IoT in Healthcare: Apps, Benefits, and Challenges
IoT in Healthcare: Apps, Benefits, and Challenges
What are the challenges facing healthcare that IoT can help solve, and how can connected devices and data help both providers and patients?
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
The healthcare industry is in a state of great despair. Healthcare services are costlier than ever, the global population is aging, and the number of chronic diseases are on a rise.
What we are approaching is a world where basic healthcare might become out of reach for most people — a large section of society would become unproductive owing to old age, and people would be more prone to chronic disease. Isn’t that the end of the world we suspected?
IoT app development to the rescue.
While technology can’t stop the population from aging or eradicate chronic diseases at once, it can at least make healthcare easier on the pocket and in terms of accessibility.
Medical diagnostics consume a large part of hospital bills. Technology can move the routines of medical checks from a hospital (hospital-centric) to the patient’s home (home-centric). The right diagnosis will also lessen the need for hospitalization.
But IoT has extensive applicability in numerous areas, including healthcare. The full application of this paradigm in healthcare is a mutual hope because it allows both medical centers to function more competently and patients to obtain better treatment.
With the use of this technology-based healthcare method, there is an unparalleled prospect to improve the quality and efficiency of treatment and, accordingly, improve the health of the patients.
1. Simultaneous Reporting and Monitoring
Real-time monitoring via connected devices can save lives in the event of a medical emergency like heart failure, diabetes, asthma attacks, etc. With real-time monitoring of the condition in place by means of a smart medical device connected to a smartphone app, connected devices can collect medical and other required health data and use the smartphone to transfer collected information to a physician.
The Center of Connected Health Policy conducted a study that indicates that there was a 50% reduction in 30-day readmission rate because of remote patient monitoring of heart failure patients.
The IoT device collects and transfers health data: blood pressure, oxygen and blood sugar levels, weight, and ECGs. These data are stored in the cloud and can be shared with an authorized person, who could be a physician, your insurance company, a participating health firm, or an external consultant, to allow them to look at the collected data regardless of their location, time, or device.
2. End-to-End Connectivity and Affordability
IoT can automate the patient care workflow with the help of a healthcare mobility solution and other new technologies, combined with next-gen healthcare facilities. IoT enables interoperability, machine-to-machine communication, information exchange, and data movement to make healthcare delivery more effective.
Connectivity protocols like Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, Z-wave, ZigBee, and other modern protocols allow healthcare personnel to change the way they spot illnesses and ailments in patients and can also innovate revolutionary ways of treatment.
Consequently, a technology-driven setup brings down the cost by cutting down unnecessary visits, utilizing better quality resources, and improving the allocation and planning.
3. Data Assortment and Analysis
The vast amount of data that a healthcare device sends in a very short time, owing to their real-time functionality, is hard to store and manage if access to the cloud is unavailable. Even healthcare providers acquiring and analyzing data originating from multiple devices and sources is a tough bet.
IoT devices can collect, report, and analyze the data in real time and cut the need to store the raw data. This all can happen over the cloud with the providers only getting access to final reports.
Moreover, healthcare operations allow organizations to get vital healthcare analytics and data-driven insights, which speed up decision-making and are less prone to errors.
4. Tracking and Alerts
Timely alerts are critical during life-threatening circumstances. IoT allows devices to gather vital data and transfer that data to doctors for real-time tracking while dropping notifications to people about critical parts via mobile apps and other linked devices.
Reports and alerts give a firm opinion about a patient’s condition, irrespective of place and time. It also helps providers make well-versed decisions and provide timely treatment.
Thus, IoT enables real-time alerting, tracking, and monitoring, which permits hands-on treatments, better accuracy, apt intervention by doctors, and improves complete patient care delivery results.
5. Remote Medical Assistance
In the event of an emergency, patients can contact a doctor who is many kilometers away with a smart mobile app. With mobility solutions in healthcare, the medics can instantly check the patient and identify ailments on-the-go.
Also, numerous healthcare delivery chains that are forecasting the ability to build machines that can distribute drugs on the basis of a patient’s prescription and ailment-related data available via linked devices.
IoT will improve patient care. This, in turn, will cut on people’s expense on healthcare. IoT changes the way the facilities are delivered to the healthcare industry. These technologies improve the product, causing a larger effect by bringing together minor changes.
Published at DZone with permission of Nasrullah Patel , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.