Business | 12 min read
IoT In Healthcare: Definition, Benefits, Challenges
The healthcare industry is never left without the support of technologies. The Internet of Things proves it again. This infrastructure gives healthcare a second wind.
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The connection of devices creates a real power that is difficult to overestimate. The healthcare sector is the one where IoT adds new capabilities and lets doctors save people’s lives with interconnected devices and software.
But, actually, how can IoT be implemented in healthcare? What is IoMT? What advantages and drawbacks IoMT has? We will answer all these questions and explain why it is beneficial to occupy this niche and build IoT applications.
What Is Medical IoT?
IoMT or the Internet of Medical Things is the infrastructure of intelligent devices, software, healthcare systems, and separate smart services. IoMT modifies and develops the healthcare sector, and it helps provide remote assistance and gather more information about the patient. All devices in IoMT can be divided into two types: hospital- and physicians-oriented and patient-oriented.
Smart devices (e.g., sensors, wearables, heart rate monitors, etc.) gather and process all vital information like health indicators, allergic reactions, test results, etc. They help medical staff form personal patient statistics, their medical records. Physicians can use the information from connected devices to better treat their patients, take care of them timely, and predict chronic disease exacerbation.
On the whole, the Internet of Medical Things is growing exponentially. According to MarketsandMarkets research, the global Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare market size is expected to grow from USD 72.5 billion in 2020 to USD 188.2 billion by 2025. The increase of the patient-centric approach leads to the popularity of IoT in the healthcare market.
Benefits Of Using IoT In Healthcare
The role of IoT in healthcare is significant, as you can see. And if we speak about the advantages of the Internet of Medical Things, there are seven evident pros to single out.
Remote monitoring. Connected IoT devices help monitor patients in a real-time mode, and it helps respond to emergencies quickly and diagnose diseases at early stages.
Prevention. As human health is continuously monitored, any severe disease can be prevented. Smart sensors analyze a patient’s lifestyle, and physicians always know the weak sides of their health.
Cost reduction. IoMT reduces the number of appointments with doctors due to permanent monitoring. It leads to fewer costs. By the way, a doctor appointment app development guide may be engaging for you as another startup idea.
Accessibility. Healthcare providers always have access to the patient’s data, the same as patients can find everything they need quickly via the integrated system.
Better treatment control. Physicians can control drug regimen more effectively and monitor how the patient’s body responds to treatment. If something goes wrong, treatment can be modified.
Healthcare control. Apart from patient monitoring, healthcare providers can monitor the performance of medical equipment and medical staff effectiveness.
Data analysis. The IoT network allows the collection of a vast amount of valuable data. The gathered data can be used for medical purposes and the improvement of the healthcare sector.
Do you plan to build an IoT app? Contact Cadabra Studio specialists and share your project details.
What Are The Major Impacts Of IoT In The Healthcare Industry?
As patient-centric healthcare remains (and it will) the primary idea, the effect of IoT in healthcare is concentrated on personal health mostly. Due to the IoT, wristbands for health condition monitoring contribute to vital health signs control — sleeping patterns, nutritional balance, check-up schedules, drug regimen, etc.
IoT in the medical area helps organize stronger and easier patient care. Due to smart sensors and implanted devices, the Internet of Medical Things reduces the number of appointments, and doctors will treat diseases faster and help patients deal with all related issues.
As for the impact on medical staff performance, IoT asset monitoring is the first thing healthcare providers may benefit from. Medical staff can track all hospital equipment like wheelchairs, defibrillators, etc. IoT sensors installed on this equipment help staff find anything quickly.
Finally, as real-time monitoring is available, it is possible to let patients stay at home and treat their diseases remotely. It is especially topical in the era of worldwide quarantine restrictions.
IoT Use Cases In Healthcare
How is IoT used in healthcare? We described the benefits and effects of IoMT, but it would be better to focus on specific use cases of IoT in healthcare.
The reduction of wait times. When patients need urgent treatment, it may take hours for them to get suitable treatment. IoT is used for proper time management and remote control of patients to understand who can wait and who must be treated urgently.
Inventory tracking. In fact, IoT turns the entire hospital into an innovative hospital. Apart from inventory and equipment, IoT sensors may be installed all around the hospital, and it will help reduce the workload of medical staff and let them control each detail. Easy search of documents, drug management, remote control, etc. — IoT simplifies many routine processes.
Mobile health. mHealth apps in combination with IoT networks tend to change the way physicians monitor people’s health conditions and how users interact with devices themselves. EHR apps can provide physicians with a comprehensive picture and up-to-date results. Pay your attention to the EHR app development guide, where you will learn the steps and advantages of this app type.
Augmented surgeries. The time has come when robots can do some types of surgeries. And this is where IoMT plays a significant role. Robots and connected devices may exchange information and streamline medical activities on different operating stages.
Actually, the primary use of IoMT is real-time monitoring. Starting from health to inventory and drugs. As IoT is a combination of devices and software, it is necessary to build a secure app that will be bug-free and reliable. Cadabra Studio is not a newbie in healthcare app development, and we know all pitfalls and nuances IoT app development may bear. That is why you need to contact us if you want to get a top-notch product that will meet your clients’ expectations.
Besides, the article about IoT app development may shed light on some unclear points, and it will help you understand how to create the IoT app adequately.
IoT For Healthcare: Examples Of Projects
Don’t you think that IoT apps are still in the concept stage? Actually, many IoT projects already exist, and they help patients and physicians control their health and receive crucial signals from them. Let’s review some of them.
The Cardiomo product is a sticker with biosensors that monitors the overall health condition. Sticker monitors basic body parameters (heart rate, temperature, pulse), and then it transmits the collected data to the dedicated software (mobile app). Creators of Cardiomo claim that their product is created for the elderly first; however, it can be used by people of any age.
Aira is a startup created for blind and visually impaired people to help them navigate in the environment independently. The creators of Aira collaborate with Google Glass, and Aira is the add-on that is installed on smart glasses.
This add-on is connected to the app. When the wearer touches the sensor three times, it provides them with essential navigation tips to help them move around the city. But the main thing is that sensors also collect the data about the wearer, their current location, history of diseases, and contact person details (in case of emergency).
Amiko is the product targeted at everyone who suffers from lung diseases. It is a smart respirator that collects all information about the user breathing patterns, analyzes them, and then transmits it to the app.
Physicians can process the information and choose an optimal treatment approach. The Amiko respirator can be customized for each patient. Real-time monitoring doesn’t require patients to visit doctors often since all information is sent permanently to doctors.
RapidSOS is the first world’s emergency data response platform. It is a mobile app that contains all information about the user (name, age, health condition, incident history, etc.), and the app may connect to car systems, smart home devices, wearables. Its primary goal is to call 911 in case of emergency, but you don’t need to explain the information about your location, name, condition — the operator sees all this data once they receive a call. In turn, the emergency team will be prepared accordingly, and it will be able to respond immediately.
RemedyLogic is an AI-powered medical diagnosis system under development by Cadabra Studio. The goal of the system is to improve medical decision-making processes and reduce diagnosis errors globally. Our specialists created an MVP that requires users to sign up, input their data, explain what health problems they have at the moment, and the system will be able to make diagnoses using AI algorithms and uploaded images (optionally).
The project currently proceeded to the next stage, and our company is creating a flexible solution for hospitals and insurance companies. It will simplify their working processes and save time. The system will be more customized, and users will be able to configure it according to their needs.
Also, if you want to imagine how your medical app potentially might look, you can review this Dribbble shot created by the Cadabra Studio design team. It is a concept of medical records app that helps users have all personal information by their side and control every tiny detail. We can create your app using this concept in mind or use another idea that will be more exciting for you.
Traditionally, we cannot mention advantages only and ignore the pitfalls of the Internet of Medical Things. Some challenges remain, and we will reveal them to provide you with a comprehensive picture.
Lack of memory. IoT sensors and related devices process and generate a vast amount of data that must be analyzed then. And it is necessary to provide data repositories that will contain all this data during the unspecified terms. Thus, if you plan to arrange an IoT network in the hospital, it is necessary to ensure that all data will be stored from A to Z.
Updates trouble. The software works in combination with hardware in IoMT, and it is required to ensure that software updates won’t disrupt the hardware’s functionality. In turn, outdated software may become the reason for failures, and it takes a lot of effort to monitor all updating issues.
Lack of security. The IoMT network is enormous, and it processes the personal information of many patients. Unfortunately, the length of this network makes it more vulnerable, and malefactors can hack data. Moreover, hackers may damage the performance of connected devices that may even lead to lethal consequences.
Lack of specific regulations. Unfortunately, there is no unified set of rules that will stipulate IoMT functionality worldwide. Yes, there are GDPR and HIPAA regulations that require software owners to protect users’ confidential data. But IoMT is explicitly not regulated yet. Mind to read articles about the GDPR and HIPAA — it will help you spell everything out.
The primary challenge still lies in improper developers who are not skilled enough to build IoT apps. Сontact Cadabra Studio if you want an experienced team to be involved in your project development.
You saw how IoT is transforming the healthcare industry. But mind that the creation of IoT apps is a time-consuming and costly process. You shouldn’t forget that IoT devices usually come along with software, and the development of the new IoMT app will be appropriate only if you plan to set your own connected devices and build a relevant app.
Anyway, Cadabra Studio is always ready to listen to your ideas and help you find the right solution. If you need a professional consultation — we are at your disposal. Drop us a line at any time!