Internet of things (IoT) is gaining much traction in several industries and medical devices are becoming intelligent, instrumental and interconnected. The IoT technology is changing the way people live and work. It is transforming healthcare industry as well as redefining how devices, applications and people connect to deliver healthcare solutions.
The constant development of new tools and efficiencies to upgrade healthcare system is enabling healthcare service providers to improve patient care. It also reduces treatment costs and improves treatment outcomes.
Healthcare technology is changing the way healthcare sector works. For instance, the patients’ information are now recorded in digital format by adopting Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.
The patients’ medical stats and information can be saved on the cloud and allow patients’ and doctors to carry this information wherever they go through apps on their smart devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets etc.
This makes patients’ ease to store their healthcare data at one place and eliminate the need to carry bundle of reports containing healthcare data every time they visit the doctor.
Also, several healthcare applications enable patients to schedule an appointment without making any calls to the clinic or hospital. Also, these applications send reminder to the patient as well as doctors about the scheduled appointment.
Connected medical devices such as thermometers, glucose monitors, ultrasounds etc. helps in tracking patients’ health for follow-ups. Another IoT in healthcare application, Medical Management enables care givers to remind elderly and chronically ill patients about their missing doses of medication prescribed, by sending alerts and uploading information to the cloud.
Several hospitals now have smart beds that can automatically adjust itself by sensing patients’ presence, evading the need for nurse assistance. Moreover, Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) solutions enable the healthcare professionals to real-time monitor the patients thus, reducing the number of visits to the hospitals and duration of hospital stay.
For elderly, chronically ill, disabled and patients’ located in remote areas or far from healthcare facilities, this solution of IoT in healthcare has proved be very beneficial helping in reduce cost and better patient care.
The growing adoption of wearable wellness and fitness devices such as smart watches, fitness bands, rings etc. owing to the rising awareness for self-health among people is also propelling the IoT in healthcare market.
These bands help the wearer to keep track of their daily activities and transmit the health information recorded such as sleeping pattern, steps taken, heart rate, blood pressure etc. with the help of sensors.
IoT in healthcare is making a strong impact in healthcare ecosystem across the globe with continuous advancement in technology, growing data analytics, and decreasing cost of connected medical devices.
(The writer is Satyajit Shinde. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)