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Healthcare and the Internet of Things

healthcare-and-internet-of-things

 

The health care industry, like every other industry today, is jumping on the connected bandwagon. Recent trends indicate a higher rate of adoption for technology driven healthcare, and The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly becoming the Medical Internet of Things. According to tech experts, the Internet of Things (connected devices and apps) is becoming more and more an integral part of our everyday life and that includes health care. Many companies and health care providers are showing interest in using connected devices and apps to make their primary product/service more accessible.

In regard to healthcare, there are infinite ways in which IoT tools can be used to improve patient care — and its happening sooner than you might think. In the past few years, we’ve seen the emergence of connected medical devices such as smart heart rate monitors, blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, asthma inhalers, thermometers and pill bottles.

The healthcare industry holds the greatest potential for advancement when combined with IoT technology. Having the right information at the right time is critical in the medical field, and the IoT makes the gathering and transferring of information much more efficient.

Doctors are able to quickly and easily access relevant patient information, including medical history and bodily stats like blood pressure, heart rate, and blood glucose levels. This tremendously improves the quality of information and patient care.

 

According to market researchers like Gartner and McKinsey, the IoT will “add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020,” or it will have a “potential impact of $2.7 to $6.2 trillion by 2025”. This shows that the market for IoT is rising and gaining popularity in the US, especially after President Obama’s comments on healthcare industry that the “nation should create a Smart Manufacturing infrastructure and approaches that let operators make real-time use of ‘big data’ flows from fully instrumented plants”. Below are a few emerging healthcare trends that can help enhance the connected health experience

  • Brain Computer Interfaces: companies are making wireless headsets that can monitor brainwave activity and teach you to manage your mind. The data so collected and the suggested activities can help the users to train their mind by improving their concentration, help them  relax and also learn. This kind of technology is in development to help patients with  Alzheimer’s disease and also to help in chronic conditions.
  • Robotics: Would you imagine a time when robotics will be used to perform various tasks including distribution of medications to patients or to pick up things. Additionally, robotic exoskeletons are being introduced to help paraplegics stand and walk independently.
  • Printing using 3 D technology:  Making prosthetic limbs  and braces are the new technology using this technology or for that matter making hearing aids to help in hearing process. In the future, researchers might use this technology to  print live tissue for skin grafts, cartilage, and organs.
  • Smart Medicine Dispensing: To eliminate error and to make sure a patient takes the medicines on time, there is a new technology wherein, physicians can easily track whether a patient has taken the prescribed medicine or not. This is done through  devices which try to  cut out the process of  medicine sorting and giving the medication and the errors.

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