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Internet of Things (IoT) means a network of physical objects as “things” that are installed with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet. IoT devices range from ordinary household objects to complex industrial tools.
IoT devices offer various benefits for healthcare. For instance, clinicians can monitor patients, and patients can self-monitor themselves. The variety of wearable IoT devices provides various benefits and challenges for healthcare providers and their patients.
Remote Patient Monitoring: IoT Solutions For Healthcare
IoT devices can automatically collect health metrics like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature from patients who are not physically present in a healthcare facility, thus eliminating the need for patients to travel for a medical checkup. Algorithms may be used to analyze the data to recommend treatments or generate alerts to healthcare professionals.
Implantable Glucose Monitoring
Patients suffering from diabetes can have IoT devices with sensors embedded in them, just below their skin. Patients can also tell when they are most likely to be at risk for low glucose levels in the future and present: the sensors in the devices will send information to a patient’s mobile phone when their glucose levels get too low and record historical data for them too.
Activity Trackers During Cancer Treatment
The right cancer treatment mostly relies on a patient’s lifestyle and fitness levels. Activity trackers track a patient’s movements, fatigue, appetite, etc. The data collected from the IoT tracker before and after the treatment starts will tell the healthcare professionals what adjustments need to be made to the proposed treatment plan.
Patients can wear IoT devices that monitor their heart rates and determine whether they have high blood pressure. Healthcare providers will have access to reporting patients’ heart monitor data whenever needed. Arrhythmia The wearable devices can even alert healthcare professionals when patients are experiencing arrhythmias, palpitations, strokes, or full-blown heart attacks. Thus ambulances can be sent off timely, making the difference between life and death.
Hand Hygiene Monitoring
To ensure minimization of the risk of spreading contagion, hand hygiene monitoring is necessary. IoT devices remind people to sanitize their hands when they enter hospital rooms. The devices can even give instructions on how best to sanitize to reduce the specific risks for a particular patient.
Depression And Mood Monitoring
Information about depression symptoms and patients’ overall mood has been difficult to collect continuously. “Mood-aware” IoT devices can address these challenges by collecting and analyzing data such as heart rate and blood pressure to conclude information about a patient’s mental state.
Parkinson’s Disease Monitoring
IoT sensors continuously collect data about Parkinson’s symptoms to assess how the severity of their symptoms fluctuates through the day, meanwhile giving patients the freedom to go about their lives in their own homes instead of having to spend extended periods in a hospital for observation.
Ingestible sensors look like pills that can be swallowed. Once these IoT sensors are ingested, they relay information to a patient’s mobile app. These sensors ensure that patients are taking the right medications at the right time and in the right dosages. Some ingestible sensors are also being used to more accurately diagnose irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer patients.
IoT inhalers can tell patients what they’re doing or experiencing that is causing asthma attacks by transmitting information to their smartphones or tablets. That information can also be shared with their physicians. The connected inhalers also remind patients when to take their medications and record their frequency of asthma attacks.
Smart Contact Lenses
IoT contact lenses provide an opportunity for collecting healthcare data in a passive, non-intrusive way. They could also, incidentally, include micro-cameras that allow wearers effectively to take pictures with their eyes.
Surgeons can now perform complex procedures by deploying small internet-connected robots inside the human body. Robotic surgeries performed by IoT devices can reduce the size of incisions required to perform surgery, thus leading to a less invasive process and faster patient healing. They can interpret complex conditions inside bodies to make the right decisions about how to proceed during surgery.
Medical Alert Systems
Individuals can wear an IoT device designed to alert family members or friends in an emergency. For instance, if an individual wears a medical alert bracelet and falls out of bed in the middle of the night, it will notify the designated people that help is needed.
IoT Devices can now be implanted in a patient to assign medication in steady doses throughout the day. Patients will be notified when they need to refill their medications. Doctors can also be informed of missed doses during routine visits.