It is not surprising to hear that the next decade would see a revolution in the healthcare industry. Connecting medical devices with patients and networks is becoming big business. It is expected that the Internet of Medical Things market would exceed $150 billion by 2022. Healthcare organizations are focusing on the latest healthcare tech trends
and searching for innovative ways about how they could help the patients easily.
Healthcare services are resistant to change. Moreover, you could see the involvement of digitization in shaping the future of the health industry
. For instance, by using mobile healthcare apps, patients and doctors could maintain records of medical history, find symptoms and home remedies to disease, and more. The combination of the healthcare sector and digitization is making a strong and positive impact on the diagnostic industry.
Several healthcare data management tools
are offering benefits to businesses. The tools are improving health outcomes and helping in making a better decision. What is exciting is how IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) are offering benefits to doctors and patients. Let us read about IoMT in-depth and how it is benefitting the healthcare industry.
What Do You Understand by the Internet of Medical Things?
The Internet of Medical Things has offered several benefits to the medical industry. When connected to the internet, medical devices could collect additional data, enable remote care, and offer more benefits to patients and doctors.
It is built on several technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, advanced sensors, and more. IoMT enables healthcare applications to reduce costs, improve the quality of medical treatment, and provide an instant medical response. It is transforming the healthcare industry by enabling smooth communication between medical data.
How HIS and HMIS Have Collaborated with IoMT
Hospital Information System (HIS) and Health Management Information System (HMIS) are playing a crucial role in the medical field. Both the systems, HIS and HMIS
, are improving patient care in several ways. Modern healthcare information systems offer security to data, increase convenience for patients, and reduce cost.
With the Internet of Medical Things, HMIS is supporting the management in planning and making crucial decisions. Till now, hospitals are considered to be the largest users of IoMT devices. Applications of IoMT in hospitals include x-ray machines, CT Scans, and other devices that connect patients and doctors at their places.
The reach of IoMT devices has gone beyond hospitals. They are helping patients at home in connecting with doctors digitally, health insurance companies to obtain better outcomes, and in rural areas where medical services couldn’t be accessible.
As these medical devices are offering benefits, they are also raising security and privacy concerns. They collect confidential data from where the doctors could make critical decisions. Hackers or cybercriminals keep an eye on these medical devices and gain unauthorized access to personal information.
Therefore, keeping these devices safe from hackers is essential. Also, despite the benefits these devices offer, it becomes important to use these medical devices responsibly and effectively.
Common IoMT Devices That Are Used in Different Applications
1. Fitness Wearables
Fitness wearable such as bands, smartwatches, smart garments, and activity trackers are monitoring body temperature and physical activities. These devices are worn by the patients and compute the data using healthcare AI Algorithms.
They have in-built sensors that collect the data of individuals and track the regime with the help of installed health apps in smartphones. The devices allow the patient to track their fitness goals and give much-needed daily motivation.
2. Smart Pills
Smart Pills are called Digital Pills. They have ingestible sensors that keep track of a patient’s medication. It has a sensor that gets activated when it comes in contact with stomach fluids.
After activation, the data that pill has been consumed is shared with the wearable band on the patient’s arm, and that further updates the data to the healthcare app. This data could be accessed by physicians or caregivers through a web portal.
This technology is beneficial when the patient has Alzheimer’s or other mental diseases. After the drugs get dissolved, the sensor gets discharged and via the patient's GI tract.
3. Clinical Motors
The best example of clinical motors or clinical devices is a digital stethoscope. The device retains the look-and-feel of a regular stethoscope.
It improves listening performance and provides data to visual charts by connecting with an off-instrument display such as a computer monitor. This increases the physician’s diagnostic capability. It improves the diagnostic quality of the stethoscope and delivers a great user experience.
The electronic health records could be saved for later use or shared with the physicians when needed. You may find some digital stethoscopes smaller in size, and others having buttons and LED indicators.
4. Hospital Devices
Digital technologies are evolving and finding several applications in the healthcare industry. Several hospital devices, right from X-ray machines to ECG, are setting the trend in smart hospitals. Today, hospitals have smart devices that are improving the workflow of the organization.
These interconnected devices are communicating with each other and delivering better patient monitoring outcomes. The hospitals are using RFID chips to track the high-end equipment at the premises. Also, the use of Artificial Intelligence for image analysis and other activities is saving time.
5. Remote Monitoring Tools
IoMT devices like remote monitoring tools help in monitoring the patients remotely without meeting them in person. These devices are widely used when the patient is discharged from the hospital.
It improves the patient's care and accelerates recovery time. Remote monitoring tools work best for those who can’t visit a doctor regularly. They could be used to send reminders and to update the medical plans based on the patient’s physical activities.
Benefits of Using Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
No doubt, the future of the Internet of Medical Things is bright. Today, hospitals have special IoMT devices for disabled people.
For instance, devices like smartwatches and smart pills allow continuous monitoring of blood sugar levels, heart rate, and others. IoT-enabled hearing devices and wheelchairs have become a helping hand for disabled people.
Let us know the other benefits of using IoMT.
1. Lower Costs
You would be amazed to know that digital solutions save over $300 billion to healthcare? Using digital medical things allows healthcare providers to check patients in real-time. This means that the patients would go less to the doctors, and this cuts down the cost spent on frequent visits.
2. Reduced Errors
Another benefit of implementing IoMT devices in hospitals and healthcare industries is reduced errors. Workflow automation is a great way to cut down expenses on tests and imaging.
This reduces system costs and minimizes error. The automated information creates different metrics to check the changes in the patient’s health conditions. Mistakes are reduced to a great extent.
3. Improved Outcomes
Fitness devices and healthcare solutions that are connected with health apps quickly monitor the patient’s health status and allow instant results to the patient’s health.
The solutions are connected to cloud computing and provide physicians or caregivers a chance to access real-time data to make an informed decision.
4. Better Management of Drugs
The healthcare solutions and digital devices allow physicians to spend less time in search of drugs and other medicines, in tracking. Also, this helps the patients in following the better treatment plans and doctors to track the prescriptions.
Limitations of Using Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
While IoMT offers several benefits to the healthcare industry and patients, it has certain limitations. For instance, the implementation of healthcare devices is expensive. Before you make a plan to design HIS or CDSS
(Clinical Decision Support System), make sure you are aware of their limitations.
1. Less Secure
The Healthcare industry has a lot to do with the patient’s privacy. The confidential data of patients are more prone to cyber-attacks. It is reported that the healthcare industry encounters over 300% more security issues than other industries. Malware tries to access healthcare software and then exposes data.
2. Higher Cost
IoMT focuses on reducing healthcare costs, but implementing healthcare devices is expensive. Building a healthcare app, hardware costs, and maintaining it requires a higher initial investment.
Also, some hospitals do not have a powerful network to implement IoMT devices and to use them over wi-fi.
Over the years, the future of hospitals has drastically changed. The Internet of Medical Things is a combination of applications and medical devices that could connect healthcare information technology systems using network technologies.
It covers a broad range of medical devices, including MedicAlert bracelets, smartwatches, and more. It allows doctors to be more aware of the patient’s conditions on a real-time basis.
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