Last Updated | June 9, 2021
What Is The Internet Of Medical Things (IoMT) In Healthcare?
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is the collection of internet-connected medical devices — such as wearables and sensor-enabled devices for remote patient monitoring — applications, and health systems that are capable of generating, analyzing and transmitting health data to health care information technology systems. Wi-Fi-enabled medical devices that facilitate machine-to-machine communication alleviate the burden on healthcare systems and reduce in-person visits by enabling remote patient monitoring and transfer of medical data over a secure network. Examples of IoMT include surgical robots or intelligent hospital beds that can alert the nurse’s stations each time a patient falls, as well as everyday use Fitbit trackers, heart rate monitors, and smart sock baby monitors that have become all the rage.
What are the Top 10 benefits of IoT in healthcare?
1. Real-time Monitoring
Healthcare staff is already pressed for time, and they may not realize where they are needed at the moment. Real-time monitoring of patients via connected devices helps doctors and nurses to immediately react to medical emergencies, such as asthma attacks, heart failure, and critically low blood sugar level. The IoT devices collect and transfer vital health data such as body temperature, blood pressure, oxygen and blood sugar levels, weight, and ECGs via smartphone apps to health systems. For instance, Roche’s Eversense CGM System is a glucose monitoring system which can be implanted below the patient’s skin and allows continuous, automatic monitoring of glucose levels in patients, and the blood glucose levels are directly sent to the concerned authority. Similarly, IoT-connected inhalers monitor the frequency of asthma attacks, as well as constantly analyze the environment to help identify triggers. Real-time monitoring is also the foundation for telemedicine, where doctors can provide accurate recommendations to patients without having to assess them in person. Healthcare app development services ensure the development of integrated apps that connect seamlessly with IoMt devices.
2. Ensures Adherence to Physician’s orders
Whereas before, a doctor had to rely on a patient’s account of how they feel, connected medical devices provide an actual picture of a patient’s health to enable better diagnosis and treatment plans. IoMT devices are also being used to monitor patient activity outside the physician’s office, so that a patient’s adherence to doctor’s orders and therapy recommendations can be assessed. IoMT devices help healthcare staff keep tabs on what happens after a patient goes home. Medical devices such as pacemakers and ingestible pills facilitate interval surveillance that help healthcare staff monitor the progression of a disease and determine future care guidelines depending on the unique biological systems of a patient. These devices also allow continuous observation of discharged patients to speed up recovery and prevent re-admission.
3. Improved Drug Management
Doctors can now track compliance with prescriptions, thanks to a swallow-able pill equipped with sensors can track and keep physicians informed on how regularly patients take their medications. The data transmitted to mobile apps include the medicines the patient is taking, the exact time the medicine was taken, the dosage and strength of the drug that was taken, and the chemical and physical reactions to it. It helps make sure that patient is taking the right dosage of the right medicine at the right time, as prescribed, and whether the treatment is effective.
4. Improved Health Outcomes
Healthcare solutions allow healthcare providers to access real-time data to make informed decisions and thereby deliver better clinical outcomes. Evidence-bases diagnosis eliminates room for error and allow healthcare professionals to tweak standard treatments according to the need of the hour. Dedicated procedures, improved diagnosis accuracy, and personalized treatment options enhance the patient experience and satisfaction with the care plan.
5. Increased Patient Engagement
With the focus towards patient-centric care, patients are becoming more and more involved in their healthcare plans. Since the advent and proliferation of healthcare apps with integration to wearable devices, fitness-aficionados are taking their health into their own hands. Well-informed patients not only work towards achieving optimum health, they are also much more involved in their care management program and proactively partake in decisions pertaining to their health.
6. Better Chronic Care Management
Chronic care management is all about driving data from regular health checkups and health assessments of the patient. IoT has opened new doors for remote patient monitoring. This has the potential to significantly reduce in-person visits, and allow doctors to keep tabs on the health parameters more accurately from a remote location. Data-driven insights and graphs allow healthcare staff to gauge healthcare trends and look out for any red flags.
7. Asset Management
IoTM helps healthcare facilities manage their assets better. Healthcare staff is constantly on the lookout for medical equipment, medications, and devices, and oftentimes, speedy availability of resources can be critical. Position tracking and indoor geolocation data can help healthcare staff track and locate equipment within the healthcare premises. Also, IoT devices can monitor the functionality of medical equipment and raise alerts if a medical device is malfunctioning or needs repairs. Folio3 Medical app Development Company helps develop stellar applications for hospitals to facilitate better asset management.
8. Reduced Costs
IoTM devices allow real-time remote patient monitoring. This reduces in-person visits, and fewer hospital stays and readmissions, thanks to accurate data collection and quick intervention by doctors. When data is collected and transmitted via automated workflows, it eliminates room for human errors, which cost healthcare organizations millions of dollars each year. Some IoT devices can help track patients’ activities and reactions to medication, which helps doctors devise personalize treatment plans, instead of repeatedly wasting time and money on prescribing standard treatments that the patient isn’t responding to.
9. Remote Medical Assistance
The emergence of IoTM devices have redefined telemedicine. In the event of an emergency, patients can seek medical health from physicians located far away. IoT-enabled mobility solutions include video consultations with physicians and evaluation of symptoms through video observation, IoTM data, and digital tests.
The vast amount of data generated by IoTM devices can provide fodder for research into disease management. Folio3 EHR/EMR integration makes sure that all this data gets stored in a patient’s health records. This data, which would have taken years to collect manually, can help researchers understand the progression of diseases and support medical research. In a way, IoTM devices are not just enhancing the quality of the healthcare services, they are also paving way for bigger and better medical treatments.
What are the Top IoMT devices in healthcare?
Automated Insulin Delivery systems
Artificial pancreas is becoming increasingly popular with people suffering from Diabetes. These systems work hand-in-hand with continuous glucose monitors that automatically monitor the body’s blood sugar levels to calculate the units of insulin needed by the body at any given time. The calculated dosage is then automatically delivered via an insulin pump. This alleviates the need to check blood sugar levels manually and then inject the right dosage of insulin. These devices have the potential to prevent extreme highs and lows of blood sugar and allow a person with diabetes to live a normal life.
Respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD can be aggravated due to a lack of adherence to prescribed treatments, asthma plans, and medicines. Connected inhalers transmit data to an app, including alerts for when a patient has left their inhaler at home or when the inhaler is being used improperly. These inhalers also help patients track their medicine use and send reminders to make sure the patient takes the dose on time.
As the name suggests, these IoMT devices provide an alternative for colonoscopies and more invasive procedures by letting patients swallow a sensor the size pill. This sensor can provide critical internal surveillance data, including the presence of underlying gut problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer.
IoMT catheters are fitted with sensors that can measure urine output and monitor the body temperature for patients on catheterization. Timely monitoring of these health indicators help doctors identify and nip infections in the bud. Urine analysis can also create triggers for potential diabetes or prostate cancer and allow doctors to create effective prevention and treatment plans.
Smart Medication Dispensers
Smart medication dispensers help identify patients who don’t adhere to doctor’s orders and don’t take their medication on time. These devices automatically notify physicians when patients neglect prescriptions, which in turn helps to flag potentially dangerous patient behavior. Folio3 Custom medical software Development Company designs drug management solutions that ensure total compliance.
Pfizer and IBM have worked on the “Parkinson’s house”, where everything from the refrigerators to the door knobs and furniture is equipped with sensors that detect the smallest variation in a patient’s movements. This data is transmitted to the corresponding authorities, who use it to analyze the patient’s progress and effectiveness of treatment plans and medicine prescriptions.
Conclusion: Why The Internet Of Medical Things Is The Future Of Healthcare?
IoT technology has undoubtedly brought about an unprecedented revolution in healthcare, introducing such ground-shattering innovations such as implantable glucose monitoring, Parkinson’s disease monitoring, connected inhalers, ingestible sensors, automated insulin delivery, and smart medicine dispensers. Connected medical devices can track heart rates, blood pressure, ECG, blood sugar, body temperature, cholesterol levels and insulin levels regularly and transmit the data to the concerned physicians.
Not only has IoMT boosted patient engagement, better healthcare outcomes, lower costs due to elimination of human errors and re-admissions, and more customized care treatments, it has also enabled remote monitoring of chronic patients, real-time data driven decisions, and more improved point of care delivery. Real-time data not only facilitate timely intervention and save lives, it also helps doctors devise preventive plans to reduce the number of people with chronic illnesses. Even for healthcare organizations, IoMT can digitize and automate processes, guarantee better allocation of resources, keep track of medical equipment, reduce in-person visits due to Folio3 telemedicine solution, and reduce costs and streamline operational efficiency.
Indubitably, the healthcare industry is in the throes of a digital transformation, and IoMT is at the forefront of that transformation. More than 60% of global health care organizations have already implemented Internet of Things technologies and more are expected to follow.
Forecasts for the IoMT Market Size?
The IoMT market is estimated to reach USD 142.45 billion by 2026, a 26% increase over 2018. The increasing need for improved patient outcomes and increased awareness and innovation of cutting-edge IoMT devices are fueling the demand.
What is the biggest security challenge in establishing IoMT?
Critical security challenges must be addressed to make the most of IoT for healthcare. IoMT devices are constantly collecting sensitive and personal patient data, which is protected by HIPAA and other regulations. As such, these devices provide a repository of data for hackers if proper security measures are not implemented. At least 82 percent of healthcare organizations have experienced a breach in their IoT devices. Therefore, care must be taken that this data doesn’t fall into unauthorized hands.
How is the Internet used in hospitals?
First and foremost, internet connectivity allows care providers to gain rapid access to information that is needed to diagnose a health condition or in the development of suitable treatment plans. Not to mention, IoT-enabled devices allow doctors to constantly receive patient health data, such as heart rate, glucose levels, blood pressure and other health indicators so that timely intervention is possible in case of an abnormality. The Internet also enables patient-centered care, enabling consumers to gather health-related information to learn about their conditions and treatment plans, to communicate with care providers, and stay involved in decisions pertaining to their health.
What are the Top 5 applications of IoMT in healthcare?
- Remote patient monitoring
- Hospital asset management and equipment maintenance
- Adherence to treatment plans and medication schedule in patients
- Parkinson’s disease monitoring
- Robotic Surgery
Advantages and disadvantages of IoT in healthcare?
- Real-time patient Monitoring
- Automated delivery of medicines
- Remote assistance via telemedicine
- Non-invasive medical procedures
- Streamlines workflows in hospitals and better asset and facility management
- Reduced costs and re-admissions
- More patient engagement and adherence to treatment plans
- Potential breach of privacy
- Global Regulatory compliance
- Unauthorized access to centralization
- Connectivity and power dependence
- Expensive to implement
How Can IoMT be implemented in healthcare?
Various IoMT applications in hospitals involve real-time data-driven decision-making, remote patient monitoring, ingestible sensors, non-invasive procedures, and smart apps used to connect patients and doctors at remote places.