Are IoT Solutions the Future of the Healthcare Industry?
It can be difficult to comprehend the consequences that the Internet of Things (IoT) for medical solutions can bring for healthcare. Properly used Internet of Things technology can lead to better patient outcomes, increased industry knowledge, and overall better patient’s experience. So, find out if connected healthcare solutions can be the future of personalized care.
As a massive industry, healthcare has historically been a slow adopter of smart technologies. Medical professionals can be quite skeptical of the improvements in the healthcare facility, smart medical equipment, healthcare mobility solutions, and automated real-time patient data analysis of electrical medical records. Usually, medical workers cannot believe that healthcare IoT solutions or other smart medical technologies are really reliable and can improve healthcare delivery. For these reasons, many IoT communities have recently started medical research to show medical providers that efficient healthcare solutions can improve data security, enhance drug management, simplify monitoring elderly patients, predict future healthcare trends, and improve medical treatments in general.
Further, the McKinley Global Institute projects that IoT devices will boost the economy by $4 trillion to $11 trillion in 2025. Experts are watching how the rise of the Internet of Medical Things and IoT healthcare solutions will change healthcare services for the best. Timely treatment of medical emergencies, diagnosis of chronic diseases, real-time monitoring of a patient’s health, and increased patient satisfaction, all become possible with connected healthcare solutions in healthcare. Are you just as excited to see how IoT-connected devices are changing the game for healthcare? Here’s a quick look at IoT health solutions and predictions for the future.
What is IoT?
For those who need a quick refresher, IoT stands for “Internet of Things“. This is a broad term for technology that connects over the Internet with other devices. IoT devices on the network share information and transmit IoT data securely and reliably. IoT creates an ecosystem that improves the performance of everyday tasks that is usually based on the analysis of extensive data collected. For larger buildings or cases that require long-range and low-power capabilities, there are LoRaWAN Devices. “LoRaWAN” stands for Long Range Wide Area Network. By sharing information wirelessly for things like remote patient monitoring, devices can better collect data about their environment and user behavior. As a result, IoT can improve the way our environments work for us and make people’s lives easier.
The most accessible IoT examples are in our own homes. For example, there are home computer systems that control HVAC systems, lights, and alarms. As a result, homeownership is easier and safer. Using devices such as Alexa and Siri contribute to this ecosystem. They help us control all the connected devices in our environment. Automation with computers has improved workflows, increased data collection, and helped professionals make more informed and quicker decisions. Capabilities like this can improve and save lives when applied to healthcare.
How Can IoT Change Healthcare?
There are many benefits associated with IoT healthcare solutions. Biosensors and other implantable devices that monitor physiological data through wireless and remote communication are prime examples. These cloud computing devices have the potential to automate the prescribed healthcare routine, increase patient compliance, and even save lives. Cloud applications have end-to-end security and regulatory compliance, so sensitive data is safe in them. In order to achieve these benefits, healthcare IoT solution vendors must first help healthcare institutions understand their financial benefits as IoT healthcare technology can significantly reduce healthcare costs. By integrating IoT healthcare devices, empowered therapeutic professionals can make their services more appealing to medical patients. Remote access to patient health is designed to promote patient experiences and overcome the major challenge of downtime.
IoT healthcare solutions provide a range of benefits for continuous patient monitoring, which is why it is a frequent topic of discussion recently. Even in 2020, there was a record number of healthcare-focused IoT devices revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show. Popular medical device solutions at the event included home monitoring systems to monitor patients’ health remotely and healthcare robots, which can address chronic disease based on a patient’s health data.
Arguably, the most important IoT solutions revelation in healthcare was the use of “wearables”. They present endless possibilities for the medical industry and can transfer relevant patient data directly to a healthcare professional. For healthcare, wearable Medical Devices can watch many different biomarkers and collect important patient data like vitals and even brain activity in real time. At the same time, the IoT healthcare community offers a range of devices that send to medical providers ready-to-review reports and alerts. As a result, healthcare providers stay informed in real time and can make decisions based on medical data instantly. No more waiting for patients to report symptoms during check-ups or problems with accidentally taking the wrong medical file. Healthcare organizations used to rely a lot on human perception of symptoms. Now, the IoT healthcare community set of sensors collects large amounts of objective data with ease. As a result, healthcare providers are now more informed and can respond immediately to any health issues of their medical patients.
Use Cases for IoT in Healthcare Facilities
Overall, the next generation of IoT applications can improve the way healthcare providers care for patients and run their chronic diseases or other illnesses. These devices improve IoT solutions for healthcare and medical device integration, open new opportunities, take over data collection, and relieve the burden of more mundane tasks such as daily physical medical examinations. In consequence, IoT technology allows relevant healthcare providers to improve even home care.
Generally, IoT healthcare solutions increase the quality of medical care by optimizing:
Patient Experience with Sensors & Smart Devices
Smart devices of the past few years including smart pills & blister packs for patients with asthma are becoming common practice across the globe as more devices for better treatment outcomes are released. Smart inhalers have already become the current standard in medical equipment for asthma. There are many other great applications for IoT technology in the healthcare sector. For instance real-time health systems (RTHS), equipment for real-time health data monitoring, and connected healthcare systems.
The recent advances in microelectronics and optical components have led to novel implantable biosensors. The miniaturization of biosensor components allows for long-term implantation within the body for the best remote patient care. These medical devices contain wireless communication and measurement electronics and can be implanted in various parts of the body to gather the necessary health data. These devices are also equipped with intelligent diagnostic algorithms to help physicians monitor the body’s conditions. They are implanted into the body and can send data to a bedside monitor or remote center for analysis and auto-response.
The main goal of implanted devices is to improve patient quality of life. The accuracy of prediction during myocardial ischemia episodes, for example, can improve patient engagement and quality of life. In addition, long-term remote monitoring helps patients to improve their health and increase their quality of life. Several clinical trials have shown promising results with such medical devices. These implanted devices are currently in development and are expected to improve the quality of life for many patients.
Mobile devices support diagnosing symptoms, enhance treatment and improve customer support. and thus provide improvements to patient-doctor relationships that contribute significantly to improving their disease treatment options. Smart device development is already underway and IoT systems can improve the patient experience in many ways with a sufficient level of patient data privacy.
Improved Building Systems
Aside from patient wearables and health monitoring devices, one of the most important uses for IoT in medical facilities is ambient environment monitoring devices & sensors. These are devices that track information in their environment and send the data back to the main computer. Then, the computer processes the unstructured data and turns it into useful information for users. Healthcare facilities can use these sensors to track environments throughout the building. IoT health solution systems can then alert professionals to any problems immediately. The rise of IoT is also occurring side by side with the introduction of 5G, which will create incredible speeds for internet networks. Since IoT sensors rely on networks to communicate and function, 5G will open the door to much faster and more reliable IoT systems.
IoT systems are great tools for automating and improving the way buildings are run. IoT devices can take on tasks like HVAC and lighting. In addition, they can help the flow of traffic and collect data for analysis of the building. In healthcare organizations, this means it’s much easier to create and maintain a comforting and safe environment. Further, it helps building operators monitor energy use and other financial factors. TEKTELIC is proud to produce BREEZE-D that allows measure not only temperature and humidity levels in hospitals but also the control of CO2 levels indoors. All these parameters are reported in real-time to a responsible person to take the necessary measures in time.
IoT systems make it possible to collect large amounts of data and quickly find issues. IoT devices in the healthcare sector take care of individual tasks and locations, then relay information back to the main computer. As a result, professionals can watch the entire facility closely. Any maintenance issues, such as a malfunctioning light or refrigerator, can be found instantly. Maintenance staff will then correct them right away with the help of IoT system alerts.
IoT devices are great security solutions. Interconnected devices like cameras, sensors, and monitors help security teams watch the facility. Then, security professionals can rely on IoT systems to alert them to unusual behavior and react faster. IoT devices, therefore, reduce time and energy wasted on watching screens. For tense environments like hospitals, IoT can improve the speed and accuracy of how security responds to emergencies.
Several IoT devices can collect real-time information to help medical workers monitor a patient’s condition leading to better health outcomes. These devices can be programmed to produce final reports, reducing the need to store raw data. Healthcare operations can gain valuable data-driven insights that can improve decision-making and reduce medical errors. With connected medical devices, a hospital’s staff can monitor a patient’s vital indications, drop alerts when a vital part needs to be operated on, and make informed treatment choices based on this data.
In a healthcare organization, IoT sensors are being used to track vital signs, verify patient identity, and perform location tracking of hospital equipment. Using these devices, healthcare accommodations can reduce their rates of infection by 60%. Another application of IoT devices is in the field of asset management. IoT sensors can be used to track pharmacy inventory, check the temperature of vaccine refrigerators, and keep track of important assets.
Improving Critical Environments
Critical environments need close attention and immediate reaction to issues. These environments pose a safety hazard to healthcare professionals and patients. As a solution, IoT systems offer a safe way to watch these environments. For example, IoT sensors can track levels of certain gases in the air and room temperature. Any healthcare data that goes outside the set parameters will trigger the sensor. Then, the sensor can alert professionals of the change in the environment.
Healthcare is an industry that requires precision medication. It is important to monitor vaccine quality and temperature. Cold chains are necessary for preserving vaccines, such as COVID, which need to be stored at a specific temperature for the best possible outcome. For this purpose, TEKTELIC can offer a TUNDRA Sensor, which can measure temperature and send alerts if the vaccine container falls outside of acceptable limits. It also can be connected to other systems to modulate temperature, which is perfect for cold chain supply tracking. This remote device has a battery life of up to 10 years, so you don’t have to worry instead of constant replacement.
TUNDRA Sensor can be placed in any cold environment, including fridges, coolers, cold rooms, and even freezers. It can be also useful for inventory management in cold spaces to streamline clinical operations as it has location tracking capabilities. Locating smart hospital equipment from cold rooms will be easier than ever with the TUNDRA sensor. This remote device can give you the necessary insights into the supply chain with information security, reducing costs on any additional geolocating equipment.
What Can TEKTELIC Offer to Healthcare Industry?
TEKTELIC is a leading provider of IoT in healthcare. We offer a wide range of products and services that can help improve patient care. Our smart hospital solutions can help you increase operational outcomes, reduce costs, and enhance patient care. We offer a variety of solutions, including asset tracking, environmental monitoring, and patient flow management. All the data will be stored on a cloud platform, so it can be accessed at any time.
All healthcare IoT devices we produce can be used in a smart hospital building, healthcare manufacturing, and home care. We understand that wearable devices are an increasingly popular way to track personal health data, and include them in the medical supplies we offer. That is why TEKTELIC offers a range of wearables that can be used to track vital indications, activity levels, and more. Our devices follow full medical compliance and can be safely used for advanced analytics of vital signs for both in-house and remote patients.
With the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, TEKTELIC consulted with physicians and medical advisors in Alberta and identified an urgent need for a simple, reliable, low-maintenance, and easy-to-deploy device to continuously monitor key vital signs that may be consistent with COVID-19 with a goal to support early detection and spread prevention, particularly in high-risk environments such as hospitals, senior care residences and for seniors at home. Existing respiratory health monitoring practices in these environments can be very manual, time-consuming, and expensive.
TEKTELIC’s LoRaWAN eDOCTOR is the ideal IoT healthcare solution to monitor patients and vulnerable individuals for potential respiratory illness. This specialized device is designed to continuously monitor and detect the most common symptoms of respiratory illness including increased body temperature and breathing rate, persistent cough, and accelerated heart rate. It also has fall detection and will notify a medical team member if something goes wrong with a patient. It will analyze data from the patient’s body and send sensitive data to an app, where the end-user can use it for data analytics and decision-making.
It continuously monitors the health and well-being of medical facility patients, senior care residents, or any other individual for potential respiratory illness or other health indicators requiring intervention.
Another IoT device that is irreplaceable for usage in hospitals and care houses – is TEKTELIC eBEAT. It continuously monitors the health and well-being of medical facility patients, senior care residents, or any other individual for potential respiratory illness or other health indicators requiring intervention.
IoT devices and systems, without a doubt, will revolutionize healthcare technology. In fact, they’ve already been changing the way healthcare is run for years. There’s no telling how advancements will improve healthcare, but the future looks bright. TEKTELIC is a proud producer of IoT devices like end devices, sensors, and gateways. We strive to improve the healthcare industry through patient and provider experience, increasing efficiency of the industry.