We are currently living in the era of digitalization, which includes technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, IoT, Pervasive Computing, to name a few.
Each of these technologies holds a promise for a better future – be it shopping from the comfort of our home or socializing through various social media or using home appliances with smart technologies. But does any of these technologies also aim at improving healthcare and increasing the longevity of human beings?
IoT and Healthcare
Talking of smart technologies, we often find people wearing smartwatches, wristbands, rings, etc which they use for tracking time and fitness. These wearable, which are actually IoT devices, can be a big help in healthcare as well.
Apart from wearables, sometimes, IoT devices are also implanted in the body of the patient, to track their health conditions. These devices have the potential to carry on activities such as –
- Measure sleep and physical activity
- Measure Glucose levels and track blood pressure
- Monitor the health condition of people such as heart rates
These devices are programmed to maintain records of health conditions and send out alerts on finding irregularities, both to the person wearing the device along with his physician if configured.
This results in faster action by the patient as well as the medical care team. This also can result in a reduction of health care costs as the physical footfall to the health care clinics are reduced.
Other than monitoring patient conditions, IoT devices also help by tracking and providing emergency care to the elderly, pregnant and sick people and also monitoring baby in their cribs.
Challenges of IoT Health Care
Big data and Healthcare
All of us access the internet. Every day, each of us is creating terabytes of data in the net, which are being analyzed and put to use, often to give us a more personalized service or to generate information for those who need them.
Think of how would you feel if you visit your clinic for your doctor visit and find that not only you are not required to carry the bulky medical file, the clinic has access to your every medical information and reports and is offering you the exact medical assistance you need?
This is what big data can do for healthcare. Big data can help in connecting all data about a person and bring in consolidated information to the health care units for them to provide better and faster medical services to the patients.
The healthcare industry can also use these huge volumes of information for research and development, production of medicines and as well as for application methods. The various types of feedbacks from each type of patient, also help medical professionals in understanding ailment patterns and do the right diagnosis.
Future of IoT Healthcare
Thus, with IoT being able to provide continuous health monitoring anywhere, anytime and generating alerts in case of irregularities, and big data gathering all information of the patient and using it for providing personalized improved medical service, the global healthcare is on a journey towards a major transformation in the future.