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Internet of Things (IoT) in Healthcare: Benefits and Challenges

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October 08, 2018

Will the introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare revolutionize the industry? Like every other technology trend there are two sides to IoT as well. So what kind of impact does IoT have on healthcare so far?

Do we see an improvement in the quality of life with Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare? Undeniably we are looking at advancement in healthcare with this new advancement in technology. This is just the beginning of the endless possibilities of IoT, and the direct influence it will have on all our lives.

The proliferation of the internet in our lives is taking over every area. In the healthcare sector, we have become dependent on various devices for medical applications. Wearable devices and implants can now have a new effect with the intervention of the Internet of Things.

We are beginning to see signs of healthcare IoT startups. The medical community is embracing this technology and it future prospects with great enthusiasm. There is great potential for IoT in healthcare industry.

IoT in healthcare industry

Benefits of Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare

There are numerous benefits to integrating Internet of Things (IoT) with smart medical devices. The healthcare industry is looking at a future of technologically advanced medical care. People’s health can be monitored online, while they go about their daily life. Any irregularity is immediately detected, and timely aid provided.

Real-time monitoring: People with health issues, such as heart condition, blood pressure, high sugar levels etc. can be constantly monitored through internet of things medical applications. The person has a device, which constantly sends the current data updates, to the hospital, of their condition.

Medical applications

Reduced hospitalization: The concept of admitting patients to keep them under observation is no longer necessary. Doctors can monitor patients with IoT healthcare solutions. This can also be a cost saving option for patients.

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Lesser burden on hospitals: Hospitals and other medical institutions sometimes have a large number of admitted patients. Many are there, simply, because their progress needs to be monitored. With a monitoring medical device, quite a few of them can be discharged from the hospital. This frees up the beds in the hospital, making space for seriously ill patients. It also enables hospital staff to focus on those patients who need their dedicated attention. The internet of things analysis can be used to keep track of the progress of those patients who have gone home. Most of them can resume a normal life, and tend to recover faster.

Medical diagnostics: Quite a tidy sum is spent in medical diagnostics. The IoT in healthcare can help avoid these costs by providing a constant update and a regular report. Regular health checkups no longer need to be conducted at the hospital. The doctor can analyse the data send by the healthcare app.

Data analysis: Analyzing patient’s data becomes a lot easier with IoT healthcare solutions. Comparison charts can assist in assessing the effects of medication and dosage. It enables medical experts to ascertain the improvement or deterioration of the patient. The future course of treatment can be determined accordingly.

Cost benefit: Will Internet of Things lower the cost of healthcare? To some extent there will be a slight benefit to the user. Lesser need for hospitalization and diagnostic tests are two major areas of medical expenses which can be curtailed.

Critical level alerts: One of the greatest benefits of IoT is that the medical team is immediately alerted in case of an emergency. If the device records alarming levels an instant alerts are sent. This feature can help save many lives.

The benefits of IoT are many, and the medical industry is diving headlong into capitalizing on it.

Health devices

Challenges of Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare

Every new technology has its challenges and Internet of Things in healthcare has its fair share too. The IoT healthcare challenges do pose some hesitations. But the technology is moving ahead despite the drawbacks. Some of these challenges are trivial, but others should be give deeper thought.

Compatibility: Some medical devices are not compatible with other devices and affects Healthcare app. There are new medical devices being introduced almost every day. This means that the Healthcare app has to be modified to recognize the new device. Hence there is a constant need for an app upgrade.

Data Security: Data theft is a major concern. Using IoT in healthcare does pose the risk of patient’s health information falling into the wrong hands. There are no proper data security protocols in most devices. Another issue is the ownership regulations, which hampers creating security boundaries for medical devices linked to apps.

Affordability: The technology sounds nice but there is a cost involved. Many of the medical devices are quite expensive and only affordable to a select few. Though there is the benefit of reducing cost in other areas.

Add value: It is great that there are so many healthcare devices that can be hooked up to the central system and the data recorded.  But there is another drawback to this. Which of these devices is a value addition for the patient? Will we be driven to use devices that we don’t even need? We are looking at the possibility of people using medical devices that doesn’t add any benefit to their medical condition.

The technology of having devices monitor health conditions and send the data to the hospital sounds revolutionary and new age, Even the challenges will not stop this technology from infiltrating the healthcare industry.

Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare

How does Internet of Things (IoT) serve healthcare?

How does Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare work? While we have discussed the benefits and challenges of IoT, let us understand the integration of IoT in healthcare. Smart medical monitoring devices are linked to an app on your smartphone. This app communicates the data recorded by the medical device to the hospital.

To use IoT, all you need is a smart medical device. This is a device which can communicate the data to your smartphone. Currently the preferred medium of communication is Bluetooth. The health app will organize this data in a readable format and further communicate it to the hospital.

Healthcare app

Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare: Conclusion

The role of Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare shows great potential for the future. A healthcare app which integrates various health monitoring devices is slowing appearing on the scene. It is becoming essential for a hospital or medical institutions to have app which can be used by their patients. Medical experts can monitor the medical status of their patients from the data gathered and provide timely help and support. 

BluEnt is a leading healthcare app development company. Our technical mobile app development company is well versed in integrating various healthcare devices to the app. The app is designed according to requirement and ensures that accurate and timely reports are updated. Multiple devices can also be connected to a single app.

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