With the increasing use of sensors by medical devices, remote and continuous monitoring of a patient’s health is becoming possible. This network of sensors, actuators and other mobile communication devices, referred to as the Internet of Things for Medical Devices (IoT-MD), is poised to revolutionise the functioning of the healthcare industry.
Connected health technologies have gained prominence as a result of the widespread occurrence of chronic diseases and the stringent need to control healthcare costs of an aging population. A connected healthcare environment promotes the quick flow of information and enables easy access to it. Improved home care facilities and regular health updates to clinicians reduce the chances of redundant or inappropriate care, improve patient care and safety, and reduce overall costs of care. Connected health solutions can also be used to track lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetics and asthma which need continuous monitoring.
The IoT-MD provides an environment where a patient’s vital parameters get transmitted by medical devices via a gateway onto secure cloud based platforms where it is stored, aggregated and analysed. It helps store data for millions of patients and perform analysis in
real time, ultimately promoting an evidence-based medicine system.
The key benefits of IoT-MDapplications in healthcare are as follows:
Lowered cost of care: By leveraging IoT-MD systems, the health of patients can be monitored on a real time basis, avoiding unnecessary doctor visits. Home care is possible, further reducing hospital stay. Caregivers can address common use cases and reach out to doctors only when needed.
Improved patient outcomes: By referring to a comprehensive knowledge base compiled from previous disease outbreaks and proven research, caregivers and doctors can use evidence-based medicine for improved patient outcomes. The real-time information can help provide timely care and address issues at an early stage. Real time disease management: In a connected healthcare environment with continuous remote monitoring, patients can get treated proactively before their condition worsens. This not only helps patients' health, but also reduces the cost of care. The focus is shifted from 'treatment' to 'wellness'.
Improved quality of life: For the critically ill, paediatric and aged populations, IoT-MD offers an easier life. The elderly can live independently at any location of their choice while getting their medical condition monitored.
Improved user experience: For patients as well as caregivers, IoT-MD makes it possible to have a richer and more intimate engagement with each other. Automation of data collection makes it possible to collect data accurately, on time and with minimal human intervention. All stakeholders receive better visibility with respect to the patient's condition, progress and outcomes of treatment. Automation of engagement also allows better compliance to prescribed treatment regimes.
A platform based approach makes it easy to develop connected health applications, enables creation of smart/intelligent applications, allows newer applications to evolve over a period of time and supports new devices as they become available.
IoT-MD will drastically change the face of healthcare monitoring and treatment outcomes. By providing personalised and optimised services, it will promote a better standard of living. Nations across the world are struggling to improve patient care and IoT-MD provides a timely and cost-effective response to this critical imperative. Moreover, recent developments in sensor, internet, cloud, mobility and big data technologies have led to affordable medical devices and connected health programmes , vastly increasing the potential of IoT-MD to influence further changes.
How to effectively prototype and scale IoT in your enterprise.
The amount of data that lives on systems that are unconnected (or unreliably connected) to the network vastly outweighs the data that lives in the cloud.
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