Smart devices are everywhere, embedded in everything we use, and have infiltrated the global market, making lives easier. For example, Alexa and Siri have redefined the way we communicate and even do business these days.
The Internet of Things, aka IoT, is the prime technology that sits at the core of the connected era that we live in today.
Like other industries, such as telecom, manufacturing, and education, the healthcare sector too utilizes IoT and connected devices, including wearables, patient data systems, monitors, and many more. Smart and connected medical devices powered by IoT technology pave the way for improved patient care and experience.
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IoT in Hospital: Made for Each Other
The Internet of things refers to the network of devices and technology that builds communication between various devices and the cloud. This results in IoT healthcare devices, like health monitors and machines, using sensors that respond and communicate intelligently.
For instance, IoT embedded medical devices can collect data from various patients and make it useful for health practitioners and doctors in the healthcare sector, for example, glucose monitoring for insulin pens to diagnose diabetic patients.
1. Hospital Asset Tracking
Hospital staff spends an average of 40+ hours per month looking for lost or misplaced equipment. Tracking down medical equipment or asset, especially during emergencies, can lead to fatal consequences. This is where automated hospital asset tracking comes into the picture.
Hospital Asset Tracking Solution uses a Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) to help cut asset search time, offer real-time asset performance data, reduce loss of equipment loss, monitor equipment storage conditions and assist in predictive maintenance (PdM).
Hospital Asset Tracking Solution helps to leverage the power of IoT to track the location of every asset/equipment in a hospital in real-time, improve productivity, streamline critical workflows, drive patient care and experience, prevent equipment downtime, reduce asset search time and more.
2. IoT Cloud
IoT embedded devices can help make emergency decisions for timely help in saving lives. For example, IoT healthcare devices can alert the caregivers in case of an emergency. These devices can also collect data and send it to the cloud for doctors and healthcare providers to use in time, like checking patients’ status, examining emergencies, checking if any patient needs an ambulance, or checking if any other help is required.
This also helps in the productivity of healthcare staff and hospital workflows. A trusted Internet of things consulting company can help in implementing the right IoT strategy or solution to offer improved diagnosis, prompt treatment, and improved care experience to patients.
New technology has many devices for monitoring patients’ health conditions, which can help people quickly access check-ups, like smartwatches and other wearable devices/gadgets. Portable biosensors are IoT embedded devices that can monitor a patient’s vital health conditions, such as heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature.
It can collect accurate information on medical conditions and detect the patient’s condition. Smartwatches can monitor everyday health levels, like blood oxygen and pulse rhythms. Moreover, they can track irregular heart performance, especially at risk of heart failure. Apart from this, smartwatches can function to monitor sleep cycle and daily activities with effective and active results of the Internet of things.
4. Smart Medical Devices and Equipment
These devices can help reduce the medical cost for people with chronic illnesses who want to stay and continue the treatment at home, such as smart inhalers for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
These devices can track the medication emergency, inform the patients and doctors about the medicine timing, advise the improvement of inhaler techniques, and give information about the causes of symptoms.
Automated Insulin Delivery Systems (AIDS) work with continuous glucose monitors (CGM) to constantly check blood glucose, determine lack of insulin, and continuously deliver it in a significant amount, which can be adjusted to the glucose level measured by CGM.
Additionally, we have mood monitoring devices embedded with IoT that track the changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and even movement of eyes to detect a patient’s mental health. These devices can greatly reduce the treatment response time.
5. Monitoring Environmental Conditions in Hospitals
Certain external factors can affect a patient’s health and care, such as environmental conditions. For example, medical equipment requires internet connectivity to monitor a large number of patients every day.
Regular maintenance of these devices can prevent mechanical and electrical issues with IoT. Apart from this, an appropriate environment is crucial, especially for the patient’s recovery, as many environmental factors can trigger the patient’s health, like room temperature, quality, and lighting of the healthcare facility.
The devices can ensure the facilities have optimal environmental conditions and call staff during hazardous situations, like door closure issues, water intrusions, and other dangerous issues that can threaten the patient’s health and medical supplies.
6. Diagnosis and Treatment
Apps allow patients to consult a doctor (telehealth) while doctors can diagnose and monitor patients’ health and prescribe medications from anywhere. IoT is in the mainframe to provide crucial patient health data.
Time is crucial for the healthcare sector and IoT fills gaps in the tasks done manually with inefficiency. Through IoT, advanced technology uses robotics for medical procedures where internet-connected robots can be placed inside the human body to perform surgery.
Professionals in the health assisting domain must get proper training before taking charge individually. IoT, AR, and VR can help to simulate a mock care facility or a procedure center, where professionals can be trained on the proper steps in a safe environment.
Such a training can provide healthcare professionals with the much-needed exposure to handle complicated medical procedures without compromising the patient’s health. In addition, training procedures can also help medical professionals improve their skills and ability in decision-based situations.
8. IoMT Security
IoMT security for healthcare organizations helps to analyze, protect, and secure mission-critical and connected medical devices. IoMT security monitors networked medical devices’ inventory and responds to security vulnerabilities and incidents in real-time irrespective of the devices’ OEM, operating system (OS) or age helping healthcare providers deliver safe care experiences.
IoT, when combined with AI, Machine Learning and Automation technology, can work wonders for the healthcare industry. IoT will need data, high-speed communication, and proper security to revolutionize the healthcare industry. Most of these technologies are already allowing the healthcare sector to continue evolving and have an inseparable future while completely transforming the healthcare industry.
Healthcare providers and leaders ought to wake up to the idea of IoT to stay ahead of the curve and transform the hospital-patient experience exponentially.
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