IoT has long been considered to be the future of how devices and humans interact with each other. However, one sector holds the advantage of being able to utilise IoT in an efficient manner to change the way the world currently works. The application of IoT in healthcare sector will not only make a lot of the processes easier, but also allow for a general advancement in how health itself is perceived among the general population.
This concept, known as the Internet of Medical Things, has seen an uptick in adoption over the past few years. Along with this, there is also a shift in the medical industry towards a preventive method of treatment, due to increasing complications and decreasing response time. This has led to IoT-enabled X-ray machines, patient monitors and hospital meters to maintain telepresence.
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In this article, we will look at how wearables, in conjunction with the rise of IoT, can fundamentally change the way we perceive healthcare. It also notes the rise of the IoT trend in the field, along with the benefits for the population as a whole.
Healthcare & IoT
According to a report by Aruba Networks, 87% of all healthcare organisations will have adopted IoT by this year. This paints an optimistic outlook for the nature of the Internet of Medical Things, as interconnectedness increases exponentially with the number of devices on the network. Moreover, over 75% have also expressed opinion that this technology is looking to change the healthcare industry completely.
The reduction of the barrier of entry for IoT devices has led to a higher degree of integration with existing systems. From the aforementioned smart hospital infrastructure, IoT is also employed to create a cloud of data that can be utilised by doctors to better treat patients. This data can also be used to detect patterns in the health of the patient, thus allowing for a preventive healthcare style.
Wearables And Their Role in IoMT
As mentioned previously, wearables allow for higher clinical efficiency and better patient monitoring. This is due to the telepresence operation of connected devices, along with advanced monitoring strategies. Wearables will allow doctors to perform remote monitoring on the patients, receiving live feedback through their utilisation.
The vision is that by utilising this network of devices, it would be possible for those engaged in providing healthcare to create a system of proactive management. By providing continuous, non-invasive, accurate monitoring, it will be possible to tackle issues when they arise and not let it devolve into an emergency situation.
The data gathered can also be utilised for the patient’s diagnosis, thus allowing for a quick and effective treatment. While this is not only more convenient and dynamic, it also cuts down on margins of error observed in human readings. The collection of accurate and real-time data can then be plugged into predictive algorithms, allowing for the detection of onset of multiple issues.
The use of wearables can also cut down on the need for old age homes, as care can be provided remotely using data from the devices. In cases of older individuals, they can be tracked using a wearable, along with their vitals being constantly monitored to check for symptoms of occurrences. In these situations, a quick response means the difference between life and death.
Data Privacy Concerns
While IoT seems to be a good development for the medical and healthcare industry, it is to be noted that wearables and other devices also collect a large amount of data. In the healthcare domain, patient records are stored under a large amount of security.
This is due to magnitude of personally identifiable data that comes with the industry itself, which has long been a target for hackers wishing to hold data ransom. These record systems have a requirement for high security, so as to allow individuals to gain a peace of mind regarding data on their personal illnesses.
IoMT has the potential to change around the way information is even registered in these databases, as they can be stored in real-time. While this not only results in a more complete and precise report on the matter, it also enables for a much more in-depth analysis of the data, thus allowing for an accurate depiction of the patient’s’ condition.