The Internet of Things in the Healthcare industry
The Internet of Things will affect everyone in many ways. This will be done by improving efficiencies in manufacturing to improving health and wellbeing. Our IoT team are always researching for new and emerging technologies, and one area which could benefit from the Internet of Things is the healthcare industry, and in particular the healthcare received at the home.
Between constant advancements in medical knowledge and ongoing developments in health care technology, the health care system is in a state of ever-changing flux. And just as the health care landscape looks unrecognisable today compared to 100, 50 or even 10 years ago, so does it promise to appear very different just 10 years from now. One of the most profound changes right now happening in health care? The rise of telemedicine, which is anticipated to have a significant impact on home health care
How can the Healthcare industry adopt IoT solutions?
The Internet of Things is slowly starting to weave into healthcare on both the doctor and patient fronts. Ultrasounds, thermometers are all starting to become connected which allow patients to track their health. Some hospitals have started to utilise smart beds, which can sense the presence of a patient and automatically adjust itself to the correct angle for the patient save the nurse intervening.
The IoT could also help transform patient care at home. Sadly, some patients once discharged don’t take their medicine in appropriate doses or at the correct time. Smart medicine dispensers in the home can upload information to the cloud and alert doctors or carers when they don’t take their medicine.
Telemedicine is defined as the use of information exchanged from one site to another via an electronic communication to improve a patient’s health. Telemedicine originated via calls over the telephone, but in today’s world technology has transformed the way patients are given information. Today, telemedicine offers a number of services which are widely used to extend the reach of modern healthcare and doctors. These include:
- Primary care and specialist referral services which aid in the diagnosis stage.
- Remote patient monitoring for homebound patients which supplement or reduce visits to the hospital.
- Continuing medical education for healthcare professionals. For example, a doctor in third world countries can gain access to some of the world’s leading health professionals
The healthcare industry is searching for innovative ways to increase efficiency, especially in light of rapidly aging populations and the global shortage of medical professionals. These factors among others are escalating costs and increasing worker stress as medical professionals have to work longer hours. Telemedicine could be an answer and the IoT is a key enabler of ensuring the right level of healthcare can be provided in the home.
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