What are the forecasts for the Internet of Things in the health sector? To get an idea, we pointed out two aspects: on the one hand, the use of the term IoHT – Internet of Healthcare Things, in its acronym in English – has already been extended to refer to the practical utilities of the IoT in health. On the other hand, healthcare is already the second activity associated with interconnected devices, behind manufacturing, distribution, and logistics. Can we then talk about the Patient’s Internet?
The Internet of Things, allied to the healthcare professional
Many devices and objects, now interconnected, can provide a significant amount of data and medical information – documentation and medical records – in real time, data stored in the cloud for later analysis and management by healthcare equipment planners that offer significant savings of space and costs. A set of information that helps the health professional to manage and monitor the status of patients and, also, makes it possible to speed up emergency actions since the doctor will count with a click of the patient’s clinical history and needs.
In this sense, the IoT is already being used for the remote monitoring of patients through the wearable devices to know in real time different health variables and to be able to act in case of emergency. Also, this remote control allows establishing medical visits when the device detects that consultation is necessary, thus saving time and costs to patients and improving recovery rates. On the other hand, it encourages the self-care of the sick, capable of managing and controlling their health from their home.
However, it is useless to have large amounts of information if you do not carry out an analysis and interpretation of the information obtained. The IoT opens the doors to an analysis of behaviors and habits on a larger scale and allows to cross the information with other epidemiological variables, for the implementation of public health policies that help improve the quality of care based on the analyzes and predictions obtained.
The sensors, more than a trend
The use and implementation of sensors go far beyond the control of healthy variables by the patient since there are numerous tools to be applied within the health center, with the objective of monitoring medical and health equipment and helping the patient in their recovery -like the smart beds. It allows you to adjust positions depending on the movements of patient- or for remote control of parameters such as temperature or noise of hospital rooms, to help ensure compliance at all times the highest quality of healthcare service. The role of sensors in health management will become increasingly important.
The dares of the Internet of Things in health
Some challenges of this technology implementation involve the initial investment for the integration of the data in the different systems of the health centers, ensuring interchangeability, as well as the implementation of supervision systems by hospital equipment planners that provide continued preventive maintenance. On the other hand, training health professionals on the management of innovative devices and software on the network, and providing maximum security and privacy of patient data should also be a priority to incorporate the health sector to these latest technological advances.