Guest post by Maddie Davis
The healthcare industry is in a continuous search for the next advancement that will propel it forward in a way that leverages technology to improve patient outcomes. Like in many other industries, the Internet of Things (IoT) is proving to be that advancement. With innovations in medical devices, data storage, patient experience and more, the benefits this technology is providing is revolutionizing the meaning of “quality care.”
Leveraging IoT in Remote Patient Monitoring
Historically, monitoring the health of a patient once they’ve checked out of a clinic is difficult on both parties. Busy schedules, high care costs, and difficulty accessing transportation can often lead to complications. Today, more health systems are exploring the opportunities that remote patient monitoring (RPM) provide. These programs are showing how patients can avoid multiple return visits to their doctors and the proper treatment can be conveniently administered as a result of the use of IoT devices and care solutions. Utilizing RPM, patients can perform routine tests and send the real-time test data to their healthcare provider. Then, clinicians are enabled to monitor these patients’ vital signs and assess reactions to treatments. The range of these IoT-powered tools provides options for patients with an array of health conditions, including heart conditions, diabetes, hypertension, and even post-op check ins.
The Value of Wearables
Wearable devices, too, can be a key component in these programs. Wearables provide the ability to more deeply understand patient health, providing clinicians with data about activity, nutrition, blood pressure, and more.. These real-time health trackers can provide a more holistic view of the patient, allowing providers to analyze the status of a patient, aiding in preventive healthcare efforts.
The benefits of RPM technology not only include doctor/patient convenience but also reduced costs. It enables doctors to see encroaching complications and correct them before they become a larger problem. The need for recurring hospital visits and the likelihood of readmission drastically decreases. Additionally, as patients are able to manage their own healthcare services, costs associated with lengthy hospital stays and visit co-pays are reduced.
IoT technologies’ impact is extending further into medical procedures, as well. By 2020, it’s expected that the implementation of robotic assistants will allow surgeons to perform surgery with greater precision, control and vision. The Surgical System Da Vinci, for example, utilizes a robotic system featuring a magnified 3D HD vision system. Other robotic assistants, such as the Robot TUG, are relieving medical staff of extra burdens by carrying over 400 kgs of laboratory specimens, medications, and other sensitive materials.
In the healthcare industry, it appears the future is already here, and providers have the opportunity to determine how to best use these tools to help their patients. The Internet of Things is not only altering, but improving the methods and outcomes of medical practices and will surely continue to advance. With more convenient, efficient, accurate and cost-effective healthcare, the near future is bright for the IoT in healthcare.
About the Author
Maddie Davis is co-founder of Enlightened-Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. She spends her days building and redesigning websites, running marathons, and reading anything and everything on the NYT Best Sellers list.
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