How Healthcare Sectors Can Make Use of the CIoMT to Fight Against Covid-19
Here are 6 ways healthcare sectors can make use of the Cognitive Internet of Medical Things (CIoMT) to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The unprecedented outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus, termed as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), has placed numerous governments around the world in a precarious situation.
The scarcity of resources to endure the COVID-19 outbreak combined with the fear of overburdened healthcare systems has forced a majority of these countries into a state of partial or complete lockdown. The number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases has been increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world, with a report from WHO stating that there are more than 3.23 million confirmed cases as of August 2020. Adding to these woes, numerous false reports, misinformation, and unsolicited fears in regards to coronavirus, are being circulated regularly since the outbreak of COVID19.
The Internet of Things (IoT) In Healthcare
The internet was created with the intention of building a worldwide computer network where people could exchange information with ease. As the internet began to advance, so did our need to improve the way we perform certain tasks. IoT devices are able to capture and measure various external variables such as temperature, state, location, etc. using sensors all while being connected to the internet.
We can see how easy it is for our healthcare system to be overloaded when faced with an unprecedented situation like the COVID-19 pandemic. The key characteristics provided by IoT devices allow immediate access of patient data to healthcare providers so they can remotely monitor patients. This will not only free up healthcare resources by eliminating the need for staff to physically check on the patients but can also properly recognize patterns along with unusual activity using powerful machine learning models. This level of connectivity provides an opportunity for healthcare providers to take preemptive action and provide better care.
Wearable IoT devices and machine learning will shift the paradigm of our healthcare infrastructure from a reactive to a proactive system.
In Healthcare, IoT is an innovative technological platform to ﬁght with COVID-19 pandemic and can fulﬁl signiﬁcant challenges during the lockdown situation. This IoT, IoMT and CIoMT technologies are helpful to capture the real-time health data and other necessary information of the infected patient, from various locations and manage all the data using the virtual management system.
What Is the Cognitive Internet of Medical Things (CIoMT)?
In the age of advanced digital technology, smart healthcare based on the Internet of Things (IoT) is gaining importance to deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic. The novel application of cognitive radio (CR) based IoT, specifically for the medical domain is referred to as Cognitive Internet of Medical Things (CIoMT). This concept of CIoT is best suited to explore the global challenge caused by the pandemic, but a hindrance is that every person is to be connected and monitored through an immense network that demands effective spectrum management.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a network of interconnected physical objects such as sensors, health monitoring devices, smart meters, home appliances, autonomous vehicles, etc. This massive connectivity enables objects to sense, process and communicate with each other, interact with the people automatically, and intelligently provide service to the users. As the applications are increasing day-by-day as well as there is a colossal rise in the number of interconnected wireless devices, the data traffic is estimated to reach 4394 EB by 2030. To meet this ever-increasing bandwidth requirement, the cognitive radio-based IoT called Cognitive IoT (CIoT) is a promising technique for the efficient utilization of scarce spectrum.
The fundamental idea behind CIoT is to dynamically allocate radio channels for the exchange of information between the highly-dense interconnected objects. The concept of CIoT is best suited for the COVID-19 pandemic as every person can be remotely monitored within the quarantine through a massive network. Also due to world-wide lockdown and restriction in movement and crowd, most of the activity goes online like e-commerce, e-learning, smart metering, e-surveillance, smart healthcare, and telemedicine services. These activities are possible via wireless communication and networking which consume bandwidth. The massive CIoT network transmits short packets by opportunistically searching the idle channels thus saving the bandwidth and utilizing the spectrum resource efficiently.
How CIoMT Can Help Healthcare Sectors Fight Against the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Presently the COVID-19 pandemic has become the hotspot of medical research. The new emerging technologies can be a panacea for this world-wide crisis. IoT and more significantly the Internet of Medical Things(IoMT) can implement a solution to the challenges of monitoring, detection, contact tracing, and control of COVID-19. Internet of Medical Things(IoMT) mentions the interconnectedness of medical equipment, effectiveness of software applications in healthcare, and data pertaining to the health-care industry. Smart health care monitoring is an emerging application of IoT which is best applicable during this COVID-19 pandemic. The Cognitive Internet of Medical Things (CIoMT) is a specialization of CIoT and further CIoT is an extension of conventional Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
As mentioned above, several decades of research on smart healthcare and IoT has led to a progressively heightened application of CIoMT. Leaving behind the conventional treatment modalities, this technology gives opportunities to make significant advances in controlling COVID-19. The diagnosis, monitoring, tracking, and control of this crisis are carried out in real-time which includes daily new cases of the disease. Since the population all around the globe is affected, it is not easy to handle the situation by a few healthcare sectors, unless the live updates of data are available. The integration of sensory information, automatic processing, and communication through networks is enabled by CIoMT.
In regards to COVID-19 crisis management, the application of IoMT is extensive in providing the on-line medical service for patients, getting proper health care, and test at home/quarantine center. Besides this, it can create a medical platform for the management of databases useful for government and health care services. Few applications of CIoMT that healthcare sectors can utilize to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic are as below:
- Real-time Patient Tracking
- Remote Monitoring Of The Patient
- Rapid Diagnosis
- Contact Tracing And Clustering
- Screening And Surveillance
- Prevention And Control
Real-Time Patient Tracking
The real-time worldwide daily update in COVID-19 cases including the number of cured patients, number of deaths, and the number of active cases in various locations can be tracked using this technology. As a result, the severity of the disease can be modeled and the disease activity can be predicted using AI for better decision making and preparedness for control by the health authorities and policymakers. The government initiatives, health care precautionary measures, and treatment procedure updates can be available to each one connected to the CIoMT network.
Remote Monitoring Of The Patient
As the COVID-19 pandemic is highly contagious, the doctors and healthcare workers are vulnerable to this disease during their period of service. The CIoMT helps the doctors to monitor the health condition of the patient remotely with fingertip medical data like Blood Pressure level, Glucose level, Heart rate, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Electroencephalogram (EEG), Electromyography (EMG), Pulse rate, Temperature, Breathing rate, etc. This type of clinical parameter data acquisition is possible via wearable IoT sensors. Since all the units of the COVID-19 hospitals are connected extensively through the internet, real-time communication of medical data is possible which saves time and effort. The application of CIoMT is useful especially for the elderly or patients having multiple ailments.
The migrants and suspected patients are quarantined even if they do not show any clinical symptoms, thus the rapid diagnosis of these cases is essential. CIoMT enables such persons with travel history to connect themselves to medical services for rapid diagnosis with minimal error through certain network applications. The lab technicians can remotely take the X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan from the control room via the live streaming of the video images which can be further processed by AI-enabled visual sensors, thus taking less time to diagnose and confirm the case. This also enables contact-less and early detection of the virus.
Contact Tracing and Clustering
The contact tracing of the confirmed cases is highly essential to control the spread of the pandemic and this tedious work can be simplified if the location history of the COVID-19 patient is readily available in the database which can be accessed by the healthcare authorities. The area-wise clustering and categorizing the regions as containment zones, buffer zone, red zone, orange zone, green zone, etc. can be updated quickly depending upon the number of confirmed cases via CIoMT. The location wise number of positive cases can be collected in real-time when the medical and health care units are interconnected via IoT. The government can access this data and alert for health checkups for the affected area and this can be done rapidly through AI framework. The zone clustering also enables the public authorities to implement various lockdown and social distancing laws and orders.
Screening and Surveillance
The thermal imaging-based facial recognition data at various entry points of airports, railway stations, hostels, etc. can be accessed via CIoMT by the public and healthcare authorities for screening and surveillance purposes. This automatic surveillance of the suspected and positive cases can help to control the spread of the infection.
Prevention and Control
The spread of the virus can be controlled by the timely intervention of the healthcare and public authorities as well as by individual alertness. The CIoMT enables one to know the positive case in the vicinity and to be alert by using certain mobile applications.
The Cognitive Internet of Medical Things (CIoMT) is a promising technology for dynamic monitoring & tracking, rapid diagnosis, efficient treatment, and control without spreading the virus to others. With the implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) services, emergency strategies can be implemented cost-effectively, mitigating the stresses of the shortage of medical devices, maintaining a systematic database for modeling and predicting the disease activity for better decision making, preparedness, and online consultation.
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