Sat. Oct 19th, 2019

IoT in Healthcare

4 min read

Top examples of IoT in the healthcare industry 

The advent of technology, especially IoT, has lead to a vast improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The field of medicine and healthcare is fast changing. There are a lot of IoT devices and smart monitoring systems reshaping the way healthcare works. 

These systems and devices collect valuable data and provide insight to patients’ symptoms and predict trends. This enables these patients access to remote care, as well as giving them more control over their treatment. 

All these things lead to a simpler way of solving problems, so that patients can be more in control and have more freedom in living their day to day lives. With smart technology and IoT devices, patients can now function better in society and live better lives, all while receiving better and more responsive treatment and care. 

Here are the top examples of IoT in the healthcare industry, assisting treatment of often fatal medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and cancer: 

IoT devices for diabetes treatment 

Perhaps the most common medical condition with a lot of available smart healthcare options is diabetes. After all, with a condition like diabetes affecting roughly 10% of the adult population, smart devices come in handy.  

These things not only administer treatment and monitor patient conditions, they also ensure a faster and more consistent medication. 

Continuous glucose monitor (GCM) 

Continuous Glucose Monitoring or GCM is a smart device that reads glucose levels at regular intervals to enable diabetic patients to self monitor. These smart GCM devices work by sending data to a mobile app accessible through Apple and Android devices. 

These devices monitor and analyze a patient’s data and predicts trends, which can be further analyzed by caregivers and medical practitioners, even in a remote location. The best part is that smart GCMs are currently being made more readily available, especially to patients that have Type 1 Diabetes, making their condition more easily manageable. 

Insulin pens (pen caps) 

There are a lot of available insulin pens on the market, all of which administers and simultaneously records every insulin shot, including the dosage, type of insulin, and the time it was administered to the patient. Furthermore, smart insulin pens also have the ability to recommend the best type of insulin shot and when to administer it. 

These insulin pens are also manageable through mobile apps, which greatly reduces emergency cases and trips to the hospital, or worse, near death situations due to low, insufficient, or wrong insulin shots. 

Closed loop insulin delivery 

Another smart solution for the maintenance of diabetes is a closed loop insulin delivery, which is an automated delivery system that functions like a GCM but also automatically and continuously administers the right type and amount of insulin to a patient at the right time. 

This IoT device keeps a patient’s glucose levels within a safe range at all times, enabling him to function regularly throughout the day and sleep soundly during the night. While a few types of this smart device is already commercially available in the market, more are predicted to follow from different manufacturers, enabling more diabetics easy access to better healthcare. 

IoT devices for other medical conditions 

Delicate diseases and illnesses such as asthma and cancer highly benefit from smart healthcare systems and monitoring apps. With software developments and clinical trials on the rise, more IoT devices are bound to be more available in the foreseeable future. 

Connected inhalers 

With regards to pulmonary diseases such as asthma and bronchitis- medical conditions that affects millions of the population- another smart device comes to the rescue. Connected inhalers are basically sensors attached to typical inhalers or bluetooth spirometers. 

These work by tracking symptoms and administration of medication, as well as forecasting allergens- all of which can be monitored through a mobile app. These devices can then generate reports accessible by primary caregivers and medical practitioners who can then more accurately assess a patient’s condition.  

Bluetooth enabled weight scales and blood pressure cuffs 

These types of smart monitoring systems are especially beneficial in the treatment of cancer. These constantly records a patient’s response to treatment and updates his status, which significantly helps in providing ample monitoring and care outside of and beyond weekly visits to the doctor. 

Smart monitoring systems and symptom tracking apps such as these offer a more simplified way of caring for patients’ needs and maintenance, which works by providing a faster and more efficient way of addressing issues of a patient’s status, especially in terms of side effects. 

Examples of IoT devices in trial phase 

In addition to the aforementioned smart systems and devices aiding in and reshaping the way healthcare is administered to patients, there are even more that are predicted to follow suit, not only for diabetes, asthma, and cancer, but for other medical conditions as well. 

Here is one example: there is an ongoing effort to manufacture oral medication equipped with a digital tracking system in order to ensure that patients are taking these medications on time and as prescribed. Ingestible sensors for this type of medication is currently on the works for diabetes, hypertension, and psychosis. 

Other examples include smart contact lenses quite similar to what is often seen in films, smart watches and apps that can monitor depression, mobile apps that monitor parkinson’s disease, bluetooth enabled coagulation systems that track blood clots, and many more. 

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