With the recent outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic we all have seen a drastic change in our lives, health, lifestyle and global businesses. The businesses have become much more inclined towards the IoT solutions. The healthcare industry has also seen a gradual transition and updated in healthcare services by introducing the IoT powered health monitoring support system. The IoT Applications have tremendously helped the healthcare authorities to monitor COVID situation and it’s outspread.
In the past few years we have seen that how smartphones, Pcs and laptops have become the life of the general public but with the arrival of IoT devices things have changed. Introducing IoT powered devices have made our homes and offices smart that can be connected to the internet. The IoT Apps and devices have a bright future which shall outgrow the other technology in the market. It is already setting a modern trend in the market with it’s smart technology.
When it comes to healthcare industry, there is a growing demand of healthcare facility as we have a rising ageing population and expensive medical costs. In order to fulfill the healthcare demands the IoT solutions are considered to be highly effective in this case.
In the following blog we shall highlight and discuss that what is IoT and how does it work, factors contributing to rapid growth of IoT in the healthcare, healthcare benefits due to using IoT in the future and challenges of using IoT healthcare apps.
What Is IoT and How Does IoT Work in Healthcare Unit ?
At the first instance we shall discuss that what exactly is an IoT and how does it work. IoT stands for the internet of things that is a network of interconnected devices. These interconnected devices are well equipped with the multiple sensors and processors that helps in passing on information over the network. The Internet of Things (IoT) uses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). The IoT is used in the health tracking or monitoring devices and as wearable technology. It is used in the homes to manage all the daily activities like turning on lights and fans and also in the cars. IoT in the healthcare industry has wide scope and potential all over the whole world than any other sector. The IoT can be merged with the healthcare that can facilitate the healthcare infrastructure.
The technological advancement in the form of effective IoT solutions have highly contributed to the revenue and employment in the healthcare sector. The human body has many diseases and illnesses that cannot be easily tracked down which requires proper physical examination in the hospital. This automatically increases the medical expenses of the patients. IoT empowered health and fitness tracking wearable technology like the smartwatches helps in close monitoring of the health status or condition. This technology has a patient centric approach in the healthcare industry which confirms many clinical examination. The blood pressure, glucose level etc can be monitored from the comfort of the home by the patient and he does not need to travel to the hospital.
The collection of clinical data in the health care units have become easy with the data analysis, mobile computing, cloud computing, wireless sensing and Internet of Things (IoT). There are presently 160 million IoT healthcare devices and it is expected to rise in the near future and it shall become the indispensable part of the society. The IoT technology has enhanced the patient experience by improving the glucose monitoring, depression and mood monitoring and other Parkinson’s condition.
In the future IoT can make the healthcare industry efficient, cheap and accurate for the patients. It shall make the hospital visits hassle free for the patients also making the health information and reports easily accessible to them. Due to a better diagnose of the illnesses by the IoT devices one needs to make fewer visits as a patient and can also receive personalized care.
As IoT in healthcare will grow and evolve it shall make all the healthcare facilities advanced with better positive outcomes. This shall improve the work environment for the physicians in healthcare clinics and units. With the help of the IoT devices and apps we shall gain insights on the patient care and treatment options.
The Internet of Medical things (IoMT) have introduced the hospital hygiene monitoring tools that can prevent any infections in the hospital premises. It can control the refrigerator temperatures and also takes care of emergency situation. This has also enabled an advanced and personalized care for the patients, remote patient care, data accuracy and medical procedures.
Factors Contributing To Growth of IoT Apps in Healthcare Industry
- Growing Demand For Remote Patient Monitoring
There is a growing need of remote patient monitoring due to increase in the diseases and ageing population. The elderly have major health issues and they need to have IoMT devices on their phones which keeps them updated about their health status. All the top software development companies are emerging as competitors who are developing applications for the IoT devices which can assure alert and safety emergencies. The number of ageing people shall only increase as the time passes and only a remote patient monitoring system can enable in meeting the healthcare demands.
- High Healthcare Expenses
The Internet of Medical Things solutions can only provide cheap and affordable healthcare services that can prevent the diseases or illnesses on time. This shall reduce the need of personal checkups at health clinics and increases awareness of self health monitoring. It has been seen recently analyzed that choosing IoMT has saved billions of annual expenses in the healthcare industry.
- Elevated Consumer Health Awareness
With the sudden outbreak of the pandemic people got restricted to their homes. This made them more aware about health and fitness which increased their interest in the health apps and devices. These devices can monitor their health records and keep a check on their cholesterol, sleep patterns and blood sugar levels. An elevated consumer health awareness has systematically introduced the IoT devices for tracking the health.
Benefits of Mobile IoT Apps Reducing Health Risks
The people who are associated with the medical profession and are doctors requires many clinical sources to make clinical judgements. In such a scenario the mobile health IoT Apps used by the nurses or medical staff can help them to access the different health reports and tests. These apps can help them make informed medical choices as it also directly improves the productivity of the staff and keeps them updated and informed about the clinical rules and information. The patients after using these IoT health apps can get an early information about their treatment and receive their health reports.
- Early Diagnose of Diseases and Better Clinical Outcomes
The IoT Apps have majorly contributed towards the health of patients that increases the comfort and convenience of them. This allows them to remain informed about their health status and treatments that needs to be done. Such health information improves the patient satisfaction and recovery time. The IoT powered wearable devices helps to diagnose and monitor the illnesses with precision and offers the right treatment. The IoT security systems allows better clinical outcomes by ensuring the patients and staff safety.
- Streamlining Clinical Methods
As per the research the IoT healthcare businesses shall reach the mark of $188.2 billion by 2025 which is only possible due to the healthcare apps that are thriving in the industry. The medical staff can also keep a check on their outstanding stocks effectively and systematically preserve them. There shall be a sudden growth in the IoT enabled smart hospitals that shall enable the IoT smart hospital solutions and future proofing. This shall help in streamlining the clinical methods.
- Healthy Lifestyle
An increasing number of people are getting health conscious and are adopting a healthy lifestyle with the help of the IoT embedded health apps. The digital technology has advanced as now users can wear the technology in their physical bodies and keep a close track over their sleeping patterns and eating habits. These health apps can allow the users to manage their weight, heart rate, pulse, diabetes, food consumption, calorie intake and other personal information. These health information can also be shared with the fitness coaches for getting further guidance and support.
Challenges of Using IoT Healthcare Apps
There are numerous healthcare benefits of using IoT technology and apps but at the same time the healthcare staff might face few challenges while using IoT in the healthcare setting.
The hospitals and other medical units have certain fixed protocols, guidelines, policies and standards that can not be abridged at any cost both by the patients and healthcare staff. The large healthcare facilities and hospitals have management and security of data issues that needs to be managed. An IoT embedded technology in medical environment ensures high security and easy management of the data. There are many other technologies that are growing steadily in the market for providing security to the data and safety. This is acting as a straight competitor for the IoT market in the future.
Adopting a new IoT framework is a big challenge in the healthcare industry. The initial investment cost for moving a system and installing is not easy and rather acts as a barrier for the small health facilities and units.
Integration is a pretty tricky task when it comes to getting the maximum impact of IoT in the healthcare units. The devices needs to be seamlessly connected, automated and controlled. IoT in the medical care needs to be connected to a robust IoT platform otherwise it won’t be able to serve it’s purpose.
Data collection is one of the biggest challenges that IoT has in healthcare. It is not easy to collect data for it’s usage as many things needs to be considered in prior. The data so collected can be used to improve the overall healthcare experience.