The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to bring revolutionary changes to a number of industries, including healthcare industry. The technology has already impacted the industry in significant ways and experts are working to turn more possibilities into reality. So far Internet of Things has mainly assisted in improving care with telemonitoring and remote monitoring applications. Additionally, some initiatives have also been taken in the field of tracking and maintenance of healthcare assets. However, this could be considered just the beginning and to make the use of IoT omnipresent in the healthcare industry more efforts are required. Researchers are working on more advanced approaches to use IoT for digital transformation of healthcare. Take a look at how IoT can make significant impacts on the healthcare industry:
- Alerts and Tracking
In case of life threatening situations, one-time alerts are critical. With the help of IoT, devices can gather important data and transfer them to the doctors for real-time tracking. Notifications can be obtained about critical circumstances through linked devices like mobile apps. This helps in assessing the patient’s condition, regardless of place and time. It also helps in making timely decisions and providing prompt treatment.
2. Better Connectivity
Workflow in healthcare industry can be automated with IoT. The technology enables machine-to-machine communication, interoperability, data movement, and information exchange which in turn make healthcare services more effective. Healthcare providers can make use of new techniques for identifying ailments and providing better treatments. Also, institutions can reduce cost through technology based setups by eliminating unnecessary visits, improving planning, and using better resources.
3. Data Analysis
A huge amount of data is generated in the healthcare industry through multiple devices and sources, and analyzing them manually is a tedious task. Also, some of the healthcare devices send vast amount of data in a short span of time which often becomes difficult to store and manage. IoT can help in collecting, reporting and analyzing data in real-time, reducing the need for storing the data. In this case the analysis is carried out over the cloud and the healthcare providers get access to the final reports. Healthcare analytics and data driven insights help organizations in speeding up and improving the decision making process.
4. Remote Assistance
Internet of Things allows the medics to provide medical assistance from remote locations. Various mobile apps can be used for checking the ailments and identifying the medical issues on the go. Many healthcare delivery chains are planning to construct machines for drug distribution based on the patient data available through linked devices.
5. Real-Time Monitoring
In the events of medical emergency such as asthma attacks, diabetes or heart failure, connected medical devices can help a great deal in real-time monitoring and saving lives. A smart medical devices or a mobile app can collect health information and transfer it to the physician.
6. Tracking Staff and Inventory
Keeping a track of staff and inventory is important in healthcare organizations. In smaller institutions it’s somewhat easier but in case of large facilities the task becomes difficult to handle. IoT can facilitate real-time asset tracking. The technology not only makes tracking day-to-day activities easier but also inexpensive and effective.
IoT has the potential to bring about huge transformations in the healthcare industry. However, there are many challenges too standing in the way which must be overcome before we can reap the full benefits of the technology.