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Although remote sensing medical devices have existed for over more than two decades, and telemedicine has been around for a while… the underlying technology has evolved 100x through the years. No more 2G mobile connections and doctor visits. Today we have an interconnected network of intelligent devices capable of making decisions, work as groups, and send information to the cloud — Internet of Things.

iot applications in healthcare

In this article, we will take a closer look at Internet of Things (IoT) for Healthcare.

Internet of Things for Healthcare.
What exactly is IoT and why it is important in healthcare?
IoT in healthcare examples.
How IoT Works in Healthcare?
IoT Devices in Healthcare.
Benefits of IoT in Healthcare.
Challenges of IoT in Healthcare.
Future of IoT in Healthcare.
Let’s get to business.

Internet Of Things For Healthcare
The market of IoT in healthcare is predicted to exceed $10 billion by 2024, according to a Brandessence market research. This growth forecast is also impacted by other important technologies. IoT is slowly getting traction and evolving alongside the new ultra-fast 5G mobile wireless, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Big Data. Combing this powerful technologies with the Internet of Things will likely revolutionize the healthcare industry. IoT in healthcare using 5G wireless and AI could, for example, completely transform the way patients are monitored and treated remotely.

Still, IoT will not only help with the patient’s health, but also improve the productivity of the healthcare industry workers.

iot in healthcare industry

What Exactly Is IoT And Why It Is Important In Healthcare?
In a nutshell, IoT is the concept created around the idea of full ubiquitous computing, which is the processing of information linked with external activity or objects. Ubiquitous computing involves connecting electronic devices with microprocessors and sensors to talk to each other. IoT is a ubiquitous network except that all of those electronic devices have access to the Internet.

IoT in the healthcare industry is a great example of this omnipresent computing. For example, hundreds of intelligent electronic devices can be set up in a hospital to monitor patients’ health status 24/7, talk to each other, make decisions, and upload information to a healthcare cloud platform.

IoT In Healthcare Examples
How IoT can be used in healthcare effectively? Let’s explore three workable Internet of Things healthcare examples below.

Sensing and uploading up-to-date patient information to the cloud in emergency situations, from the ambulance or even from home.
Medical devices capable of performing self-maintenance. IoT healthcare devices will sense their own components, detect low thresholds, and communicate with medical personnel and manufacturers.
IoT and wearables can help home patients and elderly communicate directly with a healthcare facility.
Telemedicine can be considered a “primitive” form of an Internet of Things in healthcare example. With IoT, a patient can be observed and in some cases treated remotely through video cameras and other electronic actuators.
iot in healthcare examples

How IoT Works In Healthcare?
To understand how the Internet of Things in Healthcare works, let’s see how IoT works in general. As discussed above, an IoT unit can be considered as a device with a sensor that can interact with the physical world and send information to the Internet.

In healthcare, these devices can gather different patient data and receive inputs from health practitioners. An Internet of Things Healthcare example is continuous glucose monitoring for insulin pens that works effectively for patients with diabetes.

All these devices are able to communicate with each other and in some cases take important actions that would provide timely help or even save a life. For example, an IoT healthcare device can make intelligent decisions like calling the healthcare facility if an elderly person has fallen down. After collecting passive data, an IoT healthcare device would send this critical information to the cloud so that doctors can act upon it — view the general patient status, see if calling an ambulance is necessary, what type of help is required, and so on.

Thus, Internet of Things Healthcare can greatly improve not only a patient’s health and help in critical situations, but also the productivity of health employees and hospital workflows.

How IoT Helps In Healthcare — Process
Let’s explore an IoT healthcare workflow example:

A sensor collects data from a patient or a doctor/nurse inputs data.
An IoT device analyzes the collected data with the help of AI-driven algorithms like machine learning (ML).
The device makes a decision whether to act or send the information to the cloud.
Doctors, health practitioners, or even robots are enabled to make actionable and informed decisions based on the data provided by the IoT device.

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