The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a game-changer across the globe. We see its influence in our day-to-day lives as well as work. With the emergence of broadband internet and Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors. We are seeing the penetration of wearable and Smartphone’s soars. All these things, combined, have provided a clear path for the IoT in the everyday lives of people. It also had its influence in different sectors of the economy, including healthcare.
Various industries have adopted connected devices, and the IoT more. One of them is the healthcare domain wherein their professionals have watched this trend quite carefully to make their works more convenient, efficient, and automated in the future. In fact, according to a forecast conducted by Business Insider, it was revealed that the growth of the installed base of healthcare IoT devices (excluding wearable’s) would be from roughly 95 million in the year 2015 to 646 million by the year 2020.
There are lots of breakthrough technologies like mobile app development, artificial intelligence, IoT solutions, Chatbot development, AR-VR, etc. These go to show that the future of the healthcare industry is on the right track and growing steadily. For example, did you know it is possible to employ AR-VR for remote surgery and medical learning purposes also?
With the help of IoT-based mobile applications, there is tremendous scope for enhancing the quality of the treatments, which will go a long way in improving the health of the patients. With the introduction of IoT in the healthcare domain, it is possible to resolve significant problems for people like increase R & D cost and rise in the cost of healthcare amenities. It even tries to counter the shifting demographics in the emerging market and meeting the needs of an ageing population that is looking for personalized medication facilities.
Let’s now trace back the history connected with the introduction of IoT in the healthcare industry. It was in the year 2009 when electronic healthcare emerged in the US. It started to gain impetus after the emergence of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). This resulted in the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and other supporting technology.
Then come the portal technology which engaged patients to become more engaged in their treatment. This way, it became possible for the patients to access their medical records, prepare for appointments, and contact their doctors. The next innovation was the home monitoring systems. These automated systems enabled patients to become more engaged in their treatment since it allowed patients and health care providers to keep a check on individual health records in real-time mode. All this happen, while the patients stayed at home. This is handy for patients with chronic illness and older people.
The next obvious step towards innovation was IoT. It enabled electronic devices to capture or monitor data and connect them to a private or public cloud. This way, it became more comfortable for devices to trigger certain events automatically. There are lots of medical devices employed in the healthcare domain, like blood-gas analyzers, smart beds, mobile x-ray machines, ultrasound units, glucose meters, etc. These are all IoT based devices that can aid in transforming patient care.
Now, that you have got a basic idea about how IoT based mobile applications came into existence, in the next section, we will look at some IoT based mobile app solutions that can prove to be a boon for the healthcare domain.
This element is an integral part of the IoT. With the help of the internet of things, it is possible to provide proper healthcare to the people who are in dire need of it. There are lots of people who die because they are not given timely treatment. This problem is resolved through this IoT solution.
Wearable app monitoring solutions in the healthcare industry assist the doctors in tracking the health of any patient even if he/she is not present at the hospital. With the help of IoT, devices fixed with sensors inform the concerned healthcare providers whenever there is any change in the vital functions of the patient. This way, it is possible to get the most accurate results.
These IoT solutions apply complex algorithms that assist in examining the data of the patients. This way, the patient can always expect proper attention and medical care. The fantastic thing is the information collected in the device is stored in the cloud.
With the help of remote monitoring, the patients can spend less time at the hospital. If there is any change in the daily activity of the patient, alerts are sent directly to the concerned person and family members in case the patient is old. These remote monitoring devices are available as wearable, so they can quickly be taken anywhere.
It has been researched by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, nearly one patient out of every 20 gets an infection due to a lack of proper hand hygiene in hospitals. There are lots of patients who have lost their precious lives as a result of unhygienic conditions resulting in infection. Here, the IoT healthcare application can come up with a solution to this problem.
In real-time, whenever a doctor/nurse approaches a patient without washing their hands, a sensor would beep. This would assist them to remember to wash their hands before visiting a patient. In turn, this will aid in maintaining proper hygiene.
Not only that, you even gets to learn about the complete details of the healthcare worker like his ID, time, and location. This information is already there in the database which is then transferred to the concerned authorities.
Blockchain can be an extremely vital component to provide IoT based healthcare solutions. Everyone knows that it can be effectively employed in the banking & finance sector. However, not many are aware that it can be used in the healthcare industry too. We all know that in large hospitals, there are lots of transactions being processed, which requires safe storage of data. All this is possible with the help of blockchain technology.
You can employ Ethereum, a decentralized platform where applications run precisely the way they are programmed. All this is done without any chance of fraud with proper authentication of the person who gives access. This way, transactions between significant industries and hospitals can be secured with the help of blockchain technology.
Thanks to IoT, it is possible for the doctors to track the devices used for treating patients with the aid of real-time location services. There are times when the medical staff keeps specific devices out-of-sight, which makes it difficult for other staff members to locate it. You can easily locate medical devices and apparatus like nebulizers, pumps, scales, defibrillators, or monitoring equipment tagged with sensors. This way, it becomes easy to track using IoT. Apart from this, you can even use IoT devices for environmental monitoring, like checking the temperature of the refrigerator, etc.
IoT assists healthcare providers to predict the arrival of patients recovering in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). It is even possible to monitor the status of the patients in real-time.
The healthcare industry always has to keep an eye on the budget. Along with this, it also has to ensure that the infrastructure is updated to enhance the patient experience. Due to the seamless connection between IoT devices, this is now possible.
Medical staff today can access the patient information from the cloud for a very long period. The ultimate objective of the hospital is to provide quality medical care. That can be ensured by spending a nominal amount on the infrastructure.
IoT can help achieve this endeavor by:
These are some applications that employ IoT to ensure that healthcare professionals can take care of the patients in a better way. There is a definite scope for advancement in IoT for the healthcare domain. If you are interested in creating an IoT based mobile application for the healthcare domain, get in touch with an experienced mobile app development company today!
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