5 Examples of Successful Implementation of IoT in Healthcare – ReadWrite
Adopting any new technology in the healthcare world is often a slow process. The reason – strict governance around data protection, compliance, and the long-drawn processes around testing new healthcare options. This is, of course, to ensure that there is no compromise to patient safety in any manner.
While IoT adoption was slow initially, today, the benefits far outweigh the concerns. Remote patient monitoring using IoT in healthcare and faster diagnosis due to real-time data capture through monitoring are critical factors enabling smart healthcare.
Before the pandemic, tracking medical equipment via RFIDs was the extent of IoT adoption in healthcare. Smart connected devices did not have any scope to play a value-added role in hospitals. This was mainly due to poor Wifi coverage and strong firewalls to enforce security.
People have been using smart devices to monitor health for parameters such as heart rate, temperature, and blood sugar for some time. However, the health care provider systems were not integrating this data to correlate and diagnose health issues. Doctors, staff, and patients interacted in person or via phone, SMS, and emails.
COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of IoT (or IOMT – Internet of Medical Things) along with AI, telehealth services, and 5G in the Healthcare domain due to several factors such as –
- Social distancing, to safeguard both patients and caregivers.
- Maintaining hygiene, personal protective equipment, and a clean environment.
- Need for regulating patient traffic to minimize risks.
While Telehealth services existed before COVID-19, the adoption was poor. Today, many patients opt for Video or Tele appointments over phone, tablet, or computer for general or specialty care.
What can IoT do for Healthcare?
- Streamlining of processes – IoT and a great patient portal can reduce the inefficiencies of the entire cycle of treating patients within a hospital. Registrations can be done via the patient portal with a trigger from the doctor indicating the treatment on admittance. The hospital management can then allocate the ward based on patient input. The patient can be given a tracking device to monitor the patient continuously. This will highly help the nurses and doctors on entry. The hospital can generate the final release more efficiently based on the IoT devices’ data. This includes medicine intake, vital statistics, and test reports generated. Overall, patient data can help hospitals glean information on departments requiring more resources, sale, and procurement of medicine.
- Monitoring patients and staff through smart devices – Using smart devices, nurses can monitor all patients in the hospital using a common dashboard and alerting mechanisms. Today, smart devices are attached to the patient’s bed that monitor the patient’s vital statistics, oxygen levels, and movement. Doctors and nurses can be tracked and reached out to in emergencies. Walking into an operation theater, they can be reminded to sanitize and wear appropriate gear.
- Monitoring the environment – Wifi-sensors can monitor the quality and shelf-life of medicines and vaccines. Medical assets integrated with IoT can be tracked with alerts in case of failures or maintenance needs.
IoT coupled with video/telehealth services and AR can help when the doctor is not available on-premise. It is extremely useful when a remote specialist has to be brought into an emergency …….