Healthcare Technology Featured Article

May 27, 2020

How is IoT solving Pain Points in Healthcare




In recent years, the use of technology in the healthcare field has skyrocketed. Technology makes healthcare more efficient and cost-effective, and it provides better patient outcomes. Improving quality of care has been a major priority recently, and the Internet of Things has shown great potential to make hospitals safer and more productive.

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a network of internet-connected objects that can send and receive data. IoT technology can be connected to all kinds of items, including hospital wristbands and medical equipment. This technology allows for faster and more accurate data collection in the healthcare industry, so it has the power to bring healthcare software development to the next level.

Here are seven pain points that IoT is solving in the healthcare industry:

1. Inefficiency

Even the best hospitals and doctors have room to grow when it comes to patient care. Long waiting times, a long duration between visits, inadequate data collection, and a wide range of other challenges can prevent healthcare professionals from providing the best care possible.

IoT can improve patient care in a number of ways. One of the most effective and widely-used applications of this technology is IoT-connected sensors on hospital wristbands and medical devices. These sensors can collect patient information and send it to the cloud so that healthcare workers can view it in real time. Because it reduces the need to manually collect and input data, it allows staff to use their time more efficiently and reduce waiting times for patients.

Healthcare centers can also use IoT-connected devices to monitor patients' heart rates, glucose levels, blood pressure, and other critical information. When this information is monitored and reported in real-time, staff will know right away if there is a medical emergency.

2. Medical Errors

Unfortunately, preventable medical mistakes lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. Mistakes are sometimes inevitable, but IoT can help to reduce many errors in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare workers can use IoT-connected wristbands to immediately verify a patient's identity and avoid mix-ups. They can check for allergies or other important medical information as well. Machines don't make typos when recording data, so IoT technology is a valuable tool for storing and checking patient data.

3. Supply Chain Management

Hospitals need a secure supply chain for medications and other supplies. Counterfeiting is a common problem in the healthcare industry that can lead to poor patient outcomes, medical emergencies, and even death.

Attaching IoT sensors to drugs and medical supplies can be an effective solution to counterfeiting. Hospitals can check the devices to ensure that the inventory they receive is the same inventory that the manufacturer sent out.

Even when counterfeiting isn't a problem, IoT devices can improve supply chain management. IoT sensors allow for easy and consistent location tracking, which can help experts find opportunities to streamline the process.

4. Operational Costs

There are lots of expenses in the healthcare field, and the best way to reduce costs while maintaining quality care is to improve efficiency. IoT enables hospitals to automate more of their workflow to save time and money.

It's much faster and easier for IoT devices to transfer data than for humans to do it manually. Less work needed from staff means lower operational costs. This also reduces the risk of costly and time-consuming errors in data entry.

5. Disease Management

Chronic health conditions like obesity, cancer, and arthritis affect millions of people. For those with chronic diseases, healthcare is a daily concern. Patients need disease management tools every day, not just during their visits to the doctor.

IoT-connected devices can keep track of heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, cholesterol, and a variety of other medical details. Patients can use these devices to regularly check their information to make sure nothing is wrong. Doctors can also monitor their patients' status and intervene if necessary.

Getting regular health updates helps people stay on track with disease management. IoT can improve patients' overall health and may even reduce the need for medical intervention.

6. Healthcare in Rural Communities

Many rural areas don't have enough physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare resources to provide quality care for the whole population. IoT allows for easier communication between doctors and patients when they can't meet in person.

Doctors can use IoT-connected devices to monitor patient data. Combined with video conferencing, doctors can assist patients virtually with a number of health concerns. This system doesn't always replace in-person visits, but it can greatly improve accessibility for rural communities.

7. Research

Research is the most important factor in making advancements in healthcare, but doctors and scientists often face obstacles when trying to conduct studies. IoT can streamline data collection, which eases the burden on researchers.

With the help of IoT, researchers can collect and store enormous amounts of information that would be difficult or impossible to manage without technology. IoT also helps researchers collect information consistently over a long period of time.

IoT isn't the perfect solution to every problem in the healthcare industry. There are still some challenges for IoT in healthcare software development that have prevented the technology from being implemented in every hospital. For example, establishing and maintaining a system of IoT devices in a large hospital can be expensive.

However, researchers are working all the time on improving IoT technology for the healthcare industry. Many hospitals around the world have increased efficiency and improved patient care with IoT-connected devices. IoT has proven itself as a solution for several pain points in the healthcare industry, and it will continue to do so in the coming years.

John Baily: Global Director of Healthcare, Chetu Inc.

John Bailey is an industry expert within the healthcare landscape. He works at Chetu Inc., Plantation, Fla., a custom software development provider and thought-leader within the IT community. He offers commentary on changing tides within the healthcare industry including EHRs, telehealth and veterinary software.









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