Healthcare has the most potential use of IoT than any other sector. The combination of IoT and Healthcare will have immense benefits like health condition monitoring, self-care, discovering new methods for disease prevention and control examinations, and diagnosis. A study by Statista shows that the installation of almost 161 million healthcare IoT devices will be seen by the year 2020.
IoT can make healthcare cheaper and efficient in the future. It can help in the creation of more customized and patient-oriented equipment. Moreover, IoT will also enable patients to get better access to data, personalized care; thus, leading to fewer visits to the hospital.
Future uses of IoT in Healthcare
- Remote Monitoring
Customized software and devices will read data from medical cards of patients in real-time and help doctors in conducting a better analysis of the patient’s health.
Different gadgets that can continuously monitor the daily activities of the patients and store the data are available in the market. These devices inform patients about their physical activities. They can also help in preventing emergencies, as the patient’s information would be sent to the doctor immediately.
- Asset Monitoring
IoT can help in providing functions and controllers to various essential equipment in the hospital. As the equipment are critical while treatment, any defect in them can be fatal. Connecting these devices will enable the staff to monitor their working easily. Defects in the devices can also be figured out in real-time; thus, reducing the chances of improper treatment.
Future Benefits of IoT in Healthcare
- Better Supervision and Reporting
Real-time supervision through IoT devices can save lives in medical emergencies such as asthma attacks, heart failures, etc. The connected device can collect essential data on a patient’s health and transfer it to the physician in real-time. A study conducted by the Centre for Connected Health policy suggests that there was a 50% reduction in readmission rate of patients due to remote supervision.
- End-to-End Connectivity
IoT can automate the workflow of patient care with the help of healthcare mobility solutions. It enables interoperability, machine-to-machine communication, data movement, and information exchange while making healthcare delivery more productive. Different connectivity protocols in the devices allow hospital personnel to spot early signs of illness in the patients.
- Data Analysis
IoT devices can collect, report and analyze the extensive data collected in a short time, cutting the need for its storage. This will allow healthcare providers to focusing on relevant data required to treat the patient. The data-driven insights will speed up the decision-making process of the doctors.
- Alerts and Tracking
Timely alerts can be crucial in case of life-threatening circumstances. IoT allows medical devices to gather essential data and transfer it to doctors in real-time. The reports provide a perfect opinion on the patient’s condition, irrespective of location or time.
- Lower Costs
The connected devices and wearables will allow patients to connect with doctors from their homes. The regular visit for different tests and checkups will be minimized. This will save the cost and time of patients on a daily basis.
- Medication Management
With the help of smart wireless pill bottles, tracking medication schedule will become easy. This will help people who forget to take their medications on time. The IoT enabled medication management processes will also provide doctors with analytics for offering better care to the patients.
Future Challenges of IoT in Healthcare
With the increase in the market for healthcare IoT, the challenges are bound to increase. Storing mountains of data collected by many devices will pose a challenge to the healthcare institutions. As this data will also be exchanged amongst other devices, the security issues will also rise. Unauthorized access to connected devices can cause harm to the patient’s safety. Thus, proper authentication and authorization will be necessary to achieve success with IoT.
Applications that IoT has to offer are not fully developed yet. The widespread of connected devices in the healthcare structure is also incomplete. IoT and healthcare together will radically change the service offerings in the hospitals. The digitalization in healthcare will be brought by the Internet of Things.