How Healthcare Organizations Can Benefit from IoMT Devices
There are already more than 100 million connected healthcare devices worldwide, according to Statista – a figure projected to reach 161 million by the end of the year. This Internet of Medical Things (as it’s now known) enables machine-to-machine interaction as well as real-time streaming of data between devices located in different healthcare facilities all around the world. Equipped with sensors, these devices range from home-use medical equipment such as blood pressure cuffs to implant medical equipment such as stretchers.
The result of this global interconnectivity? Billions of dollars in savings and much needed reprieve for an overworked healthcare sector!
Goldman Sachs, for instance, estimates that IoMT will save the global economy $300 billion in healthcare costs annually. Regarding workers, the WHO estimates that there will be a shortage of 18 million health workers by 2030. Technology, especially IoMT, has proven that it can bridge the gap. Above all, IoMT will save millions of lives.
Why Healthcare Organizations Must Hop on the Bandwagon
Healthcare organizations should be at the frontline in championing for wide-scale deployment IoMT device. Here’s why;
It promotes remote care
Remote care (or telehealth) isn’t a new concept. For many years now, we’ve had healthcare facilities continuing care while patients are at home. And, it’s a massive advantage for healthcare organizations because it goes a long way in decongesting healthcare facilities and reducing hospital infections.
IoMT promises to take remote care to a whole new level. Outside the hospital, connected medical IoT devices can monitor patient’s conditions, enroll them on planned check-ups, and even control how they take medications.
Better still, since IoT tools are smart, the devices can observe patient behaviors and alert medical units in case of changes in patterns.
Take an example of a remote maternity care center. While at the facility, a patient can wear connected devices that allow her doctor to monitor her vitals from the city hospital. By continually taking readings and relaying the information to the doctor, caregivers can also anticipate unfavorable conditions and act accordingly.
It promotes mobile health
Mobile health (mHealth), which involves taking proactive care of one’s health with the help of mobile apps, is another key reason health organizations must support IoMT rollout efforts.
First off, mobile health apps capture and store vital information that makes the healthcare provider’s work a lot easier. Apps that capture heart rates, for instance, can help doctors make more accurate decisions when treating problems such as blood pressure and diabetes. All the doctor has to do is dip into the app and retrieve data collected over the desired period.
Additionally, mobile health apps also help during a drug prescription. Some of these apps track the drugs a patient bought, what doses they took, and when they last took their medicine. A mobile app may even be designed to remind patients to take their medication, complete with confirmation buttons. Both doctors and pharmacists depend on such information to prescribe correct treatment and medication.
Above all, mHealth guarantees better communication between the doctor and patient, which can be instrumental in care delivery.
It promotes the smart-hospital concept
The way the healthcare industry works currently makes referral programs extremely difficult and moving from one hospital to another without referral almost impossible.
With referral programs, for instance, a patient needs loads of paperwork, some of which may get lost along the way. Transferring such information online isn’t always possible because some of the files are too large to send over long distances. Additionally, security issues persist. Worse still, some files are, up to now, only available in hard-copy.
It puts a significant strain on already overworked healthcare providers. Preparing the required paperwork, for instance, often results in unnecessary expenses and the loss of valuable time.
The Internet of Medical Things promises a smart hospital infrastructure where all healthcare facilities are connected. In this new set up, cumbersome paper registers are replaced with automated, centralized databases and a single management system that allows hospitals to quickly and optimally share information, resources, and insight.
Reaching new heights in surgery
Powered by artificial intelligence, connected robotic devices are already helping in many surgeries worldwide. These robots have enhanced vision and precision, which has helped to push the limits of delicate procedures such as laparoscopies and minimally invasive surgeries.
The Internet of Medical Things can help the industry consolidate these gains as we keep pushing the limits in the surgery room.
IoMT, for instance, promises a situation where medical devices communicate with each other for the best outcome. This intercommunication can significantly help to streamline activities of staff in the OR. Before the operation, for example, staff can identify patients based on personal medical information. After the surgery, IoMT sensors can then be deployed to collect and analyze data and transmit post-surgery care guidelines.
It doesn’t end there. IoMT devices can also be connected to videos to take high-resolution images and videos so that doctors can capture the tiniest of details needed to deliver better care.
Staff tracking and inventory management benefits
Finally, health organizations also strive to maintain a lean workforce as one of the ways to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. This is especially true in extensive facilities that comprise multiple structures, campuses, and subdivisions, each with hundreds (or thousands) of staff members.
IoT devices designed for the medical industry can help healthcare organizations keep track of all these people. Among other things, IoT devices can automate management processes and monitor day-to-day bottlenecks.
A few hospitals, for instance, now deploy connected video cameras, wristbands, and wireless ID cards to help prevent unauthorized access. Several facilities also use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to see if staff are meeting specific targets. BLE technology can also be used to track the location of devices such as supplies, medications, and inventory.
Choose United Perfectum for your IoMT Implementation Journey
United Perfectum can help you prepare for and implement IoMT. Not only are we a leader in emerging business tech solutions, but we also offer industry insight that can help position your facility for long-term growth. Give us a call today so we can discuss your next steps.