The Internet of Things (IoT) has become known for its cool factor. From self-driving cars to smart homes filled with voice activated devices such as light controls, the innovation of IoT’s connectivity never fails to impress. However, the world of IoT is doing more than making day-to-day tasks and business objectives easier to accomplish – oftentimes much more – such as saving lives.
With each day, we’re seeing new IoT applications that are addressing healthcare issues head-on and, quite frankly, we could go on and on and only scratch the surface of the amazing work being done in this space. That said, here are five important ways IoT is transforming healthcare delivery.
Diabetes management: With the growing need for diabetic care worldwide, we’re seeing great strides in a number IoT-based applications to help patients self-manage the disease. Stationary, wearable, implantable and ingestible devices are being developed to monitor glucose levels and deliver insulin. There are also bionic pancreases being developed that could prove to be a major breakthrough in managing diabetes.
Blood pressure apps: Patients diagnosed with hypertension are expected to check their blood pressure on a regular basis to determine whether it is falling within normal ranges. With the advent of IoT, there has been great attention paid to smart blood pressure gauges that easily and accurately take blood pressure over extended periods of time, then securely transmit the results to a patient’s smart phone, doctors or even loved ones. Having this data is not only valuable to the patient, but the ability to easily share it during check-ups will help physicians more accurately prescribe the necessary care.
Senior tracking: For those caring for an older loved one—or those doing so in a professional capacity—knowing where he or she is can be a challenge. Those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia may wander away during moments when a caregiver needs to momentarily attend to other tasks. New elderly tracking devices are emerging to help caregivers to quickly locate patients thereby reducing the risk of an accident or worse.
Preventative care: The real key to better patient outcomes is being proactive and taking the measures necessary to stay healthy. We are now seeing interesting developments in home labs that come equipped with connected “wands” presenting the ability to take a biological sample through blood, saliva or nasal swabs to detect any number of health-related issues like flu, fertility or vitamin D deficiencies.
Tablet solutions: Hospitals and clinics are relying more and more on IoT-powered tablets to quickly and accurately serve patients from any location. Instead of using large, mobile workstations, clinicians can attend to patients quickly, gathering their data onto a tablet and into the hospital’s database. The end result is better data and an enhanced patient experience. When combined with cellular connectivity, this adds a much needed added layer of security which is especially important considering the personal data that clinicians are gathering from patients.
IoT devices and applications are not only allowing patients to more proactively tend to their healthcare needs, but they’re also providing healthcare organizations with invaluable real-time data about their patients. At an even broader level, we are now able to see trends in medication compliance, drug effectiveness and patient behavior that can help to improve the patient experience, deliver better care and drive greater outcomes.
Learn more about how KORE is helping healthcare organizations harness the power of IoT. Attending HIMSS in Orlando, February 19-23? Stop by for a visit, Booth #6975.