Before the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), physicians had limited options for interacting with patients. Physical visits, text messages, and telephone communication were the only means by which patients could explain their problems to doctors. There was no system for continuous monitoring of the patient’s condition and it made recommendations in real time.
IoMT benefits healthcare organizations by improving patient care
IoT has completely changed this scenario while allowing healthcare institutions to expand their reach and improve patient care services. This is one of the main reasons why IoT has gained maximum traction among healthcare providers compared to other emerging technologies such as AI, ML, and data analytics.
Aruba Networks, a subsidiary of HP Enterprise, has revealed in its report that the healthcare industry is the third most advanced sector in implementing IoT. It’s fair to mention that IoT can effectively address healthcare challenges while helping healthcare providers deliver high-quality services. Let’s understand the importance of IoMT (Internet of Medical Things).
Understand the importance of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
IoMT is no longer a buzzword in the healthcare sector. Since we are talking about expanding the concepts of telehealth or telemedicine, more integrated approaches will be required from the IoT domain. Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT) or Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) can meet these requirements during the transition period in the health sector from 2017 to 2022.
Advanced IoT healthcare applications help implement more integrated and mature eHealth and telehealth concepts. Machine-to-machine interaction with real-time data transmission between devices in different healthcare facilities is made possible by implementing the IoMT concept in your healthcare organization.
Whether it is home use medical equipment such as a blood pressure measuring band or high-end implant medical equipment; All devices can be connected to each other to obtain and transmit vital patient data in real time through sensors. As a result, you can save billions of dollars and a lot of effort. But more importantly, it can save patients’ lives in an emergency.
Goldman Sachs has estimated that IoMT will save $ 300 billion annually in healthcare costs worldwide. In addition, the WHO has estimated that there will be a shortage of 18 million healthcare workers (globalvillagespacedotcom), by the end of 2030. The implementation of IoMT can neutralize the negative impact of this shortage by closing the gap between doctors and patients.
In this era of the pandemic, IoMT has helped the overburdened healthcare sector. It has made it possible for doctors to monitor the patient’s condition without getting close, so they remain protected from contamination. Apart from this, it can save the life of the patient by sending the health data instantly to the doctor.
Let’s dive into the key reasons healthcare organizations should jump on the IoMT bandwagon now. Large-scale deployment of IoMT-powered devices can benefit the healthcare industry in many ways. Here are some of the notable benefits.
Key benefits of IoMT for the healthcare sector
Telehealth or remote care is not a new concept in the health sector, but its importance has increased significantly during the period. Today, it is possible to provide healthcare facilities to patients in their homes. This is very beneficial for healthcare organizations as they can easily provide remote patient care and reduce cases of hospital induced infections.
IoMT promotes remote care by monitoring patient conditions all the time, enrolling or making it easy for them to schedule planned check-ups, and controlling their medication schedules. Smart IoT devices can also observe patient behavior and send real-time alerts to medical facilities in the event of a pattern change.
Patients can use connected devices that allow doctors to monitor their vital signs from the hospital. Additionally, monitoring health conditions 24/7 can help healthcare providers anticipate any unfavorable conditions and take a proactive approach to minimizing such conditions.
Mobile health or mHealth is an emerging concept that involves proactive healthcare for patients through mobile healthcare applications. With the launch of IoMT, mobile applications can effectively capture and store all vital information. As a result, you can make the doctor’s job much easier because you can make accurate decisions on time.
Custom mobile health apps also allow doctors to prescribe medications based on accurate prognoses. Patients can also check their medications and keep track of them. A mobile app can also remind patients to take their medications and make it easy for them to press the confirmation button after taking them.
The mHealth concept ensures better and effective communication between patients and physicians to significantly improve patient care services. In addition, the concept of IoMT can empower mobile health and enable mobile application development companies to introduce innovative application solutions.
Taking surgeries to a new level
Robotics and artificial intelligence can be seamlessly integrated with the IoMT concept. This combination can help surgeons around the world. Robots offer improved vision and improved precision that help surgeons to go beyond the limits of traditional surgical procedures and obtain the optimal result in laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgeries.
IoMT can facilitate better communication between patients and doctors or surgeons. This effective communication can help surgeons optimize activities in the operating room (operating room). For example, staff can identify patients through personal medical information, and IoMT sensors can be deployed to search and analyze data after surgery.
Additionally, IoMT devices can provide guidance to patients regarding postoperative care. These devices can be connected to videos to capture high-resolution images that help surgeons verify even the smallest detail necessary for better care before and after surgery.
The most important goal of IoT and IoMT devices is to keep track of various activities. For example, in a healthcare organization, you need to track workforce activities to increase efficiency and lower operating costs. These days, multi-specialty hospitals have multiple campuses and subdivisions, each with tens of hundreds of staff members.
IoMT devices built especially for such hospitals can help management keep track of the activities of staff members and, to some extent, their movements. While monitoring daily activities, IoMT devices can efficiently automate management-related processes and help you address management or workforce management issues.
Some hospitals have started to implement connected video cameras and wireless ID cards to prevent unauthorized access and ensure patient safety against various infections. Healthcare organizations also tend to ensure that their staff meet specific goals on a daily basis. Here, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology comes in handy. It also remains useful for tracking the location of devices, medications, and other necessary items within the healthcare organization.
IoT promotes smart city and smart industry concepts, while IoMT promotes smart hospital concepts. For example, the referral program is a bit cumbersome for patients as it involves a lot of paperwork. Also, there are high chances of data loss and data transmission failure because some files have sensitive information and some files are too large to send. Additionally, due to paperwork, most files remain in hard copy, presenting storage-related challenges.
Taken together, the referral program puts pressure on overworked healthcare professionals as they have to spend their valuable time preparing the necessary documentation. Now, IoMT can automate this entire process where centralized databases replace paper records and large files. As a result, it is quick and easy to share information, knowledge and resources for hospitals in digital form.
In a way, IoMT can save valuable time and effort for healthcare professionals through automation, digitization, and a single management system. Furthermore, these smart hospitals can easily improve patient care services as healthcare providers can provide due care.
The proliferation of IoMT products has opened the doors to opportunities in the healthcare sector. Patients, physicians, healthcare organizations, and health insurance companies alike can reap the benefits of IoMT devices.
Moving forward, we will witness the immense growth of IoMT devices in healthcare services around the world to improve patient care and expand the reach of the telehealth concept.