How The Internet of Things Is Applied In Medicine
Internet of things (IoT) is not something strange and futuristic anymore, as we live in smart homes, and use different gadgets that make our life easy and comfortable by interacting with each other on specific purposes. Medical science and healthcare services get a great advantage of the IoT in the way that the new fiend called the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has recently been proved as the innovative engine of progress in the healthcare. To define the term, by IoT we mean the combination of stationary and mobile digital devices that integrate the results of their work into a common system of data and tools controlled by the specific software. Internet technologies applied to the ordinary things and equipment created the new generation of medical appliances, such as smart contact lenses, which haven’t got a big sale for now but they are considered to be one of the most innovative personal healthcare equipment. Let’s have a look at the main modes of IoT application in healthcare:
1) Monitoring of personal health metrics
With the health of wearable devices, such as smartwatches, it’s become possible to ensure the round a clock monitoring of the human vitals in order to prevent diseases and maintain the health conditions on a high level. Starting from the software that helps control insulin levels, some applications are developed to control the emotional and mental health. They compare the main personal records daily and alert if there are symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, the recent rates show that due to the stressful surrounding and bad news attacking people every day, the frequency of mental disorders occurrence threats the generations. Of course, to avoid getting obsessed with the risks of mental illnesses, we should take many things easier. But in the case, a person notices some changes in the mood, loss of interest, sleep disturbance, or other symptoms of depression, it’s time to put the situation on the control and start monitoring the state with the help of depression preventing apps.
2) Improving hospital management
Software development for business has gained great popularity in the field of healthcare. Because to manage the small district clinic mighty be as difficult, as managing a big multi-sectorial hospital. Everything depends on the methods of administration. With the help of IoT, it’s become easier to monitor the quality of employees’ communication and improve it, control the productivity of the medical staff, and provide the constant working connections between the different departments of the hospital. All of the mentioned gives the possibility to make hospitals agile and more efficient at the same time. For example, hospitals with the capacity of 1000 beds can easily cover the needs of 20000 patients just due to the well-organized system of patient admitting and discharging. Automation of the main routine processes in the hospitals also helps decrease the workload on the employees who sometimes need to work extra hours due to emergencies. On the other hand, IoT brought a wide range of tools to cope with the big coasters of sensitive data.
3) Taking data management to another level
Personal records of the patients, health history, and the general information on the health condition of each and every client, demand a lot of effort from the hospital to be collected, analyzed, and stored. That’s why the more time-efficient is the data processing, and the less time and effort it takes to keep it upgraded, the better is the hospital’s productivity and profitability. IoT has eliminated the need to hire additional employees to guarantee cooperation between different departments. If the anesthesiologist needs the allergy records of the patient, he doesn’t need to contact the GP department, now it’s as easy as checking the data in the integrated informational system in his tablet. On the other hand, patients often need to get the results of blood tests and other types of examinations without a necessity to visit the hospital once again or call the laboratory. With the help of IoT, patients can access their personal records 24/7 on their smartphones using special applications, login, and password.
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4) Preventing diseases, saving lives
Continues glucose monitoring as an example of IoT in healthcare helped many patients win the chance for a normal life again. Smart devices are connected to the applications on smartphones and tablets and monitor the records to prevent emergencies. The data collected is sent to the application directly, then processed, giving the patient of their caregivers the whole image of the metrics to prevent some dangerous trends. Smart connected inhalers are another example of successful IoT application in the medical treatment, as they help avoid critical conditions in asthmatic patients. Besides, monitoring vitals to prevent chronic diseases in patients who are genetically predisposed to heart diseases and diabetes is one of the most effective forms of out-patient monitoring nowadays. It doesn’t bother the patients by the necessity to visit the hospital frequently, but help doctors recognize the early symptoms of the disease before it causes serious damage. Other IoT techniques monitor the possible symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, chronic digestive problems and hormone disorders.
5) Client experience
As in any other field of business, improving the quality of user experience in healthcare has great importance. As it was mentioned above, the constant access to personal records by the patients affects their loyalty. Besides, personal time management of the patients should not be distracted by the hospital managerial lacks. That’s why many clinics and hospitals apply IoT to decrease the waiting time of the patients. Recent researches show that new technologies help decrease the waiting time by 60% via proper patient distribution and automatic appointment organizers. Instead of calling the hospital to set the time for consultation, patients can use mobile applications to do it online in a couple of clicks. The other issue is a medical prescription for permanent patients, who must take certain types of medicine to survive. IoT gave them the possibility to save time and effort by requiring the e-prescription from their doctor online.