How the IoT Can Help Us Fight COVID-19 and What is IoT in Healthcare?
Healthcare is a type of industry that is getting smarter fast.
Today, computer-navigated surgery helps make precise surgical operations. Smart hospitals create a fully automated environment that monitors patients’ state 24/7, and electronic records keep all data about the patients in one place.
But one of the most promising technologies in healthcare is the Internet of Things, which helps to optimize the working processes of both doctors and service providers.
Let’s see how exactly IoT helps medical workers and their patients.
What Is the Internet of Medical Things?
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a network of devices that collect medical data and share it with other devices or medical specialists.
IoMT monitors the patient’s state and helps doctors get information in real-time. The whole network may include several devices like wearables, monitoring and drug tracking systems, medical supply chains, and so on.
The Core Benefits of the Healthcare IoT
There’s no need to explain that applying IoT technologies in the healthcare sector has a lot of benefits.
Let’s have a closer look at the most important ones.
Continuous Tracking and Monitoring
Special IoT-based apps get and process signals sent by wearables (like smartwatches, fit trackers). In the case of an emergency like a heart or asthma attack, the app immediately sends an SOS signal.
A Fall Detection System in Apple Watch is a great example. If the watch owner falls, the app shows an alert on the screen. The user must click the “I am OK” button within one minute. If they don’t do that, the app automatically sends a signal to emergency services.
Improving Interaction with Patients
Some apps help to enhance the patient experience, for example, by reducing the waiting time. With the help of smart apps, the patients who need help get in touch with doctors much faster.
Another example is the AutoBed app that finds available beds for newly admitted patients, reducing their waiting time.
Medication Intake Control
IoT helps to manage medication intake by making precise measurements of its amount. Also, smart apps remind patients of the need to take a pill.
Some apps can even notify the patient’s relatives about a missed medicine dose.
Automation of Administrative Tasks
IoT-enabled devices collect and analyze large volumes of information. By doing so, they help to optimize the workflow of medical specialists’.
These devices quickly create various metrics reflecting the patients’ progress, which saves doctors’ time. Also, they help make more precise diagnoses as they store a lot of data about the patient.
Personalized Treatment and Prevention
IoT devices help patients with chronic diseases by tracking their condition and storing this information. By analyzing the data, specialists can work out personalized recommendations for particular patients.
Also, smart devices can immediately detect subtle changes in the condition and send the information to a doctor before the first symptoms appear.
Help to track COVID-19 exposure
Sadly, no smart device (not yet at least) can tell if a person is infected or not. But they can work as an early warning system for illness spreading.
Monitor hospital bed availability
It can show which hospital beds are available and which not. If a hospital has the capacity for a few thousand people, the medical workers having a clear picture of where to locate new patients could ease admissions.
Help with asset tracking
With medical equipment like a ventilator being in high demand, asset trackers can provide real-time, accurate details on the physical location of important devices or even people.
It helps increase the overall efficiency of the routine workflow, provides higher diagnosis accuracy, and allows patients to stay in touch with doctors all the time.