. In brief, anything or anyone supplied with a unique identifier (UID) sends data over a special network.
The IoT for healthcare purposes is often called the Internet of medical things (IoMT). In articles dedicated to this phenomenon, one can also come across the synonym term Smart Healthcare. Leading IT companies providing healthcare software development services are constantly monitoring the situation on the market ready to offer custom IoT solutions.
Typical Areas of IoMT Use
Remote Patient Monitoring.
RPM is extremely helpful for chronic patients with diabetes, asthma, or heart diseases. Smart devices connected with mobile phones allow users to monitor their state in real-time.
In case of an attack or any other acute condition, the physician in charge will learn about it immediately. Another advantage is that the patient’s collected data can be stored on the cloud. So, medical workers can access it any time they need. It significantly improves the quality of treatment.
IoT healthcare apps make it possible to automate the workflow through machine-to-machine communication and such protocols as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. In certain cases, automation is faster and more convenient than traditional methods of treatment. It also leads to cost reduction by cutting expenses on patient visits or other services.
Tracking the patient’s data in real-time allows doctors to take immediate action if something goes wrong.
IoT devices send alerts as soon as they trace lapses, aberrations, or critical changes in the patient’s state of health.
Data Collection and Analysis.
IoT devices used in medical institutions accumulate such data as sugar level, temperature, blood pressure, weight, heart rate, etc., then analyze everything and provide graphs and statistics. There is no need for physicians to collect everything manually and deal with vast amounts of information.
The IoT technology helps to process all the necessary data quickly and efficiently and outputs key indicators of the patient’s current condition.
Most common IoT applications
The scope of existing IoT healthcare applications is impressive. Undoubtedly, there are many more to appear soon, as healthcare software services are rapidly developing. Some meaningful examples are listed below.
Glucose monitoring systems.
These devices prevent the risk of a diabetic coma. If the level of glucose is abnormal, built-in sensors implanted below the skin will send alerts to a mobile phone.
They also keep records of the data necessary for the successful monitoring of patients suffering from diabetes.
Their area of use is extensive, but some conditions deserve special mention. For instance, cancer patients demand permanent care. It is extremely important to be aware of any changes in their state of health.
Activity trackers allow them to keep an eye on appetite, fatigue level, movements, etc. Oncologists will access this information and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
People suffering from heart diseases also need constant attention. Wearable devices will report cases of palpitation, arrhythmia, or heart attacks so that an ambulance team can arrive just on time to save the patient’s life.
This amazing innovation ensures correct oral medication and helps to diagnose such diseases as colon cancer. Once a patient swallows a tiny pill-looking device, its sensor will relay signals to the corresponding mobile app. Now, you won’t forget to take medicine in the proper time, and the risk of an over-or underdose is completely excluded.
Obviously, the Internet of things is a powerful tool of digital transformation of the healthcare industry, it has enhanced the vision of modern medicine. IoT solutions can be introduced into hospitals and clinics alongside AI, AR, and VR technologies. As an outcome of this, patients will receive advanced medical control while doctors and nurses will enjoy better working conditions.
That is why it is crucially important for healthcare organizations to invest in custom medical software development. Currently, IT companies keep on elaborating new ideas of a possible implementation of this innovative approach. Thus, IoT applications are among striking inventions revolutionizing contemporary science and improving the quality of life.