List of Interesting IoT Applications in Healthcare

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Here is the list of top 21 IoT applications in healthcare domain. The market for the internet of things in healthcare is growing steadily, with applications ranging from remote monitoring to medication adherence. This guide explores the challenges and benefits of healthcare IoT.

The internet of things has numerous applications in healthcare, from remote monitoring to smart sensors and medical device integration. It has the potential to not only keep patients safe and healthy, but to improve how physicians deliver care as well. Healthcare Internet of Things can also boost patient engagement and satisfaction by allowing patients to spend more time interacting with their doctors.
The applications of iot in healthcare (the industry, personal healthcare and healthcare payment applications) has sharply increased across various specific Internet of Things projects. At the same time we see how other healthcare IoT use cases are picking up speed and the connected healthcare reality is accelerating, even if some challenges remain.

The Healthcare industry remains among the fastest to adopt the IoT. The reason for this trend is that integrating IoT features into medical devices greatly improves the quality and effectiveness of service, bringing especially high value for the elderly, patients with chronic conditions, and those requiring constant supervision. According to some research agency predictions, in near future spending on the Healthcare IoT solutions will reach a staggering $1 trillion by 2025

But healthcare IoT isn’t without its challenges. The number of connected devices and the tremendous amount of data they collect can be a challenge for hospital IT to manage. There is also the question of how to keep all of that data secure, especially if it is being exchanged with other devices.

Healthcare IoT challenges and disadvantages:

While there are many benefits of the internet of things in healthcare, it isn’t without its challenges. As with any new technology in healthcare, hospital executives and IT are concerned about data security and IoT device management.

List of IoT examples in Healthcare:

1. Reducing Emergency Room Wait Times in Hospital using IoT:

Few things are as dull and boring as a visit to the emergency room. Apart from the resulting medical expenses, emergency room visits can sometimes take hours to complete. Thanks to some recent ingenuity and the IoT, at least one hospital — Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City — effectively slashed wait times for 50% of their emergency room patients who are in need of inpatient care.
It’s their partnership with GE Healthcare and new, IoT-driven software, known as AutoBed, that tracks occupancy among 1,200 units and factors in 15 different metrics to assess the needs of individual patients.

2. Fall Detection using IoT Sensors:

Assistance for elderly or disabled people living independent.

3. Remote health monitoring and TeleHealth:

Remote health monitoring for now is the major IoT use case in the Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT). In other words: today’s major use case from an IoT spending perspective is outside the setting of a hospital or other healthcare facility.
There is a general shift of care in hospitals or emergency care environments to private environments such as the patient’s home, whenever that becomes possible.
The global smart healthcare market is expected to reach $169.30 billion by 2020 with a prominent role for remote monitoring.
It’s a matter of costs, it’s a matter of getting the patient back to his ‘normal environment’ and it’s one way to reduce the workload of healthcare workers who in many countries and many periods simply can’t cope.

4. Medical Fridges in Hospital:

Control of conditions inside freezers storing vaccines, medicines and organic elements.

5. OpenAPS – closed-loop insulin delivery:

One of the most fascinating areas in Internet of Things medicine is the open source initiative OpenAPS, which stands for open artificial pancreas system.

6. Sportsmen Care using IoT:

Vital signs monitoring in high performance centers and fields using different Wearable IoT sensors.

7. Predictive maintenance of healthcare equipment:

Predictive maintenance of healthcare critical and costly hospital equipments. IoT-enabled “assets” and rather traditional general IoT use cases which are really cross-industry such as (predictive) maintenance of hospital assets, connected healthcare devices and the tracking of healthcare devices (and people).

8. Glucose monitoring (CGM) system:

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system which uses a 90 day sensor below the patient’s skin. The sensor communicates with a smart transmitter which then sends blood glucose levels to a sister mobile app on the patient’s phone.

9. Coagulation testing:

In 2016, Roche launched a Bluetooth-enabled coagulation system that allows patients to check how quickly their blood clots.This is the first device of its kind for anticoagulated patients, with self-testing shown to help patients stay within their therapeutic range and lower the risk of stroke or bleeding. Being able to transmit results to healthcare providers means fewer visits to the clinic.

10. Depression-fighting Apple Watch application:

Takeda is testing the use of an Apple Watch app to help patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), starting with a 30-patient trial. The app, developed alongside Cambridge Cognition, is designed to monitor and assess cognitive function, with the trial set to examine how an app compares with traditional testing and self-assessment when reporting mood and cognition. Both passive and active data is collected.

11. Patients Surveillance:

Monitoring of conditions of patients inside hospitals and in old people’s home.

12. Arthritis – Apple’s ResearchKit:

In 2016, GSK became the first pharma company to use Apple’s ResearchKit software. The initial study was not testing a medicine, but looking at the impact of disease on patient lives. GSK’s Parade app for iPhone app is built on the ResearchKit software platform, launched in 2014, which integrates with iPhone’s Health platform. GSK’s study involved 300 patients over three months, collecting and tracking common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, alongside activity and other quality-of-life measures.

13. Parkinson’s:

Project Blue Sky is an ongoing collaboration between Pfizer and IBM, involving a planned clinical trial using ‘a system of sensors, mobile devices, and machine learning to provide real-time, around-the-clock disease symptom information to clinicians and researchers’. The aim is to monitor the progression and treatment of Parkinson’s.

14. Smart Beds using IoT:

New technologies are reaching everywhere, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is giving a new life to our common household items. Nowadays, one of the goals tech companies have is to make all devices smart, which means giving them the ability to communicate, which is often done using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivities.
With technology spreading at this pace, we are developing the habit of taking gadgets to our beds. This is becoming really bad for us, as we are not taking advantage of the amazing memory foam mattresses available nowadays, we have less sleep quality and deteriorate the relationships with our significant others.

15. Activity trackers during cancer treatment:

Patients will wear an activity tracker for up to a week prior to treatment and then continuously for several months over the course of multiple treatments. The trackers (Sensors) will assist in logging activity level and fatigue, with appetite also being logged directly, and all data saved to application on their personal smart phones.
Using a variety of data gathered day-to-day through wearables or applications is a fairly obvious way that diagnosis and treatment can be improved for many conditions. This is particularly the case for a disease such as cancer, for which the reaction to therapy plays an important and determinant part in prescribing the right treatment.

16. Connected contact lenses:

Alcon (part of Novartis) has licensed Google’s smart lens technology which involves non-invasive IoT sensors embedded within contact lenses. The lenses may eventually be able to measure glucose levels of diabetes patients via their tears and then store the information in a mobile device, though Novartis backtracked on a plan to test the system in 2016. Novartis is also hoping to develop the smart lens to help those with presbyopia, helping to restore the eye’s focus.

17. Connected Inhalers:

The most immediate use for Internet of Things technology in healthcare is not to assist in diagnoses, though, but to ensure adherence. Adding IoT sensors to medicines or delivery mechanisms allows doctors to keep accurate track of whether patients are sticking to their treatment plan. This provides motivation but also clarity for patients. Devices connected to mobile applications allow for patients to receive reminders, as well as to check on their own adherence.

18. Wearables for Patients:

Wearable devices have revolutionized our ability to collect and monitor health data on a much larger scale and the ability to provide sleep data on a daily basis can help increase our understanding of real world sleep habits and how to improve them. Wearables can track heart pulses, blood pressure.

19. Ultraviolet Radiation detection using IoT:

UV Sun rays are harmful for humans. Measurement of UV sun rays to warn people not to be exposed in certain hours.

20. Ingestible Sensors:

Proteus Digital Health and its ingestible sensors are another example of digital medicine. The main purpose of this technology, trialled with an antipsychotic and a hypertension pill, is to monitor adherence. However, in this case, the pill dissolves in the stomach and produces a small signal which is picked up by a sensor worn on the body, which again relays the data to a smartphone application.

21. Tracking Hospital Staff, Patients and Inventory:

Safety is the utmost concern of any hospital or medical facility – or at least it should be. It’s hard to maintain the maximum amount of security without the ability to track assets — staff members, patients and hardware – throughout the building.
It’s a task that’s easily achieved in smaller institutions, but what about larger facilities that feature multiple structures, buildings and campuses as well as thousands of patients and staff members.

What’s next for healthcare IoT?

There are already countless applications, examples, use cases for the Internet of Things in healthcare, but the technology is still evolving. While one of the challenges of healthcare IoT is how to manage all of the data it collects, the future of IoT will depend on the ability of healthcare organizations to turn that data into meaningful insights.
There are obvious concerns of vulnerability involved with connected healthcare, which along with the rigour of drug development may be slowing the development of new digital medicines. From adherence to diagnosis, the applications are many fold.

In particular, life logging (which granted is often a case of mobile health, not strictly IoT) seems still to be a powerful idea, changing how patients interact with their clinic. This is particularly the case for measuring subjective data for those suffering from anxiety or depression.

In future overall smart healthcare market value by 2020 is estimated to be $169.32 billion by 2020. A major part of it will be for remote patient monitoring.
MeenaG portal has multiple IoT healthcare related articles in pdf, ppt format which you can download free os cost. There are multiple research papers are available on same at IEEE portal.

Read Also: Top list of IoT Applications from all domains

MeenaG Staff

Internet of Things Enthusiast

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