IoT in Healthcare: Applications, Benefits, Challenges, And Future



Internet of medical things (IoMT) is going to swell to around a $158 billion valuation in 2022. The revenue continues to grow in the Medtech industry. It is expected to grow by 600 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. IoT in healthcare is a thriving technology because it is helpful for patient interaction with doctors, and insurance companies to get the health status of the patient, remote patient monitoring, and empower the physicians to provide better care.

There are many healthcare apps for IoT medical devices in the market like Fitbit and Medicine delivery app. Increasing consciousness about health and making the use of medical devices smart with IoT have increased the demand for the top IoT development company. Professional developers can build IoT devices and apps so that healthcare companies can use them and check health conditions, manage medical data, maintain medical equipment, and reduce healthcare costs.

From diagnosis to prescribing medicines and checking the treatment outcomes healthcare technology is working effectively. If you wonder, how IoT helps in healthcare, this blog will make you aware of the use of IoT in healthcare in detail. So, without wasting your time, let’s dive into the information.

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Applications of IoT in Healthcare

Every step of the patient journey is transformed since the advent of IoT technologies. It has made the work of healthcare providers easy and fast. The Healthcare industry uses not only IoT healthcare devices but also various mHealth apps. And the number of these apps reached 65.3 thousand in the Google play store during the last quarter of 2021.

Apps are integrated into the IoT device so that people can use them with their wearable devices. Moreover, patient data is collected with the help of apps and IoT devices. There are various applications of IoT medical devices in the healthcare industry. Let’s read below to increase your industry knowledge.

  • Fast Disease Diagnosis
  • Proactive Treatment
  • Improved Treatment
  • In-Home Care
  • Drugs and Equipment Management
  • Patient Monitoring
  • Cold Chain Supply Tracking
  • Smart Hospital Building
  • Healthcare Manufacturing
  • 1. Fast Disease Diagnosis

    Medical staff can collect the real-time data of patients connected to medical devices. The collected data helps healthcare providers to diagnose the disease at an early stage. They can find symptoms with continuous monitoring and provide healthcare solutions accordingly. This technology is a breakthrough to save the lives of people with early diagnosis and provide healthcare solutions fast.

  • 2. Proactive Treatment

    Proactive treatment means the action is taken before symptoms manifest. Doctors can find the disease before it gets fatal for the patient. For this, the patient has to use wearable devices, and sensors as per the recommendation so that the doctor can know the chronic conditions. The patient doesn’t have to stay in the hospital and visit it frequently for the checkup if he uses IoT-enabled healthcare wearables or devices.

  • 3. Improved Treatment

    The patient care workflow can get fast when healthcare professionals use smart IoT devices instead of following the traditional approach. It saves time, that they can use to improve the treatment and provide better healthcare services. Moreover, physicians can make evidence-based decisions with the help of patient data. It helps to research meticulously and improve the healthcare facilities.

  • 4. In-Home Care

    Sometimes back, you can’t think of knowing about the disease without going to the doctor. You had to go for a check-up and get advice from the doctor even to stay healthy. Likewise, you had to go to the medical shop to get medicines. IoT and mHealth apps have changed the scenario. Glucose monitoring can be done at home with smart devices and a medicine delivery app like 1MG can provide medicines at home. IoT devices help to monitor chronic diseases of family members at home. It improves the patient experience and avoids unnecessary visits to the hospital.

  • 5. Drugs and Equipment Management

    The major challenge for the healthcare sector was how to stock medicines and drugs, and supply them on time. A huge chunk of money and manpower is required for equipment and drug management. With connected medical devices, it has become easy and cost-effective. The data is stored in cloud applications. So, the manager can know about the problems in equipment and drugs wherever he is with cloud computing.

  • 6. Patient Monitoring

    Monitoring the patient’s mood, health, and depression has been difficult for healthcare providers. They used to follow the traditional way to find out the mental and physical condition of the patient by asking some questions. But it was difficult to anticipate the health status with the help of some answers. “Mood Aware IoT devices” help healthcare professionals in continuous patient monitoring. Moreover, cloud platforms, mobile sensors, and wireless communication are helping in the diagnosis from anywhere and at any time.

  • 7. Cold Chain Supply Tracking

    Supply chain tracking is an important application of IoT in healthcare. IoT devices play a crucial role to keep sensitive data safe and allow remote monitoring of the drugs in the store. The supplier of medicines can track where is the stoke with connected devices that update him regularly. Let’s take the example of Covid-19 vaccines. They were transferred with trucks and airplanes to remote areas and stored at the distributor before reaching the destination. Where they went under cold storage. Cold temperature is crucial otherwise vaccines can lose their effectiveness. IoT helps to monitor the temperature and inform if the temperature is not as per the standard.

  • 8. Smart Hospital Building

    The smart hospital building is one of the best IoT applications in healthcare. Smart patient care is possible with a smart IoT device and with communication-enabled sensors. Likewise, IoT-enabled medical devices and equipment make healthcare organizations and institutions smart. Thereby, it improves patient engagement and treatment. With the help of technology, the infrastructure of the hospitals can be improved.

  • 9. Healthcare Manufacturing

    The healthcare industry is under constant evolution. Advanced digitization in robotics, Artificial intelligence, and IoT improved health data security. Smart blood pressure checking devices have been built with the help of IoT. These emerging technologies are increasing medical equipment production. Now medical imaging is done with high-definition features. IoT-based medical devices can monitor chronic disease easily.

    These are the IoT healthcare applications. And more innovative applications can be seen in the future also.

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Benefits of IoT in Healthcare

Why healthcare providers are widely using IoT for healthcare services? Why many big organizations are moving to smart devices to offer medical help? IoT technology has revolutionized the healthcare industry in the fastest way. It offers many advantages to the healthcare sector.

  • Simplified Access
  • Cost Reduction
  • Health Tracking
  • Error Reduction
  • Better Patient Experience
  • 1. Simplified Access

    Today, people have easier access to medical care. Several meditation apps and health tracking apps have eliminated the need to visit a doctor because people can check their own health. Even, patients can consult with the doctor with a video call using an app. On the other hand, IoT has improved the capacity of the medical system. Remote patient monitoring, health data management, and easy supply chain processes have become effortless due to IoT.

  • 2. Cost Reduction

    IoT makes healthcare services more affordable. It improves the patient and medical staff experience. Cloud infrastructure reduces the cost to manage huge data and allows unlimited access to the healthcare organization. Elderly patients can save money they spend on frequent visits to the hospital. Moreover, remote patient monitoring helps the doctor to know the health of the patient from anywhere.

  • 3. Health Tracking

    Health monitoring devices like wearable fitness trackers, smart watches, ECG monitors, Blood pressure monitors, biosensors, and many others have made the work of healthcare providers easy and fast. Data collected from the health tracking devices is helpful to diagnose the patient. Likewise, health monitoring enables the healthcare service providers to find the disease at an early stage.

  • 4. Error Reduction

    IoT healthcare solutions make the system smart and impeccable so there would be fewer chances of mistakes. Healthcare personnel can render more personalized healthcare devices to provide accurate and error-free treatments. The concerned medical staff can know the wrong blood in the tube, critical hour, and complete the medication management.

    IoT devices in healthcare reduce errors because data is captured in real-time and managed effectively. It helps in decision making, improves healthcare operations, and provides advanced analytics to get insights into the data. Many tech companies in developed countries reduce wastage and errors with app development for the healthcare sector.

  • 5. Better Patient Experience

    Health technologies boost the patient experience and satisfaction. Thereby, healthcare professionals can transmit data and reports of the patient online. And sensors help the patient with sleep apnea to monitor their health. It makes the monitoring process easy and fast and ultimately improves the patient experience. Likewise, it improves the interpersonal relationship between patients and providers.

Also Read: How to Create a Meditation app like headspace?

IoT in Healthcare Examples

Many types of IoT-connected devices are used to record the healthcare data that the service providers use to diagnose diseases. Here are the important examples of IoT in healthcare.

  • Glucose Monitoring Device
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Heart Rate Monitoring
  • Parkinson’s Disease Monitoring
  • Connected Inhalers
  • Ingestible Sensors
  • Robotic Surgery
  • 1. Glucose Monitoring Device

    Glucose Monitoring Device

    It is a small device also called a glucometer. A finger is pricked to take out a drop of blood for the test. It records changes in your blood sugar levels and provides information about factors affecting diabetes.

  • 2. Remote patient monitoring

    Remote patient monitoring

    Doctors or healthcare professionals can monitor the condition of the patient outside of a conventional clinical setting. It reduces the healthcare delivery cost. Moreover, doctors can spot the trouble early.

  • 3. Heart Rate Monitoring

    Heart Rate Monitoring

    A heart rate monitoring device is a type of wearable or fitness tracker that receives signals from your heart. It interprets your workout for better exercise. Likewise, doctors can print an electrocardiogram strip using the data on the device.

  • 4. Parkinson’s Disease Monitoring

    Parkinson's Disease Monitoring

    The IMU-based monitoring system is attached to the lower limb and delivers vital signs. This type of healthcare IoT detects tremors, freezing of gait, dyskinesia, and others. Patients with Parkinson’s disease can wear the device on different body parts.

  • 5. Connected Inhalers

    Connected Inhalers

    An inhaler connected with a mobile app and system provides seamless operations. Sensor technology is used in this device. It is mainly of three types Metered dose inhalers (MDIs), Dry Power inhalers (DPIs), and Soft mist inhalers.

  • 6. Ingestible Sensors

    Ingestible Sensors

    The ingestible sensor is of pill size and is used to detect bodily functions and activities. Patients living with serious mental illness can’t adhere to a medication regimen. For them, ingestible sensors work effectively.

  • 7. Robotic Surgery

    Robotic Surgery

    Robotic surgery is also called robot-assisted surgery. It is a type of AI model that works on behalf of surgeons. Robots can perform various tasks with precision, flexibility, and greater control.

Challenges of IoT in Healthcare

Although IoT is proving incredible in the healthcare sector, its full potential is yet to be discovered. There are many challenges to using IoT, and they slow down the growth of the technology. Let’s explore what are the challenges to use IoT in healthcare below.

  • Data Security & Privacy
  • Scalable Platforms
  • Cost
  • Reliable Connectivity
  • 1. Data Security & Privacy

    The security of the patient outcomes or data is crucial. Healthcare IoT devices are connected to the internet, and anything connected to the internet can be hacked. Poorly protected data movement over the internet can lead to an information breach.

  • 2. Scalable Platforms

    A greater and stronger healthcare system is required for seamless connectivity and functionality of IoT. So that patients, professional healthcare providers, and doctors can monitor status from wherever they are.

  • 3. Cost

    IoT-connected devices used in the healthcare sector are often expensive because great precision and experience are required to make them. Moreover, the competition in IoT technologies is increasing day by day, so it can become cost-prohibitive.

  • 4. Reliable Connectivity

    Network failure can hinder real-time data access. So maintaining connectivity is the major challenge. Many wearables face the network failure issue due to poor connectivity when a patient goes into remote or network-devoid areas.

Future of IoT in Healthcare

Physical devices connected to the internet have transformed the medical industry. Have a look at the image below. It shows the estimated IoT device in healthcare installations worldwide from the year 2015 to 2020.

Future of IoT in Healthcare

Source

Moreover, according to the Fortune Business insights , global IoT in the healthcare market will explode from $57.62 billion in 2019 to $352.88 billion by 2027. The cost of IoT device manufacturing can be affordable in the future. Many personalized care devices will be on the market. So, IoT will continue to transform the healthcare and medical industry at an unprecedented rate.

Wrapping Up

IoT in healthcare has great potential. It has improved the ways of diagnosis, reduces the latency in health care, allows remote monitoring, and many other things. Increased network agility will accelerate the use of IoT in healthcare. Besides IoT, a combination of AI, AR, and many other technologies will improve the services in the healthcare sector.

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tn_author_image

Saikat Ghosh working as a Business & HR head at mobile app development company, Technource. He is an Electrical engineer by education and studied management from IIM, Calcutta. He has worked last 23 years in client-facing roles like Marketing, Sales, and Support. He loves to work with on-demand app development, Marketing & Sales strategies, brainstorm new ideas and learn from people. When he is off from his regular job, he works for his theatre group.

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