The internet of things has many upcoming applications in health-care; some of them have come into existence like remote monitoring to smart sensors and medical device integration. Investment on IoT in Medical and healthcare is expected to reach $117 billion by 2020.
It has the potential to not only keep patients safe and healthy but to improve how doctors deliver care as well. Integrating IoT technology in Healthcare Industry have lots of potentials to boost patient engagement and satisfaction by allowing patients to spend more time interacting with their doctors.
Internet-connected devices are being been introduced to patients in various forms. Whether data comes from fetal monitors, electrocardiograms, temperature monitors or blood glucose levels, tracking health information is vital for some patients. Many of these measures require follow-up interaction with a health care professional. This creates an opening for smart devices to send more valuable data, decreasing the need for direct patient-physician interaction.
Some hospitals have started implementation of digital smart beds that can detect when they are occupied and ideal. A bed can also adjust itself to ensure appropriate pressure and support is applied to the patient without any manual interaction.
Another area where smart technology could be an asset is coupled with home medication dispensers to automatically upload data to the cloud when medication isn’t taken or any other indicators for which the care team should be alerted.
The applications of IoT in the health care industry
Predicting the Arrival of Patients
With the implementation of IoT technology, hospitals will have a prediction and pre-notification about the arrival of the patients who are recovering in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Real-time monitoring of patient’s health status.
Real Time Location Services
Through IoT, hospitals can use real-time location services and track the devices used in the treatment of patients. Medical staff may sometimes keep the devices in out-of-sight areas which make them difficult to find when another medical staff comes on the scene.
Medical apparatus and devices like wheelchairs, scales, defibrillators, nebulizers, pumps or monitoring equipment can be tagged with sensors and located easily through IoT.
Remote health monitoring is one of the major applications of Internet of Things. This application gives adequate healthcare to people who are in immediate medical urgency. Every day, lots of people die because they do not get timely and prompt medical attention. With IoT, devices attached with sensors notify the concerned healthcare providers when there is any change in the major functions of a person.
These devices would be capable of applying complex algorithms and analyzing them so the patient receives proper attention and medical care. The collected patient information would be sent and stored in the cloud. Through remote monitoring, patients can significantly reduce the length of hospital stay and perhaps, even hospital re-admission.
This kind of intervention is a boon to people living alone, especially seniors. If there is any interruption in the daily activity of a person, alerts would be sent to family members and concerned health providers. These monitoring devices are available in the form of “wearable” too.
Hand Hygiene Compliance
There are hand hygiene monitoring systems which detect the cleanliness of a healthcare worker. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, about one patient out of every 20 gets infections from lack of proper hand hygiene in hospitals. Numerous patients lose their lives as result of hospital-acquired infections.
The interactions in the hand hygiene monitoring systems are done in real time and if a clinician comes near a patient’s bed without washing his hands, the device would start buzzing.
Ways by which IoT technology will facilitate growth in healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry has to keep an eye on the budget that is pocket-friendly facilities and at the same time have updated infrastructure to provide better patient experiences. Thanks to the seamless connection between devices that IoT has made possible, it is now possible for the medical staff to access patient information from the cloud.
The goal is to provide quality medical care to patients, and by spending a small amount on IT infrastructure, hospitals can provide good care to patients at affordable rates. IoT aims to provide better patient journey by:
- Room lighting through personal control
- Communicate to family and friends
- Immediate attention to patient needs