How IoT has Influenced The Healthcare Industry?
Every penny we earn is to keep our self and related people happy and healthy. But health has become a priority, the increase in pollution and the addition of chemicals in food has certainly contributed as a vital factor for the shift.
Today technology has smoothened the path, from consultation till treatment of the patient is just away from a single touch. Availability of health-care application has enabled patients to get appointments and consultation from home only.
Thankfully, IoT has also submerged the health-care industry in its advanced developed technological sea.
Hospitals have been serving people to their best potential, but lack of interaction between hospital and patient had been a significant issue. Regular checkups or close watch over the change in health was not possible, but the inclusion of health-care in IoT has brought changes from ground to the top level.
“As the Internet of things advances, the very notion of a clear dividing line between reality and virtual reality becomes blurred, sometimes in creative ways.” — Geoff Mulgan
A) IoT in a patient’s life:
IoT has transformed the lives of patients as they are being observed every second through wearables likes fitness bands and other wireless connected devices. There are IoT enabled devices for blood pressure and heart rate monitoring cuffs which provide patients access to personalized attention. These devices are used to keep a check on calories count, heartbeat, blood pressure and will remind them for exercise, diet and medication to improve health every day.
IoT has extended the definition of healthcare. It has brought a drastic change in the lives of elder by keeping the health record and assisting them every moment. If any changes or irregularity is observed, it immediately notifies to the concerned healthcare organization or the family member.
B) IoT in a physician’s life:
Thanks to IoT as it has brought so much of relief in a physician’s life. The use of IoT enabled wearables, and other home monitoring devices by the patient has allowed physicians to monitor the changes occurring in the health of the concerned patient. They can track whether the patient is following the treatment plans or not, does the patient needs any quick assistance or medication. IoT devices collect the data and save it on the cloud so that doctors can provide the best treatment process to patients.
C) IoT in Hospitals:
IoT is not just taking responsibility for the patient’s health but is also in charge of cleanliness in the hospital. IoT enabled devices integrated with sensors are used to track the real-time location of medical equipment like stretchers, wheelchairs, oxygen pumps etc. It can even be used to track the current location of the medical staff.
There are many IoT equipped hygiene devices ( having sensors)which can detect the infection or unhygienic environment in the hospital. It protects patients from getting affected by infections.
IoT devices also maintain the pharmacy assents like refrigerator temperature, humidity etc.
D) IoT in Health Insurance Companies:
Health insurance companies can explore exceptional opportunities in IoT. Insurance companies can use data through health monitoring devices for their underwriting and claim operations. This data will rescue them from the fraud claims and will provide prospects for underwriting. IoT has introduced transparency between customer and insurers in term of pricing, underwriting, claims handling and risk assessment processes. Customers will have explicit knowledge of the purpose behind the decisions made and expected outcomes.
Insurers can allure customers by incentives for using and sharing data captured by IoT devices. They can even reward customers for keeping their schedule as per the treatment and taking precautionary health measures to reduce claims.
IoT devices also enable insurance companies to validate claims through the data captured by these devices.
How IoT changed the outlook of healthcare?
The budge of IoT in Healthcare has vastly changed the outlook of healthcare. The immense data produced by IoT has affected the whole healthcare culture in a positive manner.
IoT works in simple four steps:
All four levels are connected to each other to provide the desired outcome.
- Step 1: The initial phase includes the deployment of interconnected devices that contains sensors, monitors, detectors, camera systems, actuators etc. These devices are responsible for the collection of data.
- Step 2: Data collected by sensors and other devices are generally in analogue form, which is further converted into digital form for processing.
- Step 3: After digitization and aggregation, the data obtained is standardized and will be saved on the cloud.
- Step 4: The final data will be managed and analyzed at a certain level. The data analysis will procure the expected business insight for effective decision-making.
Challenges in IoT:
A) Data Security and Privacy on edge:
The most threatening aspect which comes along with the inclusion of IoT in the health industry is data piracy. Though IoT conveys the real-time data most of the IoT devices lack data protocols and standards.
In addition to that, there is significant ambiguity regarding data ownership regulation. All these weak aspects make it prone to cybercrimes, hacking of systems placing the doctor’s reputation and patient’s health at risk.
Cybercriminals can use patient’s data for wrong purposes like, creating fake IDs to buy drugs or medical equipment which they can sell at expensive cost later. Hackers can also use the data to file a fraudulent insurance claim in the patient’s name.
B) Slow Process:
Multiple devices and Protocols: The integration of multiple devices has slowed down the procedure in the healthcare sector, which may result in fatally. The reason for the same is that device manufacturers haven’t reached a consensus on common communication protocols and standard.
When multi-devices are connected, the differences in communication protocol mess up and delays the process of data collection. The non-uniform connection protocol causes delay and degrades the value of IoT in healthcare.
C) Overloaded data smudges accuracy:
Data aggregation becomes tough because of multiple-device integration and their different protocol and standards. However, IoT collects the number of data which are used to get profit-making insights.
But, huge data creates a situation of plight where it becomes tough to derive insights which can be useful for doctors for decision making.
Inclusion of IoT in healthcare can undoubtedly provide so many benefits for the patients, but cost curbs its access to the common people. Though it has eased the work of doctors to monitor the patient’s health every moment it has still not made itself affordable for ordinary people.
IoT, Internet of Things has brought a new era of transparency and has empowered health administration. Data provided by it are used for outlining the result of treatment, but some negative aspects have also warned the users.