IoT and Healthcare: Your Comprehensive Guide

The Internet of Things (IoT) technology is rapidly transforming the healthcare sector for good. It’s enabling doctors and other medical providers to deliver more effective care. Thanks to IoT-enabled devices, medical providers can collect real-time data on their patients to manage chronic conditions and enhance preventive care.

This article will examine how IoT technology is transforming the healthcare sector and why it’s worth watching.

How is IoT transforming the healthcare sector?

1. Remote patient monitoring

IoT refers to connected devices that communicate seamlessly via the Internet. Patients can wear IoT-enabled devices, such as smartwatches, and feed real-time data to healthcare professionals at the hospital. Patients must no longer be physically present at the hospital for constant monitoring– they can head home with IoT-enabled devices that collect and transfer real-time data to the relevant healthcare professionals.

Remote patient monitoring, a key feature of IoT, is a game-changer in managing chronic diseases. Individuals requiring constant attention due to these conditions can now stay at home yet receive top-notch care as if they were physically present at the hospital. 

2. Personalized medicine

IoT-enabled devices collect individualized data and extract relevant insights for people. For instance, your smartwatch can monitor your heart rate and sleep patterns and raise an alarm when it observes anomalies. A smartwatch can monitor your number of daily steps and alert you if you’re walking less than usual. 

IoT-enabled devices can collect relevant data, send it to external servers for analysis, and provide great insights to the end user.

3. Predictive analytics

IoT-enabled devices enable medical providers to collect data on a voluminous scale like never before. They can analyze this data and extract insights about disease trends and treatment effectiveness, driving the medical sector forward.

For instance, IoT devices allow medical providers to conduct large-scale clinical trials at much lower cost. Normally, the trial subjects would need to be physically present for monitoring. However, they can now wear IoT devices to constantly monitor and feed researchers the relevant data while they go on with their daily lives.

IoT technology has lowered and continues to reduce the costs of mass clinical trials. In effect, medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies can produce treatments quickly and more affordably.

4. Medication management

We now have IoT-enabled smart pill dispensers and medication trackers. These devices help patients adhere to their prescription schedules by setting alarms and dispensing the required pills at the correct times.

Incorrect prescriptions can cause major problems and death in some cases. IoT is doing its part to prevent such accidents from occurring.

5. Emergency response

Wearable IoT devices improve emergency response services for users. For example, the Apple Watch has a Fall Detection feature that automatically dials emergency services when it detects a hard fall that leaves the wearer immobile for over a minute. The smartwatch dials emergency services and provides the wearer’s GPS coordinates. This way, medics can respond to emergencies even though the affected person is unconscious or weak.

Challenges with IoT in healthcare

IoT offers many benefits in the healthcare sector but comes with its own set of challenges, including:

  • Data privacy: Sensitive medical data could fall into the wrong hands if manufacturers don’t implement robust security features to prevent such incidents.
  • Interoperability: As more devices enter the market with different hardware and software standards, it becomes more challenging to enable them to communicate seamlessly with each other.
  • Compliance: IoT hardware and software must comply with strict regulations in the healthcare sector, such as America’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Compliance adds more cost and effort to producing IoT devices for the medical industry.

Fortunately, the above challenges can be tackled with skill and effort. A good security team helps keep devices secure and compliant with regulations, and skilled hardware and software engineers help devices become more interoperable. 

Final thoughts

IoT technology is changing the healthcare industry for the better, and providers mustn’t get left behind. Our professional Lean training and certification courses help healthcare firms imbibe employees with the required knowledge to keep up in a rapidly evolving world. 

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