For the most part, it’s just another typical day – waking up to a freshly brewed cup of java courtesy of your Wi-Fi-enabled smart coffee machine, then taking a jog with your wearable that is monitoring your vitals and workout. Today though next up is heading to the doctor, where connected devices are also becoming ubiquitous. Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT)! Because we are living in a connected society, most of us use the IoT one way or another every day, yet probably don’t even give it a fleeting thought.
This advancement in technology makes the world smarter and more responsive by merging the physical and digital universes. Thanks to the wireless and hard-wired networks around the world, billions of devices across the globe are connected through the Internet. The benefits of these communicating gadgets, especially those that are mobile and utilize Wi-Fi, are vast.
Considering healthcare as an example, a recent Deloitte report stated more than 500,000 connected medical technologies are currently in use. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is the progression of the IoT as it applies to the healthcare domain. It consists of a network of interconnected medical appliances and software, which have the capability of machine-to-machine conversation across the web.
The IoMT is proving to be indispensable to both the healthcare industry and patients alike. The most commonly found applications are in the form of wearable smart devices and mobile apps, but almost anything that can generate, analyze, and transmit data has the potential to be put into use. IoMT is creating a linked infrastructure of health information that’s revolutionizing every facet of the medical system.
Much of the talk surrounding IoMT has to do with remote health monitoring, in which mobile devices and wireless technology are used to perform routine tests on patients and send the information back to their attending health professionals. This advancement is a proven effective way to better monitor diseases, track chronic illnesses, and provide overall treatment support. A positive byproduct of this highly efficient method of patient care and monitoring is that it leads to reduced costs and more comfortable patient experiences due to less in-person office visits.
While the IoMT has launched a new era of optimized healthcare, it also has brought about an abundance of data. When it comes to diagnosis or a treatment plan, patient data is essential, yet sorting through the plethora of information transmitted by connected devices can be a lofty undertaking. Many providers don’t have the necessary staff, time, training, or in-house technology to properly deploy and monitor connected devices for all their patients that could benefit from it, or to examine the deluge of data that would be transmitted. One solution to this dilemma is to outsource data collection and monitoring needs to a provider such as IronRod Health, a company specializing in cardiac device monitoring.
Six benefits the Internet of Medical Things has brought to healthcare:
- Improves Chronic Disease Management
With the IoMT, patient care can extend beyond clinical or hospital settings. Remote patient monitoring from wearable health devices like glucose monitors, pacemakers, CPAP machines, and blood pressure or pulse monitors help doctors get critical health data from patients 24/7/365. The IoMT helps doctors study their patients’ symptoms remotely, saving those most vulnerable from repeatedly visiting clinics (especially for routine matters such as vital signs checks and medication refills for stable patients on maintenance medication).
- Keeps Medical Devices Up and Running
Any device that connects and transmits health data from the patient to the physician, whether wired or wireless, should be monitored. Devices on the IoMT can be checked remotely to ensure they are working correctly and providing the most accurate data possible.
- Promotes Better Diagnoses and Better Outcomes
The most significant opportunities for IoMT in healthcare may lie in helping clinicians make faster, more accurate diagnoses and more precise, personalized, easier-to-adjust treatment plans. These capabilities can improve outcomes, reduce costs, and ultimately provide greater access to high-quality care.
- Supports Accurate Medical Records
In today’s healthcare world, most medical records are electronic, and those systems must also be monitored and maintained. If the network of a hospital or clinic isn’t being well managed, potential problems like an application error could be overlooked. These errors disrupt the accuracy of patient information and can lead to lackluster healthcare, as well as become a liability for the facility.
- Contributes to Healthcare Analytics
The IoMT provides a significant amount of data from connected devices. Medical experts use some of this data to examine health trends. The information also helps in analyzing the side effects and effectiveness of various medications and treatments. Hence, the IoMT application in the healthcare industry helps in promoting better, more informed healthcare systems and providers.
- Encourages a Proactive Approach to Maintaining Good Health
Finally, connected technology is creating more health-conscious citizens. More than ever, people are using their smartwatches and fitness trackers to maintain and improve their health., Those “get up and move” and “time to do some deep breathing” reminders are almost like having a 24/7 personal trainer keeping you on track!
The age of connected devices has undoubtedly catapulted medical technology into a new era of modernized medicine. Navigating the mountains of data supplied by the partnership of IoMT and these tools can be tricky. IronRod Health offers a fully integrated and comprehensive services solution designed to elevate the quality of care provided while significantly lowering risk and operational costs.