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Technological Advances in Healthcare – Internet of Things

by Bhargav Mehta


Posted on November 02, 2018 at 02:00 PM


Technological Advances in Healthcare

In the previous session we saw how the technological advancements are impacting the healthcare system in a very positive way and how it is bound to transform the entire healthcare industry. If you have not gone through it yet, here is the link: https://virtuosoitech.com/www/technological-advances-in-healthcare-blog.html

We looked into the advancements of Artificial Intelligence and how well it can assist in diagnosis and has major impacts in almost all the sectors of healthcare including medication, monitoring and post-recovery care. However, to get these advantages out of the AI, what is the one thing that will be needed?

Data

Data is the most important part for any analysis. The more complete data we have, the more accuracy we will get out of it and we will be able to confidently determine the possibilities. This is true for any research that is done, and above all it is the basic fundamentals for the AI.

Now the next logical question that arrives is - Where would we get this data from? We will discuss the answer to this question through this article.

Internet of Things - IoT

Internet of things or IoT is the term used for electronic devices with sensors, that are connected to a network and allows exchange of data. This is a broader term used for wearables, home appliances, vehicles etc. The IoT devices that are used for healthcare domain specifically are also known as Internet of Medical Things or IoMT.

The main advantage IoT poses for healthcare is in monitoring. The sensors in the IoT devices can be used to continuously track the vitals of the patient and send out an alert if anything critical is observed. This can be extremely helpful for patients who have recovered from a chronical disease where the chances of symptoms’ resurfacing are very high.

This can have a huge impact in healthcare sectors including hospitals, for example, with this technology it can be feasible to have monitoring on all patients in the hospital instead of only the ones that are under observations in ICU. This will not only help hospitals in attending to patients but also help them in treating more patients in critical conditions. It can also assist the hospitals that are located in rural areas where ICUs are scarce.

With the rapid growth in technology we are able to fit some of the sensors and monitoring components in smaller packages so that they are non-intrusive and do not affect the patient’s mobility.

As discussed in the last blog, the main issue we face today is the late detection of any disease.

To broaden this spectrum, the IoT technology and some of its sensors are making way into our day to day utility objects like watches, clothes, shoes etc. This is known as wearable technology. The wearable technology can cater to the masses where the focus is on prevention rather than cure.

With wearables, this technology is poised to become a part of our lifestyle, where it can work independently in the background and does not need to interfere with the user’s routine. It can keep a tab on the user’s vitals, analyzing for any symptoms or patterns that can determine that something is going wrong. This will help us in pre-determining the possibilities of illness that can arise in the future using the past data analytics, data patterns and Artificial Intelligence; as well as it will help us in raising an alarm when something is going wrong in present.

Internet of Things can be revolutionary for people with restricted mobility or for the elders who cannot move around easily. For them, instead of regular doctor visits to keep track of the vitals, the doctors can remotely verify the vitals uploaded by the IoT devices and take the appropriate decisions. Not only that but the doctor can also get all the details related to the patient’s medical history, vital abnormalities and other symptoms in the palm of their hands. This shall enable the doctors to create a completely secured and educated plan of action.

This advances the entire system to be very dynamic and real-time.

With the help of IoT, the dynamics of healthcare are going to change from being reactive to being proactive.

Looking into the unmatched advantages that IoT has to offer, there will be an urge to join this revolution. But there is also a responsibility associated with handling of this technology. We need to make sure that we don’t misuse its offerings or let it fall into the hands of hazardous sources that would use it to target the customers for personal gains.

The data that is generated through the IoT or Wearables should be analyzed by the companies only and only for the benefit of the user and should also be secured with the top of the line security measures. The privacy of the user should be given the utmost importance and respect; as that will be the only strand of trust that draws the consumers to adopt these new technologies without any bias or pre-determined negative notions.

If these ethics are imbibed into the healthcare technologies from the very beginning, we can build an ecosystem that drives us forward by leaps and bounds.