IoT in Healthcare: Application, Benefits,
and Use Cases
By Vitaly Kuprenko
We get a new generation of high-quality healthcare every year – starting with robots-surgeons up to smart hospitals. Technologies change the sector and change it for the better. Internet of Things is among these technologies.
IoT helps doctors and patients by making the treatment process more convenient for both. More and more hospitals integrate IoT into their medical devices. And new software and hardware solutions enhance the healthcare field. How exactly? Let's find out.
Why Choose Healthcare?
IoT has tons of potential capabilities in healthcare. Anyway, technologies that use data from sensors are beneficial at all levels – from in-patient treatment to social servicing and self-care. IoT in medicine automatically gathers data and processes it, detecting precursors of serious diseases and preventing its progression.
80% of healthcare organizations that had implemented the Internet of Things experienced improvements like constant medical data access and prompted diagnoses..
For the healthcare sector, it's crucial to keep the patient's data secure. Thus, during healthcare app development organizations should use only up-to-date technologies for corporate network monitoring. In addition, hospitals should provide different access levels for various IoT medical devices.
IoT in Healthcare: How to Apply
IoT can contribute to the creation of more personalized, patient-oriented, and thus higher quality medicine.
There are a few ways of using the Internet of Things in healthcare:
- Remote health monitoring. IoT devices and custom software solutions allow reading data from patients' medical cards in real-time. In turn, doctors can conduct analysis, send notifications to suppliers and patients.
- Wearable devices. Wearables continuously monitor patients' daily activity and can inform about steps taken, burnt calories, heart rate, etc.
- Patient-oriented medicine. Devices that provide medical care take into account individual demands and needs of each patient. All by using healthcare IoT sensors.
- Maintain equipment. IoT helps specialists to ensure that vital medical devices will be working when patients need them most.
- Monitoring medical assets. IoT helps medical employees spend more time with patients due to better medical assets monitoring and management.
Advantages of IoT in Healthcare
Healthcare and IoT symbiosis gains more and more popularity due to the benefits it offers.
Time to single them out...
- Lower expenses
Hardware in the healthcare sector allows medical specialists to monitor patients' conditions in real-time mode. In turn, people don't need to visit doctors which cuts down their expenses. People stay home for treatment if they're not seriously ill and doctors keep everything under control due to telemedicine.
- Better results
Using cloud computing and connectivity of medical devices, doctors see information about each patient. With the help of an IoT-based health monitoring system, they make more accurate diagnoses. That’s how doctors provide timely health care which leads to better treatment results.
- Disease control
Patients are always under control due to modern technologies like IoT. It allows physicians to get all the information about the patient on time. By getting new information every day or even an hour, doctors detect any disease on early stage and start the treatment.
- Fewer mistakes
Automated data segmentation, receiving, and data-driven decisions lead to fewer mistakes in diagnosing. Patients can sleep well: the number of possible mistakes is coming to naught.
- More trust in doctors
IoT in hospitals enhances the healthcare system and gives patients a more reliable way to contact their doctors. So doctors are in touch anytime, ready to provide proper treatment or a piece of advice.
- Control of medicines
The technology and specialized devices help doctors to control the supply and taking of medicines. The control process will be more accurate and applied with much lower expenses.
- Remote patient care
Some countries already integrate telemedicine and use it in the 'patient-doctor' connection. Doctors and nurses see their patients any time, using a health monitoring system with IoT.
- Maintenance of medical devices
Medical devices cost a lot, and they need proper maintenance to keep running. If any breakdown is going to happen, it's necessary to predict when. That is what IoT can help with as it calculates all possible issues with the device.
Existing IoT Solution on the Market
So, what IoT healthcare projects people use today? Let's check a few successful examples.
Proper hand-cleaning is very important, especially for hospitals. And GOJO company knows it for well. They supply antibacterial hands gel and use Azure IoT Suite developed by Microsoft to integrate sensors and monitors for tracking hygienic procedures in hospitals.
The system makes it possible to draw reports about abidance by relevant rules and regulations. Their main goal lies in increasing the level of personal cleanliness of each patient and hospital personnel.
To help physicians deal with transportation and vaccine storage issues, Weka Solutions applied Azure IoT Suite for refrigerators. It turns fridges into smart devices. And they use remote monitoring for better tracking, improved maintenance, and automation of vital vaccines storing and distribution. They also work for distinct regions where the power supply is not stable.
Intel Health Application Platform (IHAP)
Intel collaborated with the Flex supply chain to create IoT system IHAP. The platform is designed for remote patient care. It doesn't require a tablet or smartphone. It includes specialized hardware, a device that allows physicians to connect with patients remotely using software from Intel. All information can be stored in the cloud, and an authorized person can pull it anytime.
Wrapping up, I'd like to say that IoT is a whole system that can't be developed for one day. Developers will need tons of time to think over each detail and make a high-quality product.
So if you plan to integrate IoT in your hospital or healthcare establishment (which is a great idea!), study every detail. That’s how you can make the product secured and well-thought. Internet of Things brings lots of benefits to healthcare, but everything requires top quality – mistakes here cost lives.
Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It's a web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. He enjoys telling about tech innovations and digital ways to boost businesses