The use of smart technology has crept in nearly every industry on the planet in the past decade. IoT, or the Internet of Things, has been reshaping the entire medical industry for quite some time now, and according to numerous reports, the presence of IoT in healthcare will only continue to grow. But what exactly is IoT?
The Internet of Things refers to a connected network of physical objects, ranging from banal and ordinary household items to sophisticated industrial tools that are equipped with sensors in order to collect and transfer data over a wireless network (the internet) without human intervention. Think of smartwatches, thermostats, all the way to driverless vehicles or smart cities.
Almost any physical object can be equipped with software to be connected to the internet and ultimately transformed into an IoT device. The Internet of Things makes it possible for digital systems to monitor and document the communication between these devices. According to a report by Oracle, there are more than 7 billion connected IoT devices today, and experts estimate this number to increase to 22 billion by 2025.
How IoT is reshaping the medical industry
When it comes to IoT in healthcare, there’s so much more than just smart sensors in hospitals and clinics. The Internet of Things is present in many forms in healthcare, including smart devices like connected inhalers, wearable sensors, smart thermometers, remote medical assistance, and more. This equipment only scratches the surface when it comes to IoT in healthcare: many advantages are not just consumer-oriented.
For instance, IoT enables enhanced real-time patient monitoring, patient data assortment and analysis, research, as well as security, which ultimately make the daily endeavors of doctors and healthcare practitioners much easier. With IoT taking observation and monitoring to a whole new level, the synergy between patients and doctors becomes more in-tune.
According to a new report, the market size of the global Internet of Things in healthcare is projected to reach over $350 billion by 2027. Furthermore, the number of connected devices is also expected to surge exponentially.
The top operations IoT is remodeling in healthcare
Here at SMEDIX, we wanted to pinpoint and examine several concrete areas that the Internet of Medical Things is reshaping. These include everything from patient care to monitoring, management, data collection and assessment, and more. We’ve broken down the benefits of IoT in 3 distinct categories: benefits for patients, for doctors, and for healthcare facilities.
Let’s jump in.
1. Improved patient care
Connectivity allows for better patient care. The internet now makes it possible for patients to “visit” the doctor’s office from the comfort of their homes. Wearable devices such as smartwatches or fitness bands that monitor everything from blood pressure to heart rate and glucose, just to name a few, give physicians valuable data for their diagnosis process.
Patients can connect to secure clouds and upload healthcare data in real-time, allowing doctors to analyze the data and ultimately provide patients with prescriptions. Live patient monitoring is also possible thanks to wearables. In case of emergencies, such as injuries, heart attacks, or asthma attacks, a simple wristband connected to the internet can save your life. An IoT device can alert medical personnel immediately in case of emergencies.
2. Better research
Data collected from patients greatly improves medical research. Harnessing and analyzing all the data can lead to new discoveries and pattern observations, which ultimately help physicians improve diagnostics and treatment. The internet of things allows real-time tracking and data collection, ensuring healthcare practitioners constantly have access to up-to-date information.
Collected data is often neatly organized, in the forms of graphs and charts, eliminating raw data format. This saves a lot of time and allows for an intuitive examination of collected data. Plus, a lot of storage space is saved, as well, with the elimination of raw data. Making informed decisions becomes easier for physicians, and the gathered data opens up brand new doors in terms of medical research.
3. Smart hospitals
Medical IoT devices improve communication and connectivity throughout a hospital or clinic. With the help of the Internet of Things, you can essentially create a smart hospital by connecting every possible device to the internet. This enhances monitoring efforts, improves overall procedures, and upgrades building maintenance.
IoT paves the way for astonishing possibilities in patient care. From connected inhalers to smart beds, IoT can help streamline a multitude of processes and alert physicians immediately whenever patients present any irregularities. Surgeries are enhanced, as well, with the help of small IoT robots: these devices can help doctors perform procedures that couldn’t be possible otherwise.
In order for IoT technology to be successful, it has to be applied on solid systems engineering principles, as infrastructure and management are crucial when setting up smart systems. At SMEDIX, we provide custom systems engineering solutions, in addition to working alongside teams of healthcare professionals to build custom medical device software that responds to their specific needs.
IoT is truly limitless. The technology allows seamless interconnectivity across a multitude of healthcare devices, which translates to better patient care, improved research, as well as smart hospitals. Here at SMEDIX, we’re all about healthcare technology and advancement. If you’re in the market for digitizing your healthcare facility, or simply need custom software to better streamline your processes, don’t hesitate to reach out.
We’re a team of professionals who are eager to meet and work with you, and create a better future for healthcare.