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iot in healthcare (3)

A network of physical objects interconnected through computing devices like machine appliances, digital devices, objects, vehicles and uses APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and sensors to exchange data and connect with the internet is known as IoT or Internet of Things.

IoT platform connects the virtual and the real worlds. It helps the companies in managing IoT devices, connectivity, security, linking devices to back end system, collecting device data, building & running IoT apps as well as ensuring IoT interoperability.

According to a survey, approx. 75 billion devices will be IoT enabled by the end of the year 2025. 

Also, in the coming 5-6 years, the world will witness an investment of near $ 6 trillion on IoT out of which at least $ 3 trillion is expected to be invested in the health care industry for IoT.

And why not? The experts are also of the same viewpoint that by the end of the year 2020, approx. 90 % of the health care industry will adopt IoT. Generally speaking, IoT has already made its way to the homes of general people through Google, Amazon, Alexa, etc.

Almost all the IoT enabled devices to have:

  1. A device or a sensor;
  2. Data processing unit;
  3. A connecting unit;
  4. User interface.

Challenges Faced By The Health Care Industry

The health care industry faces constant challenges. No compromise is entertained when it comes to health. 

The number of deaths occurred due to delay in treatment or delay in the ambulance approaches, in the prevalence of road jam are recurring and very common.

However, these untimely deaths can be prevented by enabling IoT in house treatment in the health care industry. 

The devices that are capable of monitoring heart rate sleep cycle, energy expenditure can be helpful in the timely detection of the problems arising in the human body.

In other cases, the risk of infection post-surgery is a real threat to the life of the patient, and the result can be anything from a prolonged hospitalization to even death.

The other problems faced by the health care industry are health monitoring, timely detection of health problems, tiresome diagnostic techniques, inappropriate ambiance, inaccurate measurements, human error, etc.

Although health care is relatively slow as compared to financial or other industries in the incorporation of IoT devices, 40 % of health care is already using IoT. 

The slow growth is due to the following reason:

  1. The methods of health care go through rigorous tests.
  2. Security in health care is still a significant concern for the devices that are enabled with IoT.

Even the hurdle remains, yet the speed and connected health care are growing each day progressively.

Health care service providers need to innovate and plan for digital transformation and reach in those areas where there are not enough health care systems and professionals. 

The industry needs a reliable communication network partner to provide mobile and cloud connectivity. IoT App Development Company should take care of this issue.

Now the question arises as to how IoT Is Transforming the Health care Industry? Following are attributes and contribution in the health care industry:

In the coming years, IoT devices such as Coagulation testing and Activity trackers will adopt the world of connected things with a common platform from handheld devices to medical equipment as well as health records. The capability of IoT is inexhaustible for these devices. 

The potential to efficiently manage the health of the patient as well as monitor and track the problems is saving valuable seconds of the life of a patient, without having to visit the hospital.

With the help of IoT, the health experts can give a distant and remote diagnosis to the patient. Also, they can track medical assets that provide quality care instantly and manages health care efficiently. 

With the help of Wi-Fi and sensors, the ability to locate the correct section in a hospital has become easy for patients as well as health experts.

Almost all the health experts who have already adopted the IoT enabled services do believe in the crucial benefits of it. 

They think that the benefits will be to control and monitor sensors and medical devices from a patient’s heart monitor to his or her temperature gauges; the real-time data exist in health care. 

Further, patients and staff can securely manage IoT data by creating an effective as well as a safer environment through a standard application on mobile devices.

Perpetual Collaboration

Continuous collaboration amongst health experts and patients is imperative for health care organizations. By providing access to non-core data and applications to them whenever they need, will boost up the productivity level and will help in enhancing efficiency.

When it comes to diagnostic accuracy, WCE short for Wireless Capsule Endoscopy comes into the picture. 

The process involves the patient to swallow a small capsule camera that can record the patient’s internal organs. 

It has the potential to capture specific parts of the gastrointestinal tract that are not visible otherwise through diagnostic procedures. 

Also, it can detect bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, which is not possible through traditional methods.

Maintenance of Cordial and Healthy Relationships

The health experts have to take special care to manage the risk by protecting the record of patients and other crucial data against external exploitations. 

This refers to ensuring the service continuity and no disruption in the event of a breach of trust. Many experts are saying that you can combine IoT with Android & iOS apps as well.

It will help you to reach out to more and more people and also make use of this wonderful trending technology.

A Flourishing Transformation

Hence, IoT is indeed a boon not only for health care but almost every industry that is capable of enabling its services through IoT. 

Its current pace of growth in health care is hopefully best for this domain. IoT health care means an efficient and more accessible patient care experience. 

It allows staff to do their work in a better way, and this is the reason why 80 % of health care experts forecast that IoT is going to transform the industry in a better way. 

With global network connectivity and infrastructure, it is high time for other health care providers to adapt and offer IoT enabled services to the patients nationally as well as internationally.

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We are well aware that IoT offers a range of possibilities across various industries including consumer electronics and cars, healthcare, utilities, transportation, manufacturing, and so on. Also, Industrial IoT offers means to obtain insights into the business operations.

IoT offers a greater promise in the healthcare sector than in other sectors. This is because the IoT principles are already being applied to enhance the quality of care, reduce the cost of care, and improve the overall access to care. 

The integration of IoT features into medical devices greatly enhances the effectiveness and quality of service, especially bringing greater value to those requiring constant supervision and elderly patients suffering from chronic illnesses. The IoT has the potential to not only keep the patients healthy and safe but also to improve how the doctors provide care as well.

A few estimates have revealed that by 2025 spending on Healthcare IoT solutions will reach around $1 trillion, and hopefully, will make the conditions favourable for highly accessible, on-time, and personalized health services for everyone.

The IoT can also enhance patient satisfaction and engagement by allowing patients to spend more time interacting with their doctors. This article will explore some of the major applications of healthcare IoT and the challenges it poses for healthcare today.

Applications of Healthcare IoT

Starting with managing chronic diseases to preventing a disease, there are a broad range of applications for IoT in the healthcare sector. Now, let’s dig deeper into each of the major applications.

Providing Constant Attention

The patients who are hospitalized and whose health status requires close attention can be monitored constantly using noninvasive, IoT driven monitoring. This kind of solution uses sensors to gather comprehensive physiological data and the cloud and gateways to examine and preserve the data and then send the examined information wirelessly to physicians for further analysis and review.

This eliminates the need for the doctor having to visit at regular intervals to check the vital signs of a patient, instead offering a continuous and automated flow of data. In this way, it enhances the quality of care via constant attention and lowers the cost involved by eliminating the need for a physician to engage actively in data gathering and analysis.

Building Trust

The connectivity of a healthcare system with the IoT places emphasis on the patient needs. This means timely intervention by doctors, enhanced accuracy in case of diagnosis, proactive treatments, and improved treatment outcomes result in a care that is highly accountable and gains trust among the patients.

Remote Patient Monitoring

All over the world, there are many people who face health issues due to lack of access to effective health monitoring. But, with the help of powerful, interrelated IoT solutions, monitoring the patients has become easier than ever.

These solutions can be utilized to capture the health data of a patient in a secure way from different sensors, make use of complex algorithms to examine the data and then share it via wireless connectivity with the physicians who can make proper health recommendations.

Reduced Costs

With the availability of real-time data from the connected healthcare solutions, the doctors can not only take better care of their patients but also lessen their number of visits to the patient as they can monitor their patients remotely. This decreases the overall health care costs as the costs involved in hospital stays and readmissions are cut down to a greater extent.

Configuring Emergency Alerts

Healthcare IoT allows care teams to gather and connect millions of data points regarding the personal fitness of a patient from wearables like activity, temperature, perspiration, sleep, and heart-rate. As a result, the information obtained from sensors can send out real-time alerts to caregivers and patients so they obtain event-triggered messaging such as triggers and alerts for elevated heart-rate and so on. This will hugely enhance workflow optimization and ensure all the care is handled from home.  

Challenges of IoT in Healthcare

The IoT continues to face challenges in spite of the promise of what it can achieve in healthcare. If these challenges are not addressed soon, they could put the IoT at risk of failure.

By intent and design, the IoT devices collect and transmit real-time data. The infrastructure required to receive and process this information should be designed and developed for scale. This means obtaining, processing, and storing data in real-time from millions of IoT devices and applying analytics to gain insights from this data. Unfortunately, most of the providers lack the know-how and infrastructure to access the data.

Also, most of the devices reporting healthcare data suffer from a lack of common security practices or standards. Due to this, many healthcare IT professionals have raised concerns about the risks associated with data breaches and IoT device tampering.

Other major challenges include lack of EHR system integration and lack of adoption of interoperability. Addressing these problems will further revolutionize the health industry as more organizations will start implementing IoT for their healthcare services.

Conclusion

Healthcare IoT is transforming the way the facilities are delivered to patients. In order to derive the true value of healthcare IoT, the interrelated healthcare devices and the processes that are supporting them must work as a joint system that is comprehensive, integrated, and secure. With healthcare IoT facing few challenges, the healthcare providers are hopeful that the IoT will have a positive impact on delivering valuable data and supporting patient care.  

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Healthcare is undeniably one of the most important industries. The quality of medical treatment and patient care directly impact the quality of life. The integration of innovative technological solutions in the domain brings workflow automation, patient treatment, operation, and service improvement.

IoT plays a huge role in the healthcare. By 2020 the global IoT healthcare market is predicted to reach $163.24 billion. At the moment, 60% of healthcare providers have already adopted IoT applications and successfully use them in their work.

According to Aruba Networks research, healthcare organizations implement IoT applications mainly for patient monitoring and maintenance (73%) and remote operation and control (50%).

There is a wide range of IoT medical solutions effectively used by healthcare providers: wearables, smart pills, smart beds, biosensors, robots, glucose measurement devices, equipment monitoring devices, remote monitoring systems, RTHS (Real-time Health Systems), and more.

The connected hospital

There is a variety of IoT use cases for hospitals to integrate and make the environment totally connected. RFID and IoT-enabled devices, IoT-enabled assets and traditional IoT cross-industry applications including predictive maintenance of hospital assets, connected equipment, gathering real-time data, and tracking of healthcare devices. Going deeper there is robotics for routine tasks and complex operations.

Concerning examples, monitoring of medical equipment allows to track its “health”, predict, when some part will need replacement, alert about breaks, and automatically order repairs when required.

Beacons and motion sensors enable healthcare providers to track medical equipment, employees, and even patients in real-time, resulting in the improvement of patient care, right estimations of staff work efficiency and patient health status, and a lot more.

Speaking of connected patients, IoT technology can be successfully used for sending them automatic reminders about taking medication, health check-ups, and appointments with mobile applications. Thus, connected IoT hospitals result in more advanced data, enhanced patient treatment, cost savings, and workflow automation.

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