Healthcare is changing at a rapid pace. The world of healthcare is evolving with new trends such as Internet of Things development services. It is a world connected driven by connectivity. The technology side is evident with features, benefits, and use cases of connected medical technologies. It’s where people and processes factor to seize new opportunities and overcome challenges.
What is IoMT
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) contains a network of interconnected medical and other connected appliances with the ability of a machine to machine conversation across the network to form a connection of smart devices. The Internet of Medical Things is the progression of the Internet of things in the healthcare domain. It refers to the connected system of medical devices and applications that collect data that is provided to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks.
Use Cases of IoMT
In modern clinical setups, IoMT technology mostly falls into the following three categories.
Tracking Assets and Resources
IoMT provides location awareness, proximity, movement detection, and environmental sensing functionality.
Internet of Things in Hospitals
It allows locating patients, medical staff, and visitors that further enhance the concept of smart hospitals.
Clinical Data Integration
IoMT is streamlining processes, and data generated from medical observations can be collected and communicated saving resources.
The IoMT market contains smart devices, such as wearables and medical/vital monitors for health care use on the body, in the home, or in community, clinic or hospital settings.
Wearable Segment on body
- Consumer health wearables such as personal wellness or fitness, such as activity trackers, bands, wristbands, sports watches, and smart garments.
- Clinical-grade wearables such as regulated devices and supporting platforms for certified/approved by one or more regulatory or health authorities.
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM) comprises of home monitoring devices and sensors for chronic disease management requiring monitoring of physiological parameters of patient in home.
- Personal emergency response systems (PERS), integrates wearable device and a live medical call center service to increase self-reliance for homebound or limited-mobility seniors to communicate and receive emergency medical care.
- Telehealth virtual visits include virtual consultations for patients to manage their conditions and obtain prescriptions or recommended care plans.
- Mobility services allows vehicles to track health parameters during transit.
- Emergency response intelligence helps medical staff, paramedics and hospital emergency department care providers.
- Medical devices used by a provider outside of the home or traditional health care settings.
What kinds of devices are connected to the IoMT
- Fitness wearables
- Clinical grade wearables
- Remote patient monitoring devices
- Smart pills
- Point of care devices and kiosks
- Clinical monitors
- Hospital devices
Benefits of IOMT
Dramatic Growth in IoMT Devices Predicted
With 3.7 million medical devices in use that are connected to and monitor various parts of the body to inform healthcare decisions, IoMT is the way ahead. According to statistics, the IoT healthcare market will reach $136.8 billion worldwide by 2021.
Disability Assistance Tools
Smart products are available for disabilities that seniors suffer. Several technical functionalities such as direct Bluetooth connectivity to the smartphone for calls or streaming music and the knowledge to control volume and switch programs on television with smartphone app support, it is a “smart” solution.
Functions for daily tasks such as brushing teeth or even medical tasks such as taking medication.
Virtual Home Assistants
Very often, patients stay alone or with their spouses or partners who might be working. Patients require daily assistance to complete specific routine tasks. Virtual assistants or robots serve the purpose of helping patients as they interact with patients via touchscreens so that they can stay connected with their family and friends digitally.
Additionally, virtual assists can help the patient in the following ways
- Take medications and notes
- Provide remind patients about care providers’ medical recommendations
- Virtual assistants can be reached via text/mobile phones through chat
- Medication adherence and care coordination
- Patient engagement
Smart Senior Homes
Care staff can help assess elderly or senior patients with the use of wearables worn across the wrist that track their location as well as activities performed (such as bathing, walking, sleeping).
- Advanced technology such as machine learning and predictive analytics derive actionable insights from seniors’ periodic routines as well as any noticeable variations.
- Emerging physical or mental health conditions to alert care regarding immediate medical intervention.
Caregiver Remote Monitoring Tools
IoMT helps family members to monitor patients remotely without contacting them directly.
Smart plug notifies family members every time about the connectivity of devices such as–air con; this allows the family member to know that it was used at a regular time, indicating normalcy in routine.
- Fluctuation in the routine pattern will be detected, and family members can contact seniors to ensure that seniors
- Medication reminders
- SOS or an emergency panic button and the ability to share digital photos, as well as a texting interface
- Connects existing fitness trackers or smartwatches for monitoring of health, activity and alert caregivers in case of deviation
These technologies allow consistent control of seniors in a non-intrusive manner and gain immediate need and medical assistance when it is required the most.
Several devices within the hospital right from the ECG to the MRI machine constitute IoMT, giving rise to the trend of smart hospitals.
- Interconnected digital devices seamlessly communicate with each other for patient monitoring and optimum workflow.
- The majority of healthcare providers have made a paradigm shift to electronic medical records, which allows timely updates and remote access to documents.
- IoMT is vital for asset and personnel management within the hospital.
Implantation of RFID chips in the equipment can be used for tracking of high-end equipment in the hospital premises. The use of location-based services on healthcare provider’s smartphones can track the live location and increase staff efficiency. It also results in inventory management and identification of critical areas of patient movement within the hospital, ensuring faster patient progress and greater satisfaction.
Disadvantages of IoMT in Healthcare
- Concerns about patient privacy
- Security breaches causing data hack or manipulation, such a hack into healthcare analytics may be disastrous
- Effective management of IoT devices that consists of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system
- Compliance with HL7 and standards such as HIPAA, FHIR
- Legacy systems and equipment
- Security concerns
- Technology immaturity
- Lack of budget & skilled professionals
- Lack of interoperability or standards
- Uncertain ROI
- Unclear business need
IoMT puts technologically connected products in the hands of consumers and gives patients and physicians the much needed access to vital information anytime, anywhere. It gives patients and caretakers the much needed peace of mind.