Imagine waking up in the morning and asking Alexa- “What is my glucose level”? – Unbelievable, well not really. Technology is at our doorstep. Days are not far away from our personal and home smart devices to integrate with one another and provide comprehensive health data, statistics, and results.
Technology and Healthcare go hand in hand in enhancing the physical, mental, and emotional well -being of an individual. With the continuous evolvement of technology, and the need for efficient, faster workflow and patient care, the traditional system of health care is slowly being replaced. It is the Internet of things (IOT) which is slowly gathering momentum.
What is IoT?
In simple words, The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of devices that are connected together via the internet. In today’s era of wireless connectivity, IoT is pretty much omnipresent – Home security systems, appliances, TVs, Entertainment devices, handheld devices, watches – can all be controlled by a click, tap, or sound.
So, why the buzz about IoT? It is the functionality, ease, and accessibility that holds a promising future for IoT – remote care, patient engagement, faster diagnosis, telehealth, and a plethora of healthcare functionalities that will be efficiently managed with the adoption of IoT.
What is the projected growth in IoT Market?
The Internet of Things (IoT) Healthcare market was valued at USD 28.42 Billion in 2015 and is projected to reach USD 337.41 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 28.2% over the forecast period.
While many industries are adopting IoT, it is the healthcare industry that will see tremendous benefits in integrating with IoT. By 2020, 40% of IoT technology will be health-related, more than any other category.
The picture demonstrates a patient with diabetes having an ID card when scanned; it links to a secure cloud that stores their vitals -lab results, medical and prescription histories in an EHR. Physicians and nurses have easy access to this record on a tablet or desktop.
What are the benefits of IoT and Healthcare application integration?
EHR Management – The benefits of EHR (Electronic Health Record) and its rising demand for streamlining workflow, managing, and utilizing enormous data for patient care cannot be debated. And now, with the IoT integration, the Internet-connected medical devices will play a critical role in helping maintain a comprehensive, up to date EHR – accomplishing tasks like patient care management, medical records and billing, and tracking prescriptions by analyzing real-time data.
Medication Management – With RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, tags, and barcodes are inserted in objects and devices, which makes data seamlessly integrated into the EHR.
For example – A patient’s ID bracelet can be scanned to pull up information on the EHR for a guided workflow regarding drug administration. The barcode on the drug packet can also be scanned to check for patient allergy along with a confirmation on medication intake, with a note auto-created on the patient’s electronic health record including the drug, time, date, and ID of the nurse
Telemedicine – IoT plays a critical role in Patient-Provider interaction in the field of Telehealth. The availability of video and remote diagnostic technologies has led to benefits like device interoperability, and convenience.
Remote Patient Monitoring, (RPM) through intelligently connected devices, sensors, and smartphones enables patients to conduct a routine test and send real-time data to their physicians. Providers are now able to increase patient engagement, provide faster results in inpatient consultation, and conduct accurate diagnosis – reducing the need for on-site hospital visits – a situation beneficial especially for the rural and aging population.
IoT is certainly creating a revolution in the healthcare industry. In the coming years, healthcare professionals will rely heavily on IoT to provide real-time data for consultation, analysis, diagnosis, and treatment.