The Internet of Things (IoT) has allowed for significant innovation and improved patient care in the healthcare industry. The IoT healthcare services market is anticipated to reach $534.3 billion by 2025.
As more connected devices enter the healthcare industry, how is IoT empowering new medical devices, therapies, treatments, comprehension, and care?
Here’s a look at 10 ways IoT in Healthcare is facilitating medical treatment, aiding healthcare professionals, and preventing illness and what the utilization of IoT devices for medical purposes means for IoT security in healthcare organizations.
10 Internet of Things (IoT) Healthcare Examples & Applications
Internet of Things, also commonly referred to as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), is an upcoming technology with different examples & applications in the healthcare sector.
IoMT devices are used in multiple healthcare sectors to solve a number of problems. Distinctive IoT cybersecurity solutions can improve the level of observing patient conditions and treatment processes. There are many examples of IoT in the healthcare industry, such as wearables or monitors used for healthcare purposes in the home, clinic, or hospital setting. Below we are going to represent 10 IoMT examples in healthcare.
1. Glucose Monitoring
Glucose monitoring has traditionally been complex for more than 37 million Americans with diabetes. If the levels fluctuate periodically, then intermittent or manual testing may not be adequate to distinguish the issue.
IoT glucose monitoring devices with embedded or wearable body sensors help minimize the risk of death by diabetes by providing continuous, automated monitoring of patient glucose levels. It makes it possible to detect sugar levels at an earlier stage so that necessary steps would take to recover them faster. The need to keep manual records is also eliminated with the introduction of IoT glucose monitoring devices.
2. Heart Rate Monitoring
Like glucose monitoring, heart rate monitoring is also a challenging process in healthcare facilities, and the number of heart patients is rapidly increasing across the globe. Various IoMT devices are available to monitor heart rating and detect heart rate & pulse in heart patients.
Few sensors connected to heart rate monitoring devices send and store real-time pulse rates on the cloud, and it would be accessible from anywhere over the globe. These devices are helpful in emergencies and provide data security to prevent IoT Security Risks.
3. Remote Patient Monitoring
Why are most patients readmitted to the hospital after treatment and surgery? The answer is clear; lack of monitoring patients. Remote monitoring IoT medical devices play an effective role because they automatically collect health metrics such as temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and more from patients who are no longer physically present in a healthcare facility.
After collecting this data, it sends it to the software application or cloud from where a patient/doctor can view it. If an IoMT device senses unusual data, it generates an alert to notify both the patient and the doctor. Remote monitoring devices are easy to operate; however, the security and privacy of highly personal data these devices collect are a cybersecurity challenge healthcare organizations will need to address.
4. Connected Contact Lenses
The eyes are an extraordinary human organ, but various diseases and age can make your eyes weaker over time. Through the extraordinary advancement of IoT in healthcare, you can detect symptoms of various eye diseases sooner. Smart connected contact lenses combine contact lenses and sensors that turn your eyes into a powerful tool for digital interactions and detecting eye disease symptoms.
An example of these lenses in action includes IoT-based contact lenses monitoring tear glucose levels for early diabetes detection. These devices can also dispense medication into the eye when needed, which is a healthier and easy solution for your eyes.
5. Depression and Mood Monitoring
A healthcare service provider is responsible for asking their patient how they feel to ensure their current condition physically and emotionally; however, they are unable to detect sudden mood swings and depressive conditions and patients often don’t accurately report feelings. “Mood-aware” IoT devices and smartwatches help predict the depression level of the users by monitoring and analyzing metrics such as blood pressure and heart rate. The major shortcoming of these devices is that they don’t always detect mood swings accurately and can’t predict depression symptoms.
6. Hand Hygiene Monitoring
Hand hygiene is crucial for healthcare staff to minimize the risk of spreading disease, virus, and contagion. Traditionally, there was no definite way to ensure patients and the healthcare sector washed their hands properly.
Today, different types of hand hygiene monitoring IoT devices remind visitors to wash their hands when entering a room and can even instruct the user on how best to sanitize their hands to mitigate risk for a specific patient. These devices also have monitoring sensors that monitor your hands and remind you when you need to sanitize your hands.
7. Connected Inhalers
The inhaler is the most crucial device for controlling asthma disease. Asthma is a tragic disease that is not curable and often involves sudden, unpredictable attacks. At that instant, an inhaler acts as a significant cure to overcome these sudden attacks.
Healthcare IoT provides a smart solution to deal with the problem effectively. IoT connected inhaler is a sensor-connected inhaler that alerts the patient by monitoring the frequency of attacks and triggering factors, such as environmental factors, to prevent future asthma attacks. These smart inhalers can also alert the patient when they misuse them or leave them at home.
8. Hearing Aid
More than 400 million people suffer from progressive hearing loss, which poses a significant concern. IoMT-connected devices, such as IoT-based hearing aids, can make life easier and safer for those with hearing loss. This IoT hearing aid can listen to several conversations at once or focus on a single sound in a noisy environment.
9. Parkinson’s Patient Monitoring
In order to observe Parkinson’s patients at every moment and treat them effectively, monitoring their symptom fluctuations and severity is vital. Parkison’s monitoring IoT sensors are dedicated to collecting data about Parkinson’s symptoms. Healthcare service providers access this data from the cloud and suggest the relative patient dos and don’ts after analyzing it. These devices also allow Parkinson’s patients to live a life outside the hospital without extended observation stays.
10. Robotic Surgery
Surgery is a complex task that requires extensive experience, surgical tools, medical devices, and a qualified surgeon. During the surgical operation, a surgeon may need to perform a complex procedure that is difficult to manage only with hands. IoT robotic devices can more precisely and effectively perform parts of a surgical operation successfully. These devices are easy to insert and small enough to perform surgery with minimal disruption in the patient’s body.
Why IoT security matters in Healthcare
In an interconnected healthcare network, IoT devices create an untenable reality for healthcare cybersecurity organizations. In healthcare, leaders try to understand what’s associated with an organization, what it’s doing, and how to manage and ensure everything is protected. The Internet of Things gives so much comfort in the healthcare sector by providing healthcare solutions, reducing costs, and driving treatment to the home-centric.
But there is a strong threat against these devices that must be addressed. The healthcare industry is a prime target for cybercriminals due to the sensitive nature of the data they hold. It’s crucial for healthcare organizations to implement strong security measures to protect IoMT devices and the data they collect.
Asimily is an IoT healthcare cybersecurity provider that identifies and classifies IoT cybersecurity threats and enables security for all connected medical devices in a healthcare organization. If you want to ensure protection for your healthcare IoT devices, contact Asimily now.