- May 16, 2017
- Posted by: Mahesh Kulkarni
- Category: Blogs
Healthcare IoT is evolving with the widespread adoption of information and communication technology in healthcare organizations. This has also helped in shaping the current technology – agnostic healthcare industry trends. The digital revolution in this sector started with Electronic Health Records (EHR) that serve as a common record of the patient’s medical history and can be accessed by any practitioner consulted. A part of the broader term – eHealth, EHRs are Health Information Exchange systems that adhere to government policies as explained here. Later, mHealth or mobile health gained traction with a plethora of healthcare apps available for medical monitoring and patient care. The upcoming trend in foreseeable future is Smart Health, where IoT comes into picture. Smart Health aims at treating patients in diverse contexts (i.e. environmental states specific to the IoT app and the user), by connecting ubiquitous sensors and devices, making healthcare systems adapt to changing environments.
Here’s How Healthcare Organizations Are Adopting IoT Technologies –
Wearable technology has the largest share in healthcare IoT. These devices that measure vital signs like pulse rate as well as track activity are used for predictive analytics with machine learning algorithms in IoT Analytics tools. Wearables in healthcare IoT have a mobile app which further increases their functionalities and use.
As explained above, the data from wearables is maintained in the EHRs and used for better diagnosis in future, using IoT platforms.
The use of biochips to leverage IoT applications in personal healthcare and home diagnostic kits. This paper explains it better.
Patient Monitoring, Energy Meters, and Imaging Devices
According to the HIPAA journal, patient monitoring has a share of 64% of the IoT applications in healthcare organizations, whereas energy meters account for 56% and 33% are IoT imaging devices – Mammography, MRI, Eco-Doppler et al.
Mobile healthcare apps which enable GPS tracking serve as a means of remote operation control for IoT based applications in healthcare. They also make location-based services possible.
Pros and Cons of Healthcare IoT
Better resource management and patient care, along with quicker diagnostics are the glaring advantages of IoT in healthcare organizations. IoT analytics has enabled preventive healthcare, discreet policy making, and resulted in cost-effective healthcare. On the other hand, the fact that most of the IoT technologies are still in their prototype is proving to be a challenge to their adoption in healthcare. Lack of interoperable devices with fixed standards (sensor integration, HCI, and usability), along with costly maintenance and deployment are also proving to be a hindrance. Monitoring wearable devices for IoT security is yet another challenging task.
All in all, IoT is changing the way healthcare operates.
Cognitive healthcare wherein Smart health and Smart Cities will consolidate to adapt to diverse contexts is now its prototype.
These were a few ways in which healthcare organizations are adopting IoT.
Do you know of any other means to adopt IoT in Healthcare? Drop a line in the comments below.