Internet of Things in Health Care; creating new possibilities

June 15, 2018

Technology has disrupted every industry including healthcare, business, finance and others. Healthcare remains the fastest to adopt technological changes to revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of the body.  Internet of Things (IoT) offers a multitude of benefits such as improving the effectiveness and quality of services by deploying it in medical devices. IoT initiatives in health care revolved around the improvement of care such as remote monitoring and telemonitoring as main applications. towards a more integrated and mature IoT-enabled eHealth reality

Internet of Medical Things improves patient experience

The internet of things has a myriad of applications in healthcare that benefit patients, families and physicians alike. Some hospitals are using the internet of things in healthcare to keep the tiniest patients safe and healthy, while others are using the technology to keep track of inventory. 

When patients go in for surgery they are tagged with real-time location system(RTLS) badges that track their progress through from the pre-op room to the surgical suite to the recovery unit. Family members follow the process in real-time on a big-screen TV in the waiting room. Patients are identified on a Tableau-generated screen with individualized numbers to anonymise them and comply with the privacy requirements of HIPAA.

The RTLS system is part of a wave of Internet of Medical Things applications that take Internet of Things (IoT) technology beyond common uses in healthcare such as managing medication inventory and into the realm of improving the patient experience. While asset tracking and connecting medical devices are important roles for the Internet of Medical Things.   Internet of Medical Things-based analytics track that time precisely [and] ultimately can improve patient experience and connection with doctors.In addition to delivering news to family members, the Stanley RTLS system also provides important information to physicians and nurses to make surgical workflow more efficient.

Towards a more integrated and mature IoT-enabled eHealth reality

  • The vast landscape of healthcare stakeholders and IoT possibilities – healthcare is such a vast ecosystem and once you also start including personal healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare insurance, RTHS, healthcare building facilities, robotics, biosensors, smart beds, smart pills, anything remote and the various healthcare specializations, activities and even (treatments of) diseases, that list of Internet of Things applications in healthcare quickly becomes endless.
  •  Acceleration in all IoT use case and applications in healthcare ahead– Traditionally fit more in a consumer context (get an increasing place in the relationship between consumer/patient and healthcare providers and payers. Patient engagement and consumer consciousness play an important role here and in the relationship with healthcare payers also incentives and Premiums do. Introduction (monitoring, tracking, maintenance and so forth) is certainly also going to keep growing; albeit at difference paces, depending on the hospital, country and so on. Some will start with tracking anything from medical equipment and patients to hospital building assets and beds, others will move to the next stages.
  • Internet of Things in the context of healthcare transformation and the challenges of information-driven healthcare- In a health data context de facto quite some data from medical devices and monitoring systems ultimately end up in Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) Systems or in specific applications which are connected with them and send the data to labs, doctors, nurses and other parties involved.

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