Ensuring Healthcare Support in Remote Areas: How Can IoT be Helpful?
The healthcare industry is under constant pressure to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs. One way to achieve these goals is by using Internet of Things (IoT) implementation in healthcare settings. IoT devices can help observe patients’ health data, and vital parameters, track their medication compliance, and alert hospital staff of potential health risks. This information can be used to provide tailored patient care for continuous patient monitoring, increase patient satisfaction, and monitor patients in remote areas.
There are many potential benefits of using IoT in the healthcare industry. However, it is important to note that the smart healthcare IoT is still in its early stages of development. There are some challenges that need to be addressed before IoT-based healthcare can truly revolutionize the healthcare sector. For example, data security of patient health data and privacy concerns need to be addressed before IoT devices can be embraced in healthcare operations. Despite these challenges, the potential benefits of using healthcare IoT platform are too great to ignore. IoT use cases in healthcare have the potential to improve patient care while reducing healthcare costs. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to develop, it is likely that more and more healthcare facilities will begin to adopt IoT and other devices and solutions to improve remote patient monitoring.
IoT Trends in Healthcare
IoT technology can have an immense impact on healthcare, as the raw data collected by connected devices can be used to monitor patients’ specific symptoms and alert healthcare professionals when necessary. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) can also improve physical and digital healthcare systems infrastructure, allowing healthcare organizations to set up centralized networks of connected devices. These devices based on the Internet of Medical Things can collect data in real time or analyze it. As a result, medical IoT devices can transform traditional healthcare facilities into smart ones.
The IoT-enabled devices can be used to monitor patient vital signs, enroll patients for scheduled check-ups, and even detect patterns that may indicate a disease. As a result, IoT healthcare devices can prevent recurring health problems and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and stroke. Smart medical devices can also help prevent or detect cardiac arrests, seizures, and other serious illnesses.
IoT in healthcare is already transforming healthcare services and changing management practices in a healthcare system. Internet of Things technologies are already being used in the manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare sectors. In fact, healthcare is one of the industries that can benefit most from IoT technology since it can be used for continuous monitoring of elderly patients, medical research, medical tools monitoring, optimization of healthcare providers’ work, and automation of proactive treatment plans. In addition, mobile applications can be used for disease monitoring and prevention. With the help of IoT in healthcare, medical care facilities can improve patient treatment outcomes and decrease costs. With these IoT healthcare real-time data monitoring, the healthcare industry will be able to significantly improve the quality of medical care.
Remote Patient Monitoring
In addition to providing healthcare support to patients in isolated locations, remote patient health monitoring may also help patients with pregnancy complications and chronic illnesses. When a patient requests remote monitoring, a healthcare service will order the medical equipment (wearable sensors or any other real-time health monitoring devices) and visit the patient to explain how to use it. Once the equipment is in place, the clinician will receive alerts when the patient’s required health data changes. The clinician can then communicate with the patient and adjust healthcare as needed. A recent IoT in healthcare case study found that remote monitoring decreased hospitalizations by 30% and saved an average of $8,000 per patient (Piccini et al., 2016).
The implementation of remote health monitoring systems is an excellent choice for remote healthcare support because it can help patients follow their treatment plans and receive better healthcare. Implementation of IoT in healthcare also helps physicians analyze patient data and nurtures patient-provider relationships. By facilitating remote health monitoring, doctors can see whether the patients are adhering to their regimens and whether their treatment is improving the quality of their lives. By providing patients with IoT-based healthcare services for real-time monitoring, caregivers can improve relationships with patients and collect the necessary medical data without constantly visiting them.
Care beyond the hospital walls is a philosophy in the healthcare Internet of Things framework. These practices integrate remote populations and address gaps in healthcare through proactive care and problem prevention. These proactive teams include agile problem-prevention experts who interact with patients more often, instilling confidence in taking medications and filling out data sheets more honestly, which leads to reduced errors. Proactive teams are composed of interdisciplinary professionals with mutually supportive skills who promote wellness throughout healthcare facilities.
Proactive care teams equipped with smart camera systems, wearable healthcare devices, and other smart devices can encourage patients to self-monitor and share sensitive data to the data center, schedule outpatient visits, and arrange for follow-up lab tests. Proactive care software can bring major advantages even to health insurance companies as it can promote healthy habits that last a lifetime and positively influence a patient’s health status. With IoT in healthcare, medical professionals can also intervene before a problem becomes critical and cause significant challenges. In short, the impact of IoT in healthcare is great since it improves the overall health of a patient by preventing health problems and encouraging patients to take responsibility for their blood pressure, glucose levels, heart rate, etc.
Medical Equipment Monitoring
Medical equipment monitoring is a critical element of remote patient monitoring. The process of remote patient monitoring involves the collection of patient medical information from a variety of electronic devices, such as handheld instruments and wearable sensors. The information is then transmitted to a healthcare provider in another location where it is assessed. The care provider can then communicate relevant, data-driven insights to the patient. In remote locations, where infrastructure is limited and resources are scarce, this support is vital.
Possible IoT Challenges in Healthcare
The use of the IoT in healthcare has come up with many technological innovations. With the aging population, health wearables and other IoT devices are crucial to keeping the elderly healthy and safe. However, there are a few challenges that need to be overcome before IoT healthcare technology can become widely adopted.
One of the biggest IoT challenges in healthcare is adapting to a new system and digital form of treatment. Especially for rural hospitals, switching systems is a huge investment. However, the benefits will outweigh the initial investment. With IoT ecosystems, the quality of care, the efficiency of processes, and the cost savings will outweigh the costs of initial implementation. Monitoring IoT devices must integrate seamlessly into the workflow of healthcare workers to ensure that they provide the best possible care. Often, this means redesigning processes to accommodate connected devices. However, with proper devices connected, the benefits of IoT in healthcare will overshadow the possible difficulties.
How Can IoT Impact Treatment Outcomes?
IoT can improve the possible outcomes of treatment by the constant monitoring of patient parameters. Its use in healthcare will allow hospitals to improve treatment systems and open up new doors to healthcare. By harnessing this technology, medical students can learn how to detect diseases more effectively. Additionally, proper IoT usage will help resolve different challenges in the healthcare sector, including speed, cost, and complexity.
The IoT technology can improve health management and monitoring in hospitals, allowing for more effective treatment. It can also be used in hearing aids and fitness trackers, providing health check systems, and minimizing the costs associated with manual data collection and record-keeping. These applications will make it easier for healthcare facilities to monitor patients and improve their quality of life.
What are the TEKTELIC Devices for Healthcare?
TEKTELIC is a leading manufacturer and designer of End-to-End IoT solutions, gateways, and devices in different spheres. Our comprehensive line of healthcare solutions, in turn, is revolutionizing how patients, residents, and medical facilities are monitored. From respiratory health to vital sign monitoring, TEKTELIC eHealth solutions are transforming the way we manage chronic illness and health hazards. With ease of setup, minimal maintenance, and continuous monitoring, TEKTELIC IoT devices have the ability to transform the way we practice medicine.
For remote healthcare settings, TEKTELIC has developed a wearable device called eDOCTOR. This device can continuously monitor a patient’s temperature, breathing rate, chest expansion, body position, and heart rate. It is an ideal device for people who have chronic illnesses related to the respiratory system, senior citizens, sportspersons, and the military. TEKTELIC eDOCTOR provides “Always On” connectivity and unprecedented battery life of over 3 months. One more important point here is that it is fully integrated with the TEKTELIC Respiratory Sensor Desktop Application where you can see all the data and receive notifications of urgent events requiring medical intervention.
Another device TEKTELIC device, which can improve healthcare is the TEKTELIC eBEAT. The device continuously monitors the patient’s vital indications, including body temperature and heart rate. This device is effective for people with respiratory and can be used to detect symptoms of chronic illness. The device can be worn discreetly and is able to communicate with other connected devices. It has an adjustable and washable strap, so it fits any size.
Things to Remember
Many rural and remote areas around the world lack access to quality healthcare. This can be due to a number of factors, including a lack of trained medical professionals, inadequate infrastructure, and limited resources. TEKTELIC offers a range of devices that can help improve healthcare access in rural and remote areas. These devices will help monitor the patient’s intake of medication and help physicians determine if they are doing their job well. We also offer training and support services to help ensure that our products are used effectively.
With TEKTELIC healthcare solutions, you can help improve access to quality healthcare for people in rural and remote areas around the world. To start integrating IoT devices into your healthcare institution, please contact our sales and support team via email at email@example.com
Piccini, J. P., Mittal, S., Snell, J., Prillinger, J. B., Dalal, N., & Varma, N. (2016). Impact of remote monitoring on clinical events and associated health care utilization: A nationwide assessment. Heart rhythm, 13(12), 2279–2286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2016.08.024
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