Top Issues Facing Internet of Medical Things and How to Solve Them
Here are some of the top issues facing IoT in the medical industry.
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Technology is taking the world by storm, and the health care sector is no exception. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) involves a collection of medical applications as well as devices that are interconnected to provide better healthcare services to patients. According to a Markets and Markets report, the IoMT market is projected to be worth 158.07 billion USD by 2022. IoMT has been a game-changer for the medical sector due to numerous benefits. For instance, it improves patient satisfaction, provides preventative measures, patients enjoy customized care and treatment facilities, and it reduces the costs of health services. However, like most other technology, IoMT encounters some challenges. Below are some of the main issues of Internet of Medical Things and how to solve them.
More devices and systems are getting interconnected with each other every day. As this happens, the number of data breaches also increases. The IoT devices use default passwords that are easily breached by cybercriminals who can interfere with how they work. A study done by Aruba reveals that 84 percent of the organizations that adopt IoT have already suffered a security breach. This vulnerability poses a threat to people’s health as they, quite literally, trust these devices with their lives.
How to solve this challenge:
Security threats can be addressed by fortifying the security of the devices to further protect them from cyberattacks. Here is what can be done:
- Using IoT security analytics to review data from different sources to identify any anomalies that may pose a threat.
- Ensuring that communication is encrypted. You can use encryptions such as HTTP or AES 256.
- Using a public key infrastructure to secure communication.
IoMT Strains Existing Networks
The IoMT devices allow patients and their physicians to connect with a network and remotely monitor progress as well as collect data for analysis. You can’t build an IoMT infrastructure and expect to only be required to connect it to the hospital or clinic’s Wi-Fi. Most healthcare facilities have networks that are not secure or strong enough to support IoMT devices. The large volume of data being transmitted can strain your network resulting in bottlenecks that make it difficult for the physicians to access patient’s data when they need it.
As of 2019, the number of connected devices in use is estimated at 26.66 million, and this number is expected to continue rising. Therefore, there is a need to find other solutions that are faster, more reliable, and can handle more devices.
How to solve this challenge:
Staying connected when using IoMT devices can be a matter of life and death.
- Adopting broadband as a way to get rid of these issues with connection is an option that many healthcare facilities.
- Using cellular networks as an alternative to Wi-Fi to improve connectivity.
Managing Large Volumes of Data
IoMT involves the transmission of large amounts of medical data from numerous interconnected devices. This information cannot be processed using traditional algorithms and critical applications. IoMT analyzes the collected data to provide an early diagnosis of medical issues. To make the IoT devices better at decision making and diagnosis, there is a need to find a way to manage the large volume of data.
How to solve this challenge:
You will need to invest in machine learning and more advanced algorithms that make it easier to manage big data.
Lack of Standardization
The Internet of Medical Things devices should be able to work with each other as well as with the players, that is, the payers and providers. However, there is a diversity in the medical devices available mostly because they are obtained from different vendors. Some devices use Bluetooth due to the lower cost while others are connected to the Internet. These variations might cause some issues when sending data to remote servers. The lack of interoperability of systems from different manufacturers poses a risk of security to the data and stability of systems.
How to solve this issue:
The healthcare facility should:
- Change to being fully Wi-Fi operated to promote interoperability of the devices.
- Create a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth gateway.
- Auditing the devices that employees use to access data to check for threats.
Incorporating IoT With Outdated Infrastructure
The Internet of Medical Things is a great innovation for the healthcare industry, but it will not work as well if it is integrated with outdated infrastructure. Health facilities with old infrastructure find it difficult to hire the right personnel to upgrade it. Most IT graduates do not want jobs in the medical sector because of the legacy infrastructure.
To attract the top talent, always ensure your infrastructure is upgraded to the newest technology. According to Bob Lenner, the CEO of Liaison Technologies, information technology should be replaced every 10 years.
Advancements in technology used in healthcare have made it easier for patients to access health services and get more satisfaction. It is evident that medical costs on patients will also reduce as more health facilities implement IoT devices. Patients will no longer have to make the trips to the hospital every time they need a checkup. The Internet of Medical Things has many benefits but it also faces some challenges. Use the above tips to solve any of the above issues experienced while adopting this technology. The use of IoMT devices in healthcare is expected to continue increasing in the coming years. The future of IoMT looks very bright, and you shouldn’t miss out on adopting this technology.
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