How The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is transforming the healthcare sector
April 19, 2021
Over the years, the healthcare sector has experienced a tremendous transformation in streamlining personalized medical services across the world. The impact of digitization has also led to improved means of diagnosis and treatment for chronic as well as short-term illness. In July 2018, the Allure Group had become the first-ever Brooklyn-based nursing facility that implemented a remote monitoring system that tracks patients’ vital signs and movements courtesy of sensors placed under mattresses and pillows. Other notable innovations such as Digital Health, a term coined by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), blends digital technologies with health-related services to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery. Such a discipline is expected to pave the way towards personalized and precise treatment.
Challenges of conventional healthcare systems that arose during the pandemic
During the beginning of 2020, when the pandemic was surging, a few of the challenges that the healthcare sector experienced were insufficient means to provide no-contact methods of treatment, patient monitoring, and flexible drug distribution to remote locations and other locations, globally. Other pressing issues were:
The generation of massive patient information
which called for better data storage and organization requirements. With more and more devices getting connected to the cloud from a single healthcare facility, AI-driven algorithms and cloud data centers can be beneficial.
Securing patient data
from network hackers is also a critical need for maintaining patient-doctor confidentiality, data protection, and preventing mishandling of patient details. Adopting the Internet of Things into healthcare practices would also require upgrading or revamping existing software infrastructures at hospitals and clinics.
While the concept of digitization is rapidly advancing by the day, connected devices are getting further re-engineered to improve efficiencies, lower the cost, and drive better outcomes. When it comes to the healthcare sector, aspects such as computing power and wireless capabilities are continuing to leverage the potential of the technologies that surround the Internet of Things.
Implementing IoT in the healthcare industry
IoT, which is the driving wheel of today's digital transformation has had a particularly profound impact on the healthcare sector giving rise to what is popularly known today as the Internet of Medical Things.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is defined as an ecosystem of connected medical equipment, devices, software applications, health services and systems. Its growth is tabulated with an increase in the number of connected medical devices that are capable of generating, collecting, analyzing or transmitting the patient's health data via connectivity networks to a cloud repository or internal servers.
A study conducted by researchers from UCLA and Cedar Sinai Medical Center demonstrates the ability to evaluate patients with heart disease by simultaneously monitoring and recording their heart rate. This reduces in patient visits, thereby reducing costs. Goldman Sachs estimates that IoMT will save the healthcare industry $300 Bn annually by cutting spending on patient monitoring. The connection between machines and sensors also ultimately streamlines hospital workflow management leading to the efficient improvement in patient care even in remote locations.
Integrating IoT technology into patient care can result in better, safer, and simpler patient care. From medical device implantation to smart sensors, the IoT can expedite the delivery of healthcare, allowing medical workers to spend less time on logistics and more time treating conditions and consulting with patients.
Detailed below are some of the noteworthy impacts of implementing the Internet of Things in the healthcare industry.
Data collection, monitoring, and reporting
The impact of IoT in healthcare has brought about significant improvements in patient care in aspects related to patient data collection, reporting, and monitoring health status. Reporting problems in real-time through mobile applications have enabled quicker and more efficient treatment. Connected medical devices linked via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Cellular network technologies are capable of sending data to both patient and physician. Data collected in this form fastens decision-making and can significantly minimize human error.
Accessibility & affordability
Delivering medical care by means of connected machines and mobility solutions makes patient care easy to access and affordable. This also helps increase workflow productivity. Healthcare applications that utilizes IoT technology will enhance connectivity and data sharing of patient details. Tracking and identifying illness has also become easy and less time-consuming.
Efficient distribution of prescription drugs
Vast and scheduled distribution of prescription drugs can be made efficient through means of automation. Distributing over the counter pills and bottled drugs via automation lessens the need for manual monitoring, ultimately freeing up providers to focus on more pressing issues.
Other benefits of IoMT
Advocating IoMT in healthcare has its many benefits. Improved efficiency, lesser expenses and faster per-patient implementation are a few. Other benefits include remote patient monitoring, automated drug management, improved diagnosis and treatment.
Growth of IoT in the healthcare market
According to marketsandmarkets.com, the global IoT healthcare market is expected to grow from USD 72.5 Bn in 2020 to USD 188.2 Bn by 2025, at a CAGR of 21% during the forecast period.
The factors that fuel the growth of IoT in the healthcare market
Emerging economies in regions such as the APAC are expected to offer new market opportunities to the vendors of the IoT healthcare market. Other factors such as reduced cost of patient care, evolution of AI technology, rising deployments of IoT solutions can also offer lucrative opportunities for market players in the next five years.
Popular IoT use cases in Healthcare
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring utilizes IoT technology to automatically track healthcare metrics such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature from patients under observation in healthcare facilities eliminating the need for face-to-face patients and doctors interaction. Data collected from sensors embedded on the monitoring device can be forwarded to a software application which can be used for decision making when it comes to options of treatment.
IoT-enabled glucose monitoring devices can easily eliminate the need to keep a manual record of a patient's glucose levels. These smart devices address such challenges by being able to provide continuous and automatic monitoring of glucose levels and can also alert patients when the levels are abnormal
Smart wearables or connected wearables are widely adopted IoT systems for personal use. They are helpful in tracking, analyzing data, and sending custom alerts to its users.
Journeying towards a connected future for the healthcare industry with IoMT
In the coming years, the IoMT seems well positioned for aspects of growth in healthcare. Over the next decade, the number of connected medical devices is expected to reach more than 50 Billion. Such an upsurge in the number of interconnected devices is expected to generate large amounts of data, and it has become crucial to adopt robust data management platforms to orchestrate seamless and efficient management of such connected devices.
Cavli Wireless offers a one-stop solution to seamless modem management of connected medical equipments/devices
Managing your connected healthcare devices can now be even more seamless and efficient with our feature-rich IoT CaaS platform, the Cavli Hubble. It offers multiple functionalities from subscribing to local IoT connectivity anywhere in the world, managing/troubleshooting modem/devices, monitoring key devices functioning parameters, secure messaging, and more.
Talk to our solution consulting team to get a free demo of the world’s truly seamless CaaS IoT platformBook a demo