The use of high-tech gadgets and equipment in the healthcare industry is improving the quality of treatment day by day. One of these technologies is IoT. IoT, or the Internet of Things is a network of interconnected devices enabled by the Internet. These lifesaving devices can range from compact and mobile to large and systematic.
Currently, IoT is being used by the best doctors and medical institutions to improve patient care and quality of life. If you are intrigued to learn more about how these new-age devices are saving people’s lives, this article is meant for you. In this blog, we are going to discuss the benefits of IoT in healthcare, common applications, and its scope in the healthcare industry.
A] Benefits Of IoT In The Healthcare Industry
- Cost Reduction: IoT helps to reduce the burden on patient’s pockets by reducing the number of visits and checkups. IoT can help doctors track patient conditions in real-time, eliminating the need to visit the hospital.
- Remote Reporting and Monitoring: Wearable IoT devices are helping to save patient lives by alerting the patient and the doctor of any critical issues. These devices can accurately track a number of vitals, including blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and oxygen levels.
- Improved Disease Diagnosis: Continuous and real-time monitoring of the patient’s vitals helps to detect and diagnose diseases at their early stage. Accurate early diagnoses are crucial for early treatment and remission of the disease.
- Drugs and Equipment Management: IoT devices are immensely helpful in tracking drugs and medical equipment and keeping them safe in inventory. Keeping track of each individual unit of drug and equipment, such as oxygen masks and wheelchairs are some of the major problems in healthcare today that can be solved with IoT.
- End-to-end Connectivity: IoT can connect doctors with patients regardless of the distance. This can significantly improve the way patients seek guidance and doctors treat patients. Communication protocols such as WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and RFID can ensure that patients are always under the medical eye.
- Remote Medical Assistance: In an emergency, doctors can diagnose and treat patients using IoT devices from different cities. IoT can also help doctors to reach the required medication and drugs to the patient in time.
- Error Reduction: IoT devices collect and analyse a lot of data. This data is then used by professionals to improve operations and reduce errors.
B] How IoT Is Used In Healthcare?
1. Patient Monitoring
Patient monitoring is made easy and affordable using a range of IoT devices. Medical professionals can efficiently track patients using IoT-embedded wearable devices and home monitoring devices. The data collected using IoT can then be used as health records of the patients.
Early diagnoses can help doctors to start planning the treatment, schedule, and rehabilitation early, leading to improved healthcare experience. This proactive approach to being proactive in diagnoses and monitoring patient’s health is truly a lifesaving application of IoT in healthcare.
2. Asset Management
As previously mentioned, IoT is an immensely helpful tool for asset management. Many high-tech hospitals in tier 1 cities have already incorporated IoT-enabled sensors in their assets to keep track of them and find them easily during emergencies. Asset management can solve a lot of coordination and efficiency issues that hospitals face.
Wheelchairs, defibrillators, nebulizers, oxygen pumps and other monitoring equipment are crucial for effective patient care and mismanagement can cause distress to the patient. Using sensors, the management team can have a reliable record of the number of assets and ensure they are stored safely when not needed.
3. Easier Health Insurance Claims
The process for health insurance claims often takes a lot of time, putting patients and their family members under stress and also antagonising the hospital. Innovative IoT applications are reducing the time for processing claims and improving the experience for both the doctors and the patients.
The insurance companies use the data collected through the IoT devices to fast-track the claims process. Instead of asking for dozens of reports and receipts and verifying each of them individually, insurance companies can use the data captured by the IoT devices. This reduces the risk of fraudulent claims and benefits those in need.
4. Reduce Patient Waiting Time
Reducing waiting time is one of the key objectives of a healthcare facility for improving patient satisfaction and the treatment process. IoT helps to make the registration and check-in process more efficient. Doctors can connect with the patients too and start the treatment based on the data collected using IoT devices.
These improvements add up to ensure every patient is cared for in due time. IoT can also alert the on-duty staff to help the patient. Proper asset management can ensure patients get stretchers and wheelchairs on time. These are additional benefits of IoT that indirectly improve waiting times in hospitals.
5. Medication Management
It used to be a challenge for doctors to ensure that their patients were taking their medication on time. Now, with the help of IoT, doctors can set a time for taking the medication. Patients will receive a notification when it is time to take their medication. IoT-enabled drug dispensation devices can also dispense the correct medicines at the set time in recommended doses to help elderly and forgetful patients.
Tracking IoT can help doctors monitor the effects of the medication therapy, identify issues, and change their course of treatment accordingly. This can greatly help to improve treatment outcomes and even reduce costs for patients.
6. IoT Assisted Robotic surgery
Robotic surgery is a new technique in medical treatment that facilitates heightened precision, smaller incisions, and faster recovery. Surgeons can employ IoT devices connected through Bluetooth or RFID to get a complete image of the patient’s internal organs. IoT can help to reduce the number of errors and even improve the surgery process to improve patient recovery.
Doctors can practice complex surgical processes using IoT-enabled surgery robots to sharpen their skills. The role of virtual reality in industrial training can not be understated along with IoT in healthcare.
C] The Adoption Of IoT In Healthcare
The healthcare sector is always eager to adopt new technologies to improve patient care and treatment. IoT technology is in its development stage and yet the use of IoT in healthcare has skyrocketed. According to a report by Precedence Research, healthcare IoT is projected to grow at a CAGR of 18.50% from 2023 to 2032.
This surge in popularity can be accredited to the increase in the availability of the technology. Hospitals and other medical institutions can even rent IoT technology to decrease upfront costs.
Technology and innovation have always been a big part of the healthcare industry. The integration of IoT in healthcare is bringing forth a new wave of improvements in patient management, treatments, medical devices, and many more crucial fields. This has led to several well-known hospitals integrating IoT into healthcare, administration, and other allied processes.
If you are looking to incorporate IoT in your medical institution, we can help you streamline your process. 360BrightMedia offers a number of IoT services including RFID registration. To discuss further about your IoT requirements, contact us today!