Countless potential benefits have made the Internet of Things (IoT) a powerful force in numerous key industries. IoT adoption in healthcare tends to be somewhat slower because it requires a shift in perspective about direct human interaction being the only acceptable medical process. Nevertheless, the potential benefits of integrating healthcare IoT solutions are limitless, and our lives would be much better with it. For instance, patient monitoring is one of the best ways in which IoT can positively transform the healthcare industry, and perhaps the most immediately attainable.
1. Expanded Access to Medical Care
One of the biggest advantages of IoT in the medical system aligns with what is one of the biggest current issues in healthcare: access. While remote patient monitoring (RPM) was slowly making its way through the industry even before 2020, the COVID-19 crisis amplified its benefits loudly and clearly. Integrating IoT in patient monitoring is an instant improvement to the delivery of healthcare, as well as to the communities that are largely cut off from it. With a strong focus on the data collection aspect of healthcare and diagnosis, RPM is an excellent complement to telemedicine technology, which also contributes greatly to streamlining healthcare in the digital age.
2. Medical Resource Optimization
The traditional model of in-person medicine can at times be wasteful in terms of both human and financial resources. Streamlining remote monitoring solutions into the overall healthcare delivery system can translate into optimized triage procedures, fewer unnecessary patient hospitalizations, more efficient use of personnel, equipment, and medicines, and ultimately reduced unnecessary costs for both providers and beneficiaries.
3. Better Patient Cooperation
Not needing to take cumbersome trips for otherwise unnecessary in-person medical appointments can make a world of difference in patient cooperation. Remote monitoring allows patients to participate in their own healthcare not just with more convenience but with more confidence. IoT patient care and monitoring solutions keep providers and beneficiaries in touch more easily, which means patients can regularly be reminded of their treatment plan and check-ups, and respectfully reducing in-person appointments to only those that are necessary.
4. Improved Quality of Care
Digital managing and monitoring of acute or chronic patients allows for collecting health-related data safely, reliably, and in real time. In turn, this allows healthcare providers to have a much better picture of their patients’ overall conditions, as well as a much better response time whenever treatment actions and corrections need to be taken in the patient’s best interest. This also translates further into better recovery and better management of health. Not having to depend on an in-person appointment for minor treatment adjustments can save lives.
5. Enhanced Quality of Life
Patients in need of monitoring can span all ages from infancy to elderly, and each period in life comes with unique intrinsic challenges. Having to deal with and overcome prolonged medical issues in addition to that can have significant consequences on quality of life not only for the patients themselves but also for their caregivers. Monitoring can in many cases be the most time and resource consuming aspect of healthcare, but it is an essential part of both diagnostics and recovery or management, so it cannot be skipped. IoT-driven remote patient monitoring solutions can offer priceless relief to patients and their support systems, as well as at the same time enabling medical providers to improve healthcare delivery through more efficient resource management and deployment.
6. Refined Medical Device Technology
Wide adoption of IoT in remote patient monitoring will lead to refining wearable technology in ways that will increase its accessibility and optimize design to better serve both patients and clinicians. For instance, more user-friendly data collection and increased transparency can result in more open patient cooperation and more intentional ownership of personal healthcare monitoring. Less invasive monitoring technology is more likely to be well received toward the needs of patients of all ages and conditions. This in turn, will boost the reliability and timeliness of monitoring data collection, which directly improves clinicians’ ability to deliver the best possible healthcare for each patient’s circumstances and needs.
7. Progress in Medical Engineering
Immediate benefits of wide-reaching IoT solutions in remote patient monitoring would inevitably lead to the development of new medical devices, multifunctional trackers, mobile or even easily wearable complex testing devices, as well as dedicated precision care solutions for rare medical conditions, and much more.
8. Progress in Medical Research
Remote monitoring through IoT solutions has the added benefit of building highly reliable databases of essential medical information, unlike anything that has been possible before. The wealth of consistent long-term medical information gathered can lead to much better understanding of both individual medical issues and, crucially, the effect of any possibly related factors that have previously not been acknowledged as influential or connected to any diagnosis or the process of recovery. Universally available remote monitoring can ultimately lead to yet unimagined medical progress in terms of everything from tests to diagnostics, to treatment or management, and much more.
Additional Intrinsic Benefits of Developing and Implementing IoT Monitoring Solutions
Of course, none of this should be carried out without at the same time observing best communication practices, patients’ rights to ownership of their medical data, as well as transparency and best practices in cybersecurity.
In addition to direct medical benefits, the complex process of integrating and further developing IoT solutions is a learning process in which all parties involved, from designers to developers, testers, clinical and administrative users, and the patients themselves, get to accrue and advance what is becoming increasingly essential knowledge in the digital age – technological literacy across all aspects of life.
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Digitalization future-proofs your healthcare business and sets it up for long-term success. SMEDIX can help you find the most fitting solutions for your stability and growth. Reach out to our team – we’re eager to create a better future for healthcare together.