The internet of things, or IoT, is a network of interconnected computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, and people with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
IoT has emerged as one of the most important technologies of the twenty-first century in recent years. Now that we can connect everyday objects to the internet via embedded devices, including as kitchen appliances, vehicles, thermostats, and baby monitors, seamless communication between people, processes, and things is conceivable.
Physical things can share and collect data with minimal human interaction thanks to low-cost computers, the cloud, big data, analytics, and mobile technologies. Digital systems can record, monitor, and alter each interaction between connected things in today’s hyperconnected environment. The physical and digital worlds collide, but they work together.
With this, the healthcare industry benefits from IoT asset monitoring in a variety of ways. Doctors, nurses, and orderlies frequently need to know where patient-assistance items like wheelchairs are located. When wheelchairs in a hospital are fitted with IoT sensors, they can be tracked using an IoT asset-monitoring application, allowing anyone looking for one to easily locate the nearest available wheelchair. Many hospital assets can be tracked in this manner to ensure correct use and financial accounting for the physical assets in each department.
Patients’ interactions with doctors were limited before the Internet of Things to visits, teleconferences, and text messages. There was no means for doctors or hospitals to regularly assess patients’ health and make appropriate recommendations.
Remote monitoring in the healthcare industry is now possible thanks to Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled gadgets, which have the ability to keep patients safe and healthy while also empowering clinicians to provide superior treatment. As contacts with doctors have gotten easier and more efficient, it has also boosted patient participation and satisfaction. Furthermore, remote monitoring of a patient’s health helps to shorten hospital stays and avoid readmissions. IoT has a big impact on lowering healthcare expenses and increasing treatment outcomes.
The rise of healthcare-specific IoT goods creates a plethora of possibilities. And the enormous volume of data created by these linked gadgets has the potential to revolutionize healthcare.
The Internet of Things features a four-step structure.
All four phases are linked together in such a way that data is captured or processed at one level and then passed on to the next. Integrating values into the process generates insights and opens up new business opportunities.
Step 1: The deployment of interconnected devices, such as sensors, actuators, monitors, detectors, and video systems, is the first step. The data is collected by these devices.
Step 2: Data from sensors and other devices is typically in analog format, which must be gathered and transformed to digital format for further processing.
Step 3: After the data has been digitized and aggregated, it is pre-processed, standardized, and moved to the data center or other storage location.
Step 4: At the required level, the final data is managed and examined. When applied to this data, advanced analytics provides actionable business insights for better decision-making.
The Internet of Things is transforming healthcare by ensuring better care, improved treatment outcomes, and lower costs for patients, as well as better processes and workflows, greater performance, and a better patient experience for healthcare professionals.
The major advantages of IoT in healthcare include:
● Cost Reduction: IoT enables patient monitoring in real time, thus significantly cutting down unnecessary visits to doctors, hospital stays and re-admissions
● Improved Treatment: It enables physicians to make evidence-based informed decisions and brings absolute transparency
● Faster Disease Diagnosis: Continuous patient monitoring and real time data helps in diagnosing diseases at an early stage or even before the disease develops based on symptoms
● Proactive Treatment: Continuous health monitoring opens the doors for providing proactive medical treatment
● Drugs and Equipment Management: Management of drugs and medical equipment is a major challenge in a healthcare industry. Through connected devices, these are managed and utilized efficiently with reduced cost
● Error Reduction: Data generated through IoT devices not only help in effective decision making but also ensure smooth healthcare operations with reduced errors, waste and system costs
The Internet of Things in healthcare is not without its difficulties. IoT-enabled linked devices collect massive volumes of data, including sensitive information, raising data security concerns.
Appropriate security measures must be implemented. Through real-time health monitoring and access to patients’ health data, the Internet of Things explores new dimensions of patient care. This data is a gold mine for healthcare stakeholders looking to improve patient health and experiences while also increasing income and streamlining operations. In an increasingly linked world, being able to harness this digital power will prove to be the differentiator.
Karjagi, R., & Jindal, M. (2022). IoT in Healthcare Industry | IoT Applications in Healthcare – Wipro. Retrieved 2 April 2022, from https://www.wipro.com/business-process/what-can-iot-do-for-healthcare-/
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?. (2022). Retrieved 2 April 2022, from https://www.oracle.com/ph/internet-of-things/what-is-iot/