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Machine Integration and IoT in Clinical Decision Making

Driving Healthcare Innovations

By Cloud Solutions International on February 18th, 2020

Despite the late entrance to the healthcare industry, the Internet of Things has become an indispensable factor in healthcare. Basically, due to the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), the level of safety in healthcare has risen. Both caregivers and healthcare service providers can benefit from IoMT. 

Anyway, IoMT is a bunch of medical applications and devices that link healthcare systems via online networks. IoMT powered medical devices along with Wi-Fi lets the communication between machine-to-machine successful. These devices connect to cloud platforms and store the captured data. 

Some of IoMT services include monitoring patients remotely, tracking medication orders, tracking locations, and powering wearable devices to help the caregivers to perform better. So let’s see what else IoMT has in store for healthcare providers. 

Revolutionized things in Healthcare due to IoMT

Amalgamating applications and medical devices have created IoMT, through which a lot of revolutionized things took place in the healthcare industry. So let’s check some of them: 

  • On-Body – With the help of biosensor technology, wearable devices have been produced to monitor users’ health excellently. It is possible to keep an eye on the health condition even if it is embedded into the apparel or implanted. Some of the consumer devices are activity trackers, sports watches, smart garments, and wristbands.
  • In-home –  Telemedicine or medical connectivity broadens the healthcare services above the levels of hospitals. Patients who are unable to walk and requires to visit doctors often, need not visit because of Remote Patient Monitoring (RTM). Virtual Home Assistants are also a great addition to the healthcare system. 
  • In-clinic – This section includes IoMT devices utilized in clinical and administrative functions. Apart from the patient monitoring device, there are many other devices such as MRIs, CT scanners, X-ray machines, and much more that can be remotely accessed to improve the performance. 
  • Medical-sensors – Cost-effective sensor technology supports IoMT devices, so the manufacturers are motivated to produce economically beneficial healthcare devices. So, biological sensors will analyze the characteristics of tissue, blood, respiration, and other body parts. 

Meanwhile, non-biological sensors will analyze the motion, body temperature, activity of muscles and heart, and other characteristics of the patients. 

Overall, the future of the healthcare system highly relies on the Internet of Medical Things. But, what about the perks and challenges of IoMT in healthcare? 

Perks of adopting IoMT in healthcare 

Linking medical devices is one of the best things that happened in healthcare. All healthcare providers are gaining numerous perks by adopting IoMT in healthcare. 

  • Accessibility –  Medical devices offer real-time access to patient data. A busy physician doesn’t have to visit each patient to check their condition. Instead, details can be accessed via his/her smartphone. Even if medical images were taken from some other country, the doctor could still view it. Such is the level of accessibility of IoMT. 
  • Low cost per patient – IoMT allows doctors and nurses to get quick information, so the time they otherwise would be spending on collecting information can be spent on valuable things. Hence, efficiency will be improved while reducing the cost per patient. Also, if the data transfer is quicker, the treatments can be done faster, thus increase in productivity with a reduction in cost.
  • Enhanced efficiency –  As IoMT saves cost, it eventually will increase the efficiency. When efficiency increases, the overall experience of patients will also increase. Hence, the goal of healthcare providers can be achieved. 
  • Ease of diagnostics – IoT devices will help physicians to diagnose medical conditions pretty easily. Medical parameters such as blood pressure, blood chemistry, and much more can be gathered continuously. It will also help to detect early signs in patients, so it is possible to save lives. 

Challenges in adapting IoMT in healthcare 

Like every other technology, IoMT also has challenges to consider. Some of the challenges are given below. 

  • Increase in infrastructure cost – Of course, the cost per patient will reduced by opting for sensors and medical devices as they are produced on a large scale. It will also be economically beneficial, but the cost of setting up the IoMT infrastructure is high. IT networks, cloud platforms and blockchains have high ROI (return on investment), but the initial charges are extremely high. So, moving towards IoMT will not be cost-effective; it will be expensive and time-consuming. 
  • High level security vulnerabilities – As much as security can be enhanced from IoMT, security itself is another threat in adopting IoMT. It is a must to ensure a quality service is provided with high-end security if the goals of healthcare providers are to be achieved. 
  • Unreliable existing networks – It is not possible to use IoMT devices just like that, because existing networks are unreliable. Most existing networks in hospitals are not secure or robust. Therefore, it’s a challenge for healthcare providers to focus on security, scalability and speed of the networks to make it work at it’s best.
  • Improper standardization – IoMT manufacturers don’t have proper standardization. There will be issues in the interoperability of devices. This means the device will not work efficiently on every system. Even if the devices are combined with various standards, the stability and security of the network will be questionable. 

Run-through

All in all, IoMT isn’t something that healthcare providers can ignore because it has already begun to mix with the healthcare industry. Without medical devices, a healthcare organization may not be able to perform at a higher level. Hence, every healthcare organization needs support from healthcare system providers like CSI to stay up-to date on technology. 

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