Automating Healthcare – Application of IoT in the Healthcare Industry
Healthcare is becoming more and more expensive and inaccessible, with the cost rising at a rate of 3.9% a year in Canada. The Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare is that silver lining we have been hoping for a long time.
Internet of Things is making a serious impact on several industries. In fact, like no one could resist pied piper, no one is able to deny the waves creating by IoT. It has set a strong foothold on the healthcare industry now and we assure you its applications are going to make healthcare easier and accessible to a lot of people.
Internet of Things is the Newest Paradigm in Healthcare
Market research conducted by Grand View Research shows that the global internet of things (IoT) in healthcare market size is expected to reach USD 534.3 billion by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of 20.2% over the forecast period. The primary reason for market growth is the dominance of remote monitoring systems for critical disease management.
This proves that IoT can provide personalized solutions for different healthcare requirements, such as remind patients for appointment and surgeries, check blood pressure, control diabetes, check calorie count, monitor exercises and many other unfathomable tasks.
It is found that most of the hospital bills go in medical diagnostic. With IoT healthcare applications, we can move medical checks and diagnosis from a hospital-centric approach to a home-centric approach. This means patients will be able to go through routine check-ups in the comforts of their homes, lessening the need for hospitalization.
Applications of IoT in the Healthcare Industry
Several facets of healthcare can be effortlessly automated with IoT, which will allow medical centres to operate more competitively and patients to obtain comprehensive, cost-effective, and quick treatment. We have mentioned the best applications of IoT in the healthcare industry here:
Maintenance of Health and Hygiene
Did you know hundreds of people lose their lives annually from hospital-acquired infections? The most crucial law that everyone medical facilities or healthcare centers must follow is preserving hygiene. According to a study conducted by Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, one out of 20 patients is infected with diseases due to lack of proper hand hygiene by nurses, doctors, and staffs.
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, one out of 20 patients is infected with diseases due to lack of proper hand hygiene by nurses can detect the degree of cleanliness in a healthcare provider, worker, or nurse. A prototype designed by Clean Hands Safe Hands does just this. It works by attaching a CHSH Badge Reel and Sensor to each hand-sanitizing station, and using Bluetooth technology uniquely identifies each employee, recording their hand hygiene events throughout the health system. The sensitivity of the system is so on point and on time that if a person comes closer to a patient’s bed without washing his hands, the device will start alarming. If the person happens to be a healthcare staff, information about him, such as his ID, time and location are instantly forwarded from the database to the respective decision-making authorities.
Systemize Post Anaesthesia Care
The PACU or Post Anaesthesia Care Unit is one of the critical care areas of hospitals where patients are monitored 24/7 after a surgery. Under the supervision of skilled nurses, patients are reserved to regain consciousness and completely come out from the effects of anesthesia. With the help, IoT, nurses, and clinicians can predict the return of consciousness of patients in PACU.
What’s more, they can also monitor the condition of patients in real time. The functions that can be partially or completely automated include monitoring physical and emotional comfort or disturbance, checking percentage of anxiety, observing patients’ vital signs, such as pulse, oxygen level, room temperature, and blood pressure.
Progress of the patient can be monitored remotely through Internet of Things application.
Provide Better Services in Limited Budget
Healthcare industry is one of the most expensive and highly regulated industries. Medical providers have to keep upgrading infrastructure for better patient experience, and at the same time keep a vigilant eye on the organization’s budget.
With Cloud intermingling with IoT, it has become easier for healthcare people to access patient information remotely and provide quality and comprehensive care to them, even if they decide to visit after 10 years. All they have to do is invest one-time in IT infrastructure upgrade, such as:
- Develop instant communication with patients and their family through texts, emails and video chats
- Create room lighting and temperature change to personalize a patient’s environment and
- Provide proactive attention to patients
By spending small initially, the hospitals can take good care of their patients at a reduced cost for a very long period.
Enable Remote Monitoring
A sad truth is that medical wait times affect the rate of mortality. An interesting study published by the Fraser Institute reveals this, stating “Over the 16-year period, increases in wait times for medically necessary care may be associated with 44,273 additional deaths.” Through remote monitoring, healthcare providers can provide low cost, adequate care to patients who are unable to access medical attention, especially the underprivileged, senior citizens, and patients living alone.
This is possible with remote monitoring. Devices are placed in remote locations. The devices are coded with multifaceted algorithms to analyze complex data to retrieve accurate information about the patient. The sensors then alert nearby healthcare professionals when/if there is a change in the patient’s vitals. The information retrieved is stored in the cloud.
Through remote monitoring, lengthy hospital stays, readmissions, inaccurate diagnosis, and heavy hospital bills can be significantly reduced. The device is also capable of instantly notifying friends and families if there are fluctuations in daily activities.
These were the prevalent IoT applications in healthcare. However, numerous others are out there that can be modified and customized for patients and healthcare providers.