With the global IoT healthcare market to reach over USD 160 billion by 2020, industrial IoT seems like a game-changer for the healthcare industry. Healthcare industry has become more profound than ever due to increasing competitors capable of leaving a global footprint and price pressures in regulated markets. With a cost reducing mentality of payers fabricated by the recent recession, companies need to innovate to survive in the market. From personal fitness and wellness sensors to surgical robots, IoT is bringing in innovative new tools and efficiencies in the ecosystem resulting in more integrated healthcare. With IoT, companies can recast and revolutionize patient healthcare. With our growing dependency on technology, IoT provides convenience and penny-pinching solutions for the patient, payer, and healthcare professional.
Healthcare Internet of Things (IoT)
Benefits of Internet of Things in Healthcare
How IoT is changing medical (healthcare) industry?
- Adjustable patient monitoring. Statistics show that the average daily cost for patients in the US alone was over USD 1800 in 2014. This involves more infrastructure, human resources, and a waste of unnecessary capital on both sides. With the help of remote monitoring products, healthcare professionals can allow patients to be moved at home while retaining monitoring of their status by doctors and nurses. Security concerns can also be addressed by segregating patient identification information, using observation data, and further encrypting data on the device during transmission or in storage.
- Enhanced Drug Management. The healthcare industry faces a huge challenge to compete with the high expense of creating and managing drugs. Studies report the average cost of developing an approved drug to be lingering near USD 55 million with a multi-billion dollar fraudulent drug industry to add to the trouble. FDA added RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) guidelines for drug supply chain management in 2004 which boosted confidence in the drug supply chain within all three tiers of producers, consumers, and regulators. WuXi PharmaTech and TruTag are just two companies who are developing edible IoT, “smart” pills that will aid monitoring of health issues and medication controls. These pioneering IoT-based technology might help drug companies and healthcare providers to mollify their risks and losses.
- Augmented Asset Monitoring and Tracking. Industrial-scale analytics and interconnected machines, data, and people enable optimized asset monitoring and operations. Enterprise grade technologies like distributed computing and Big Data analytics, asset management beside machine to machine communication and mobility deployed on machines, premises or cloud platforms provide drastically efficient and cost-effective results.
- Early intervention. Healthy, active people can also get benefited by IoT-driven monitoring their daily activities for well-being. A senior living alone, for example, may want to have a monitoring device that can help to detect a fall or other interruption in blood pressure, blood sugar levels etc. in everyday activity and report it to any immediate responders or family members. For that matter, an active athlete such as a hiker or biker can obtain benefit from such a solution at any age, particularly if it’s available as a piece of wearable technology.
IoT connected Healthcare services aims to maximize resources by providing enhanced, secure, and cost effective solutions for consumers in order to facilitate better engagement between clinicians and patients.
IoT laced Healthcare Systems: Connected Medical Devices
Connected Healthcare Internet of Things Examples
Let’s find out, how connected healthcare technology (healthcare IoT) is solving medical problems in the world.
- Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) contributes to increasing medical costs due to their calamitous effects on patients, proving to be a clinical and economic catastrophe. A huge fraction of HAIs is contributed by hospital employees to patients with HAI-causing more than 90,000 deaths each year which amounts from USD 3 to 4 billion. With IoTs real-time staff interactions with sanitizers and other precautionary tools can be recorded and analysed to understand the compliance levels of hospital staff.
- With IoT connected patient, healthcare providers can constantly alert individuals about their medication, health checkups and more with dedicated smartphone apps integrated into the cloud platform. With an interconnected and secured database, medical records are easily available to concerned healthcare professionals and physicians while reducing multiple form fill ups at the consumer end. With the help of previous medical history, health patterns, and through analying tools, efficient and time preserving solutions can be offered. This enables low cost yet optimum quality healthcare.
- Research and Development in the Healthcare and Drug research centre can also benefit from IoT connected healthcare devices and equipment. It ensures the reliability and accuracy of the equipment while provides researchers with smooth access to abundant computing power for testing. It significantly compresses the workflow by providing standardized, quantitative, and reproducible analysis of proteins in any research samples.
- Disease outbreaks like Ebola and HIV have been a real concern of this century. With IoT connected patient monitoring disease outbreaks can be effortlessly controlled or at least confined to a certain geographical area until and unless the source or cause can be pinpointed.
- For acute care, some providers have already gone with experimenting with systems that interconnects all of the various sensors wirelessly with low power wifi-enabled IoT chips measuring vitals in the emergency or intensive care units. These systems lessen the monitoring burden on providers in the very fast-paced environments, with analytics identifying hidden correlations between vital signs, helping to make real changes even in acute conditions that require immediate action. Situations like patients rolling over a bed to shut a line can be avoided and inefficiency can be reduced.
About the Author
This post by Yash Mehta first appeared on his blog IoT Worm. Yash is a Data Science expert and has three years of writing experience in this field. He is an IoT geek and sole owner of IoT Worm blog. You can read more about him from yashmehta.net.