The Internet-of-things (IoT) is preparing to take over from the health industry. By the end of the year, there will be more than 23 billion connected devices, and this figure is expected to reach more than 75 billion by the end of 2025 . Although many of these devices will be used to grill your bread to the perfect degree of cooking, or to give your drone a complete GPS navigation system, the others will have essential roles to fulfill and may even save lives.
The health care industry, as we know it, is about to undergo evolution, as we have never seen it, and we are all destined for better care because of of that.
The most important changes
Here are some of the most important ways that IoT could improve health care:
Training. Physicians, nurses and medical students will be equipped with advanced health care training devices that can provide real-time feedback and mimic patient symptoms. The sophistication and widespread availability of these devices will facilitate the training of new medical professionals over large distances and may even guide them towards a more complete education.
Remote monitoring of the patient. IoT will also revolutionize remote patient monitoring, particularly for patients who have medical devices to manage . For example, IoT could help you check your blood glucose more easily and easily, or tell you if your blood pressure is above normal. Connected devices can send this feedback, in real time, to your primary care physician, who may be able to respond faster than ever before. When it is applied to patients at risk of heart attack or stroke, the benefits become even clearer.
Preventative care. The cheapest and most effective way to get health care is to do it gradually, during times when you do not think you need it. Preventive medicine is underestimated and frequently overlooked by people who do not believe they need regular checkups. The IoT could make these regular exams more practical and could even incorporate them into everyday life; Imagine that you have a device that can proactively monitor your vital signs and that you know exactly when you need to seek other care.
Workflow optimization. Health professionals also look forward to IoT's ability to control the workflow optimization . This may not mean much to you as a patient, but ultimately it will result in better care. Nurses, doctors and patients can all walk around with RFID wristbands, with a centralized system that shows who is supposed to be where and when. Doctors will see you sooner, and there will be less possibility of confusion.
Inventory Management. Although not being the sexiest app, the IoT will also be important in inventory management. Hospitals and doctors' offices often contain controlled substances, drugs and other important equipment; The use of IoT technology can help keep track of all these important elements, and make sure that they are not used for the wrong patient or falling into the wrong hands.
Many of these applications already have prototypes or early models in circulation, while what prevents IoT from truly taking off in health care?
Rhythm. The health sector is not well known for its ability to quickly adopt a new technology. In fact, your local hospital can still use computers from the 90s. A slow adoption will prevent IoT from taking off as quickly as it could otherwise.
Cost. New technologies cost a lot of money, which some hospitals will not be willing to provide, especially with a steady stream of newer, more profitable generations on the horizon. Worse, hospitals adopting this new technology may start charging even more exorbitant prices to make up the difference.
Security. One of the biggest concerns is security . If you have a connected device that controls an important biological function in your body and someone takes control of it, you could be held hostage by a cybercriminal. Your personal data may also be at stake here.
Training. Learning to use IoT devices ethically and appropriately will require weeks or months of training for doctors, nurses and other administrative staff who are already overworked.
Unfortunately, these barriers have the power to curb the growth of IoT health care for years to come. But as we understand them, we will begin to see the gradual introduction of devices, processes, and systems that can increase our lifespan and the quality of our care.