Healthcare has quickly become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the IoT market. The Internet of things is just the best step in order to boost efficiency, productivity and take the management of many procedures to the next level.

But first, what exactly is IoT?

IoT, meaning the Internet of Things refers to a system of interconnected devices and objects, able to process, transfer, analyze, and store data with the use of internet and cloud services without the need for human involvement.

How does IoT work in healthcare?

The Internet Of Things devices collect data through numerous sensors which then is processed by several algorithms, many times accompanied by the machine learning and AI systems which analyze the collected information that can be then send to the cloud and in result presented and viewed by the medical professionals, significantly shortening the time of actions and lowering the number of resources that needed to be put into use.
In conclusion, IoT can not only greatly improve the efficiency of the medical procedure but also the lives of patients.

Benefits of IoT use in healthcare

Due to the current global situation, the Internet of Things and its capabilities have been highly appreciated in numerous fields but the most significant growth could be noticed in the medical industry. The incorporation of IoT solutions and devices has greatly improved many sectors and the benefits they bring have proved to be a valuable asset and incredible help in such difficult times. IoT is a huge step towards the future development of the industry and we can confidently predict that it will become an even more permanent feature.

Some of the most important benefits of IoT incorporation into the healthcare industry include the availability of more precise, real-time, simultaneous monitoring and reporting which allows for the prediction of risks regarding the health of patients and malfunctions of hospitals and facilities systems.
Furthermore, it plays a key role in helping medical providers with quicker communication, asset management as well as forecasting future needs regarding the equipment.
Overall, IoT improves the storage, analysis and understanding of patient collected data and broadens its availability for research purposes.
It increases patient convenience and engagement and plays a key role I preventive medicine directly influencing the recovery rate and helping in making better informed medical decisions.

Obviously, the idea sounds nice and useful but what are some real-life examples of IoT incorporation into the field of healthcare?

• Wearables which help in monitoring health conditions on a real time basis, not only for the user’s knowledge but also for the patient’s condition assessment e.g. glucose or heart-rate monitoring.

• Ingestible sensors allow doctors to minimize the need for various, more invasive procedures.

• Monitoring and management of medical equipment, the inventory and hospital or clinic environment

• Remote medical consultations

• Uploading the real-time data in critical patient situations, allowing the healthcare providers for the quickest possible response and treatment

These are only a few examples of this broad and ever-growing field and there is even more that we can expect from it in the future.

Challenges of IoT in healthcare

As it goes for all investments and revolutionary tech uses, some challenges may present itself also in regard to healthcare IoT solutions. Here are some of the factors that you should take into consideration and prepare in advance of in the process of solution creation and maintenance:

• Connectivity failures – IoT devices require constant access to the internet in order to deploy, store and make use of collected data, so an unstable connection may be detrimental for IoT healthcare device functionalities.

• Security and privacy breaches – due to IoT’s diverse nature it can be a target for cyberattacks so quality grade assurances and securements must be put into use.

• Problems with platform scalability – the solutions have to be prepared with a high focus on their adaptability to each device and use case.

• Massive amounts of data collected may need special attention in regard to the management of its capacity and use.

• Many facilities may be in need of upgrades in terms of healthcare devices in use and installment of modern software, in order to function properly with newer solutions.

• Initial costs – the whole process of solution development and maintenance may prove to be a generally big investment at the start, which may get even worse without proper cost management.

• Integration – the need for balancing multiple protocols and device adjustments.

Most of the challenges can be avoided or easily resolved by using adequate tools and choosing a highly experienced team for your projects that will put their expertise and diligence towards all of the development aspects.

If you or your company are interested in IoT solutions for the healthcare industry or are in need of some advice in this sector, let us know and see how our experienced specialists can help you achieve your project goals!