IoT Healthcare: What the Future Holds for the Healthcare Industry
An aging population, expensive medical services, and outdated healthcare infrastructure have all increased the need for IoT.
In our article, you will find out why the Internet of Medical Things is vital and what benefits it brings to the healthcare industry.
IoT: Revolution in the Healthcare Industry
When two industries combine forces, something tremendous and life-changing is created. To better understand this new symbiosis, let’s find out what this means and how it all started.
What is IoT and How Does it Work?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is also referred to as the Internet of Everything (IoE). In simple words, the IoT can be described as a network of interconnected devices.
The IoT consists not of separate devices, but of the whole ecosystem of interconnected gadgets. These devices are equipped with various sensors and processors that allow for information to be collected from surrounding environments and sent over the network.
The Internet of Things use cases are numerous — from smart thermostats and bulbs to car trackers, and even health monitors.
The system can also automatically perform necessary actions based on predefined user preferences with no human interaction. The latter option is called machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.
The next step of their evolution is penetration into other industries, including healthcare. This is where we can speak about the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).
IoT and Healthcare: Short Overview
The adoption of IoT is slower in the healthcare industry. But, in the past decade, the number of IoT devices in healthcare has grown immensely.
Medical devices can collect valuable data and provide doctors with extra insights into symptoms and any human body malfunctions. This helps to identify issues before they become critical, and doctors are able to deliver medical help earlier.
Early applications of the medical IoT include smart beds. These detect when a patient occupies it, tries to get up, or leaves the bed. These beds can control the pressure and support applied to the patient, reducing the risk of bed sores.
Other IoT solutions are home medication dispensers. These automatically upload data to the network every time the pills are taken or not taken. The care team can quickly intervene in case of overdose.
Smart Fridge for vaccines by Weka is another vivid example of IoT. It addresses vaccine management and storage, monitors storage conditions, and detects possible spoilage.
Today, there are 3.7 million medical devices in use that collect and monitor health data. Allied Market Research reports that the IoMT market size will reach $136.8 billion worldwide by 2021.
Specific Aspects of the Internet of Things in Healthcare
To understand why it is worth creating your own IoT solution for healthcare, you first need to know what benefits it can provide and how to overcome the challenges this innovative industry brings along.
Benefits of IoT Applicability
- Real-time health monitoring
- Professional assistance around the world
- Reduced emergency room wait times
- Data insights
- Lower costs
- Next-level patient experience
Challenges of IoT Applicability
There are a few crucial matters to pay attention to when considering the creation of healthcare applications.
Below you will find the main challenges IoT healthcare should address to move forward.
- Data security and privacy
- Integration of devices and protocols
- Data overload
- Cost inefficiency
IoMT: Possible Healthcare Applications
The scope of use cases for future applications of IoT healthcare are as follows:
- Innovative drug management system
- Curing chronic diseases
- Inventory tracking
- Medical sensors
The need for healthcare IoT devices will continue to grow despite all the drawbacks. The benefits they bring are too attractive to ignore. Thus, it is time to make a healthcare mobile.