IoT in Healthcare: Applications, Advantages and Challenges

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Insurance companies, hospitals, families, patients, and doctors are benefited from IoT in healthcare. The Internet of Things is certainly transforming the healthcare industry by redefining the space for people and people to interact with healthcare solutions.

1. What is the IoT in Healthcare

What is the IoT in Healthcare

The proliferation of healthcare-specific Internet of things products presents a huge opportunity.  The data generated tend to transform healthcare.  

The Internet of Things has a four-step architecture, which is basically a phase in a process.  All four phases are connected in a way that captures or processes data in one phase and generates value for the next.  The combined value in the process brings intuition and provides a dynamic business vision.  

Step 1: The first step involves deploying interconnected devices, including actuators, camera systems, sensors, monitors, detectors, etc, which collect data.  

Step 2: Typically, the data received from sensors and other devices are required to be converted into digital form.  

Step 3: Once the data is aggregated, it is preprocessed and moved to the cloud or a data center.  

Step 4: Manage and analyze the final data at the required level.  

IoT is ensuring taking better care for patients, as well as providing healthcare providers with, improved performance, better patient experience, and workflows.   

2. Patient-facing Internet of Things  

Patient-facing Internet of Things

Patient satisfaction is critical in healthcare settings because there are more choices provided by providers.

There will be new opportunities that ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes.  

For instance, patients can create their own optimal recovery environment by individually controlling the lighting and blinds by using apps installed on smartphones.  

In the United States, drug noncompliance is the single largest avoidable cost, as patients who do not comply develop complications that cost about $105 billion a year.

Wireless bottle  

Such iot solutions can help people with drug dependence stick to their prescribed treatments. The bottle can be recharged over a long period of time and can be used to alert patients by calling, texting or blinking when they need to take their medication.  

Smart pill is the latest IoT solution for therapeutic adherence. Patients can monitor their medication intake on their smartphones and allow their caregivers to access the information via a web-based portal.  

On a functional level  

It saves time.  Easily connect patients and doctors, simplify and organize medical procedures.  Reduce the workload of patients, so that they are free from unnecessary trouble such as hospital examination.  Reduce hospital costs by eliminating physical appointments.  Provide physicians with accurate patient information to follow up on treatment indications without an in-person meeting.  When vital signs worsen, doctors can advise patients to adjust their medication.  

On an emotional level  

It saves patients from repeated visits to the doctor.  Provide patients with real-time access to information relevant to their health.  Meanwhile, it provides accurate medical information that doctors can easily evaluate.  Doctors provide medical advice to patients in real time to improve treatment outcomes and well-being.  

3. The Internet of Things for doctors  

The Internet of Things for doctors

Telemedicine  

Telemedicine contains a variety of technologies and strategies for providing diagnostics and management, education, and other related healthcare areas.  

Initially, telemedicine was limited to remote diagnosis and treatment of people in rural areas who lacked medical professionals.  Here are some practical telemedicine applications:  

Real-time streaming (synchronization): An alternative to face-to-face doctor’s appointments.  

Asynchronous: Refers to the transmission of health history records.  Physicians can provide care without the need for real-time interaction with these resources.  

RPM: Refers to personal medical and health data collected through connected sensors and wearable devices.  The collected data is sent to a patient’s EHR or an application via WIFI. The Affordable Care Act of 2012 penalized hospitals with high readmission rates in the United States.  RPM is an effective solution for hospitals to reduce costs and avoid such penalties, while not affecting patient access to healthcare.  

Basically, connected monitoring devices allow doctors to collect and analyze a patient’s health without actually seeing them.  As a result, doctors have access to their patient’s condition 24/7 and can spot early signs of problems and take preventive measures.  Ultimately, RPM simplifies the treatment of patients with chronic diseases and reduces readmissions and length of hospital stay.  

Remote diagnosis: A wide range of diseases can be diagnosed and treated faster and more accurately by transferring data through electronic health records (EHR).  

mHealth: IoT applications collect clinical health data, provide healthcare information, monitor patient vital signs and deliver care with mobile devices. 

Remote surgery  

Doctors are allowed by telesurgery technology to operate on patients.  The distance barrier between patient and surgeon has been removed thanks to systems built on high-speed data connections, management information networks and robotics. Patients no longer need to leave their local hospital to benefit from the expertise of specialist surgeons.  

Da Vinci Si surgical robot provides surgeons facilitate a minimally invasive approach to complex surgical procedures.  

Tiny cameras embedded in the laparoscope send images to video monitors in the operating room to guide doctors through the procedure.  The robot provides enhanced 3D, high-definition vision of the surgical area, visual clarity of tissues and anatomical structures, surgical flexibility and greater accuracy than human hands.  

4. Internet of Things for hospitals  

Internet of Things for hospitals

Uninterrupted power can mean the difference between death and life in a medical facility.  

Hospitals and surgical centers need steady and reliable electricity to power medical equipment;  A one-day outage could cost hospitals more than $1 million.  

Medical institutions are required to do more with less.  

Their operating costs keep rising while their budgets fall.  

Rising healthcare costs are a pressure that hospitals are facing.

Energy efficiency helps healthcare organizations reduce operating costs.  

Aging facilities exacerbate the problem of energy costs because existing hospitals do not have the capacity to phase out and replace outdated infrastructure.  

Most hospitals in the United States are more than 30 years old.  In Britain, the age has risen significantly.  

There is no proper infrastructure of aging facilities to support energy and operational efficiency.  

But IoT technology can help these facilities retain old systems.  

This type of software is so smart that it can predict how much healthcare facilities can save by maintaining specific assets or implementing specific energy savings.  

According to Deloitte, smart buildings can save more than $18 million in operating expenses compared to traditional non-iot buildings.  

A future-oriented BMS solution is required by Healthcare organizations to ensure their facilities are comfortable, efficient and safe.  

This means it has to be open, scalable, flexible, and act as automation, software, and IP backbone connecting energy.  

Data can be managed to optimize operational performance when mart BMS connects critical systems across the enterprise.  

5. Advantages and benefits of IoT in healthcare  

Advantages and benefits of IoT in healthcare

Key advantages of IoT in healthcare include:  

Reduce the cost  

IoT’s ability to monitor patients in real-time can significantly reduce unnecessary visits.

Improved treatment  

It allows doctors to make evidence-based decisions with transparency  

Faster Disease diagnosis: Real-time data and continuous patient monitoring help diagnose the disease early based on symptoms  

Active treatment  

Continuous health monitoring opens the door to proactive medicine  

Drug and equipment management  

The management of medical devices and pharmaceuticals is a major challenge.  By connecting devices, these devices can be efficiently managed and utilized while reducing costs  

Reduce errors  

Data generated through IoT devices not only help make effective decisions but also ensures healthcare operations run smoothly while reducing errors, waste and system costs  

The medical IoT is not without its challenges.  Connected devices that support the Internet of Things capture large amounts of data, including sensitive information, raising concerns about data security.  

It is vital that proper safety measures are implemented.  Iot explores new dimensions of patient care through real-time health monitoring.  Being ready to harness this digital power will prove to be a differentiating factor in an increasingly connected world. 

6. Challenges of IoT in healthcare  

Challenges of IoT in healthcare

These devices require powerful platforms to be neatly integrated into existing systems and infrastructure.  The following conditions must be met.  

Reliable connection  

Network failures are unacceptable in devices that require real-time access to data.  Maintaining connectivity is particularly challenging in mobile devices such as wearables, which can travel anywhere a patient is, across borders and coverage areas.  

IoT devices can automatically switch between networks with, non-directed SIM cards and open roaming.  JT has established global roaming relationships with over 500 networks in 210 countries and territories  

You must also match the type of network to the speed, video, voice capabilities, and price point required by the device.  

Network security  

Anything connected to the Internet can be hacked.  Multiple layers of security are required by Healthcare technologies due to their regulations and sensitivity to protecting patient privacy.  

These efforts contain data on private networks and away from the general Internet.  They work with strong data management practices, clear ownership boundaries, and your organization’s security rules to combat violations, hacks, and leaks.  

Extensible platform  

Healthcare IoT must be supported and seamlessly integrated into the larger healthcare system.  Physicians, patients, and other authorized professionals must be able to monitor their status and/or troubleshoot remotely with these sensors.  

The cost

As a result of the above requirements, medical IoT projects can quickly become too costly, especially in a highly competitive environment where different sectors must make demands on limited funding.  

7. Key facilities for IoT in healthcare  

Key facilities for IoT in healthcare

For now, the medical establishment is focused on sensors embedded in the body, worn on the body, and in the home.  Various forms of sensors can be used to provide real-time patient status updates, and set comfortable waiting room temperatures. 

Bed sensor  

The availability of tracking hospital beds is an essential remote patient monitoring tool.  Smart IoT devices can help track availability around the hospital.  

Simple remote monitoring of beds can help reduce patient wait times. The technology could also be utilized to track nurses’ distance from each bed around the facility.  

Nurses’ workflow can be optimized by using smart sensors in hospital beds.  

Machine sensor  

Healthcare organizations usually perform tests with expensive medical equipment.  When these machines are not operating at an optimal level, they may provide wrong results or not work at all.  Maintenance can be expensive.

Smart iot devices can track environmental factors and monitor machine performance.  If a preset threshold is exceeded, an alert can be sent.  

Temperature sensor  

The latest example of storage temperature is for COVID-19 vaccines.  

If certain refrigerators, freezers, or other refrigerated areas exceed certain temperature thresholds, medical personnel can be alerted immediately and they can ensure that items that need to be refrigerated do not spoil.  

Wearable devices  

The wearable tech sector has indeed been booming recently.  The Apple Watch is leading the way.

MedTech uses wristbands to monitor valuable information such as minutes of activity, heart rate, and steps taken.  

Smart Belt technology help detect falls.  Older people can live alone with the help of this.  They can rest assured that they can call for help when accidents occur.  

Smart sensors can help simplify the process.  Previously, patients had to travel for tests, or they had to check their blood pressure, temperature or other variables regularly themselves and had to share that information with their doctors.  

This advance optimizes patient care workflows by reducing in-person visits to doctors’ offices and optimizes healthcare decisions by providing more comprehensive and accurate health data.  

Attached inhaler  

The insidious thing about both respiratory diseases is that they can lead to attacks that seem to pop up without any notice.  

Connected inhalers can provide detailed information about the frequency of environmental conditions and inhaler use. They can help patients change their behavior and actions.

Smart pillbox  

Smart medicine bottles offer the same type of IoT inventory management capabilities to individuals.  Smart medicine bottles could help patients automatically refill prescriptions to provide other personalized medical support for and send alerts for missed doses.  That’s something insurance companies are sure to love.  

Smart bed  

Sleep is important for a healthy life. However, many people don’t get the right amount of sleep they need.  Smart IoT bed technology enables users to understand their environment and sleep patterns.  A wealth of health-related data can be captured by these beds and other medical devices.  

Recent developments using this smart technology have been focused on cribs.  

8. Healthcare applications of the Internet of Things  

Healthcare applications of the Internet of Things

1. Patient management of asthma and COPD  

Consumers can better manage their COPD symptoms and asthma.  Amounts of companies provide connected inhalers.  

2. Improve diabetes  

Patients can also regulate their blood sugar levels with an automatic insulin delivery system.  

3. Medication compliance  

Medication compliance is an issue. However, people can now even make sure they take their medication when they need it via devices with IoT.  

4. Patient health monitoring  

Wearables help people monitor their medical conditions and health in real time.  This kind of monitoring has proven to be very beneficial for many diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, mental health problems and heart disease.  

5. Patient monitoring by healthcare providers  

Wearable devices could help healthcare professionals monitor their patients.  The devices also enable doctors to treat patients proactively.  By keeping people at home and away from hospitals, these medical IoT devices are providing much-needed beds for more critically ill patients.  

6. Elderly care and independence  

The Internet of Things could also allow older people to remain independent for longer through remote monitoring.  

7. Maintain cleanliness standards  

IoT can be utilized to trigger appropriate health process alerts when staff enters a ward.  The Internet of Things can also provide customized reminders if certain cleaning measures are needed based on patient needs.  

8. Ingestible sensor  

For some medical procedures, doctors can avoid invasive probing of the human gut.  Ingestible devices save time and provide convenience and comfort for patients.  

9. Robotic surgery  

Using the Internet of things, surgeons can perform complex surgeries via robots. Hospitals, can shorten hospital stays and shorten recovery times.  

10. Stable emergency communications  

Allerio is providing onboard network solutions for first responders.  Portable wireless routers with multiple cellular connections provide redundant communication, so first responders’ equipment always has a network connection.  

Patients often don’t accurately report how they feel.  

These challenges can be addressed by “Emotion-aware” IoT devices.  The device can infer information about a patient’s mental state.

The core challenge here is that indicators do not predict depressive symptoms.  But neither can a traditional face-to-face psychological evaluation.  

Parkinson’s disease surveillance  

Healthcare providers must be able to assess how the severity of their symptoms fluctuates.  

IoT sensors simplify this task by keep collecting data about Parkinson’s symptoms. Meanwhile, these devices give patients the freedom to live in their own homes without having to spend long periods of time in the hospital for observation.  

9. Institutions for networked healthcare  

Institutions for networked healthcare

Top 10 companies in the IoT medical device market by revenue  

Siemens AG (revenue: $66.3 billion)  

German tech giant Siemens AG is a leading provider of IoT healthcare solutions.  The company specializes in digital health solutions and instant testing.  

Abbott Laboratories (revenue: $34.6 billion)  

Abbott Laboratories, based in Abbott Park, Illinois, is a leading U.S. healthcare company. The company is rapidly integrating emerging Internet of things technology into its core sign monitoring, cardiovascular, and neuromodulation devices.  

Honeywell Life Care Solutions (revenue: $32.6 billion)  

The healthcare solutions from Honeywell Life Care Solutions offer real-time patient care and streamline clinical workflows.  The Honeywell CT40 HC mobile data terminal helps them deliver streamlined healthcare services.  The device complies with FIPS 140-2 Level 1 safety standards and provides high-quality protection for patient data.  

Medtronic (Revenue: $30.12 billion)  

Medtronic Plc is a global leader in medical devices and solutions.  The company is committed to providing innovative and cost-effective healthcare solutions. 

Boston Scientific (Revenue: $9.913 billion)  

Boston Scientific is a leading manufacturer of medical devices used in interventional radiology, neurovascular intervention, peripheral intervention, electrophysiology, gynecology, and cardiac surgery, oncology.  The company has been recognized for integrating emerging technologies into its imaging systems and remote patient monitoring devices.  Boston Scientific’s LATITUDE™ NXT remote Patient management system.  

GE Healthcare (Revenue: $4.472 billion)  

GE Healthcare is committed to digital Healthcare infrastructure and focuses on diagnostics, and patient monitoring devices.  

Omron Corporation (Revenue: $6.237 billion)  

Omron Corporation, headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, is a leading electronics company founded by Tachikeshi Kazuma in 1933 and subsequently incorporated in 1948.  Omron is renowned for its world-class medical equipment.  

Biotronik (Revenue: $1,257.8 million)  

Biotronik is a multinational cardiovascular technology company that is widely recognized for its therapeutic solutions and powerful diagnostic in vascular intervention, electrophysiology, and rhythm management.  The device uses Internet of Things technology to provide doctors with the latest information related to the implanted patient.  

Johnson & Johnson (revenue: $995.2 million)  

Johnson & Johnson specializes in the manufacture of medical devices, consumer products and pharmaceuticals.  With approximately 250 subsidiaries and operations in more than 60 countries, Johnson & Johnson ranks 36th on the 2021 Fortune 500 list by revenue.  

Philips Healthcare (revenue: $59.5 million)  

Philips Healthcare improves patient care and management at a lower cost offering caregivers and patients and healthcare providers innovative solutions.  The company specializes in mobile patient monitoring solutions, diagnostics, respiratory care, advanced imaging, oncology, and central.  

11. The market for IoT in healthcare  

The market situation  

IoT in healthcare market was valued at $49 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $89.6 billion by 2026.  The key drivers of the iot market are improved device accuracy, connectivity, etc.  

Internet of Things (IoT) technology tends to revolutionize traditional paper-based healthcare treatment.  In addition, it can not only provide doctors with remote patient monitoring but also serve as a fitness and health tracker for athletes and dose reminders for patients. 

Big data analysis is a rapidly emerging topic in the Internet of Things.  While these efforts are still in their early stages, they are expected to work together to help address industry-related issues related to inconsistent healthcare quality and rising healthcare spending.  

Tracking, tracking and monitoring patients are critical to strengthening healthcare systems.  

Key Market Trends  

Drug management is anticipated to grow the fastest  

The pharmaceutical management sector is anticipated to show significant growth.  

The growing focus of market participants on developing innovative solutions.   

The trend toward a shift from a fee-for-service model to a value-based model, d