The Role of IoT in Healthcare Industry: Benefits and Use Cases

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26 Jan 2020
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Katherine O.
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Healthcare is getting smarter with tech innovations — from robots-surgeons to smart hospitals. Internet of Things takes patient care to a new level. It optimizes workflows for healthcare providers and doctors.

A lot of hospitals have already started investing money in technology adoption. For example, Saratoga Hospital invested in IoT-enabled technology for patient monitoring to reduce administrative tasks and improve clinical outcomes.

To help doctors and patients, the medical IoT is being actively integrated into hardware and software for healthcare.

Why Healthcare?

It’s hard to find an industry with more potential for IoT than healthcare. Technologies that use data from sensors offer a lot of benefits on all levels, starting from in-patient treatment and health condition monitoring to disease prevention and early diagnosis.

IoT healthcare software can gather data from patients and process it automatically, detecting precursors of disease and helping to prevent its progression in the early stages.

According to the latest report, the IoT healthcare market will reach $534.3 billion by 2025.

Most hospitals ( 73%) that integrated Internet of Things, saw a rise in rapid diagnosis.

IoT in healthcare examples

IoT in healthcare

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

Connected devices offer a lot of opportunities to healthcare industry. Experts claim the Internet of Medical Things, or IoMT, will reach $136.8 billion by 2021. However, what’s important are the benefits for doctors and patients.

Andrew Keller
“IoMT stands for devices that can collect and exchange data — either with users or other devices — via the internet, and are used to allow doctors to be more aware of a patient’s condition on real-time basis.”

The primary function of IoMT is monitoring patients' conditions and notifying the doctor in case of an emergency.

IoT in medical and healthcare fields can include a lot of things like wearable devices, drug tracking system, medical supply chain, remote patient monitoring, and more.

IoMT can help increase the accuracy of diagnoses due to constant monitoring of health changes. IoT applications in healthcare help users stay connected to the doctors or nurses. They make working processes more efficient for healthcare workers who support a lot of patients.

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Five Main Benefits of IoT in Healthcare

Internet of Things and healthcare gain more popularity every year. It means that such a solution has several vital benefits. Let’s discuss them more precisely.

Health Monitoring

Smart devices can track health conditions. IoT applications for healthcare can send an emergency signal if the patient has an asthma attack, heart failure, or another medical issue.

For example, Apple has integrated a Fall Detection System in Apple Watch. It detects if the user falls and shows an alert. The person needs to tap ‘I’m OK’ for one minute. In another case, AppleWatch calls emergency services. They also send a message to emergency contacts.

Better Patient Experience

IoT in hospitals improves the healthcare system, gives patients a more comfortable way to get in touch with doctors. It leads to improving patient experience and gaining customer loyalty. The hospital from New York, USA — Mt. Sinai Medical Center — managed to reduce the waiting time for 50% of their emergency patients using AutoBed software.

The hospital has approximately 1,100 beds, but admits at least 59,000 of patients. The primary task of AutoBed is matching available beds with new patients.

Drug Management

One of the Internet of Things healthcare benefits is better drug management. IoT technology allows controlling the amount of taken medicine. Doctors can monitor the dose and track effectiveness of treatment.

Also, the Internet of Things allows sending reminders to patients when they should take their drugs. In some cases, it’s possible to notify the family member when the patient hasn’t taken medicine on time.

Healthcare Automation

IoT devices can help automate administrative, manual, and routine tasks. Internet of Things medical applications can analyze a significant amount of information and create different metrics to see any changes in the patients’ health conditions.

Automated processes of collecting data can reduce the number of errors in making diagnosis.

Preventive Healthcare

A lot of people die from chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and more. Using the analytic capabilities of IoT, it’s possible to provide patients with more personalized forms of treatment and care.

Smart, Connected or Wearable devices can monitor health conditions of elderly or patients with chronic diseases. Having all that data, doctors will be able to give a better treatment and see the first symptoms of the disease.

Challenges of IoT in Healthcare

As we see, the Internet of Things seems to be incredible and can revolutionize the healthcare sector. But there are some pitfalls you shouldn’t ignore.

Data Security

The main problem of IoT for healthcare is poor security. Data privacy is significant for the medical industry since medical history is confidential information. Malefactors may try to get access to the healthcare IoT software and expose sensitive data. To avoid such issues, it’s necessary to focus on data security that leads to additional costs.

There are also such papers as GDPR and CCPA that protect personal information of patients.

Integration of Protocols

IoMT connects a lot of different devices. To create a flexible ecosystem, healthcare requires using the functionality of many devices with various protocols. However, there is no single solution regarding communication protocols and standards. As a result, the integration of IoT in the healthcare industry is quite slow and limited.

Creating medical software, you should make sure that your app is HIPAA and HITECH compliant. These protocols contain a lot of rules and regulations connected to processing patients’ personal information.

Data Overload

IoT healthcare devices collect and process a lot of information. As a result, doctors can face data overload and accuracy issues. The enormous amount of information can lead to difficulties in decision-making during treatment.

How to Use of IoT in Healthcare

MarketWatch estimates that the Global Internet of Things in medical field is expected to grow at a valuation of approximately $162.2 billion by the end of 2024.

IoT in healthcare and medical services allows saving time and improve customer experience. No wonder that a lot of enterprises like Google and Apple invest resources into the Internet of Things technology.

Let’s discuss three primary use cases of the Internet of Things as well as examples of existing IoT solutions in healthcare on the market.

#1. Hospital Information Management System (HIMS)

IoT brings a lot of changes to hospital management systems.

HIMS collects and manages such information as medical records,data about doctors and patients. The system provides up-to-date information about appointments, hospital rooms, and so on.

Hospital Information Management System brings several significant benefits to the healthcare sector:

  • Easy search of documents;
  • Remote access to patients’ records;
  • High-security level;
  • Drug management;
  • Improved patient experience;
  • etc.
Use cases of IoT in healthcare

Information managent system by Cleveroad (Source: Dribbble)

A lot of companies offer ready-made Hospital Information Management Systems that can be used on various devices to provide easy access to the records. Among these systems are:

  • Aarogya
  • eHospital
  • eVisit
  • myNapier
  • Insta HMS

#2. Electronic Healthcare Records System (EHR)

The next IoT healthcare use case is EHR.

EHR stands for electronic health records. Such systems provide real-time information instantly and securely to authorized users.

EHR systems not only store information about patients. They can also share data among various specialists to achieve better treatment results.

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Attention! How to make a custom EHR system? We’ve revealed the required features, tech stack, and final cost.

Electronic Healthcare Records systems tend to offer various benefits to the healthcare sector for doctors and patients. For example, doctors get instant access to the latest tests of the patient and can see the full disease history. As for the patients, they can contact doctors 24/7 that is important for patients with chronic diseases.

Use case of IoT in healthcare

Hospital mobile app by Cleveroad (Source: Dribbble)

#3. Mobile Healthcare

Such solutions also called mHealth applications that improve the patient experience. The App Store and Google Play offer approximately 320,000 mHealth, according to IQVIA. mHealth app development gives a lot of opportunities like getting consultation online, scheduling the offline consultation, and more.

It’s possible to use mobile healthcare IoT applications in two cases — for emergency or regular treatment. Apps connected to wearables tend to collect data about physical activity or health conditions. It’s possible to create IoT apps for wearable devices that can transfer the healthcare data to smartphones.

There are several types of mHealth apps:

  • Meditation applications
  • EHRs
  • Sleep tracking applications
  • Fitness apps
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Need a fitness app? Learn everything about the fitness app development guide: types, features, and trends.

Use of IoT in healthcare

Healthcare apps

Of course, there are more ways to use the Internet of Things in healthcare:

Remote health monitoring

Special IoT healthcare devices and custom software make it possible to read data from medical cards of patients in a real-time. They allow doctors to conduct analysis, send notifications to suppliers and patients.

Wearables

These gadgets continuously monitor the daily activity of patients, and they can inform about steps taken, burnt calories, heart rate, etc.

Patient-oriented medicine

This medicine includes devices that can provide medical care considering all individual demands of each patient using IoT healthcare sensors.

Medical assets monitoring

IoT helps medical employees spend less time on routing and management tasks. Specialists will be able to spend more time with patients due to the improvement of medical assets monitoring and managing them. So IoT and healthcare can be mutually beneficial for each other.

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How We Can Help

Cleveroad is a software development company from Eastern Europe that makes solutions for the healthcare industry. Our team of software developers has a rich background in creating scalable applications following the business requirements and goals.

Recently, we’ve developed a mental health app — Nedley Scorecard.

The application is available on iOS.

Nidley Scorecard is an app created to help people with depression. The application has a bunch of cool features. For example, they can track their daily progress and improve their health conditions following the instructions and activities.

Healthcare app by Cleveroad

Nedley Lifestyle Scorecard by Cleveroad

FAQ

There are three primary use cases of IoT in healthcare:

  • Hospital Information Management System (HIMS) collects and manages such information as medical records or the data about doctors, patients.
  • Electronic Healthcare Records System (EHR) tracks electronic records of patients’ health conditions. Such systems provide real-time information instantly and securely to authorized users.
  • mHealth apps can be used in two cases — for emergency or regular treatment.

The primary function of IoMT is monitoring patients' conditions and notifying the doctor in case of an emergency. IoT in medical and healthcare fields can include a lot of things like wearable devices, drug tracking system, medical supply chain, remote patient monitoring, and more.

IoT technologies in healthcare offer a lot of benefits on all levels, starting from in-patient treatment and health condition monitoring to disease prevention and early diagnosis. IoT healthcare software can gather data from patients and process it automatically, detecting precursors of disease to prevent its progression in the early stages.

The combination of the Internet of Things and healthcare creates several vital benefits.

  • Health monitoring. There are various smart devices like smartwatches that track health conditions constantly.
  • Better patient experience.
  • Drug management. IoT technology allows controlling the amount of taken medicine.
  • Healthcare automation. IoT devices can help automate various administrative, manual, and routine tasks.
  • Preventive healthcare.

There are several ways to use the Internet of Things technology in the healthcare industry.

  • HIMS collects and manages medical records or data about doctors, patients.
  • EHR tracks electronic records of patients’ health conditions. Such systems provide real-time information instantly.
  • mHealth apps can be used in two cases — for emergency or regular treatment.
  • Remote health monitoring.
  • Wearables.
  • Patient-oriented medicine.

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