Amit Singh, CEO, TelioLabs, explains why healthcare providers should care about IoT in healthcare right now
The Internet of Things (IoT) has expanded its roots to almost every industry, from agriculture to manufacturing, logistics to retail and healthcare. It is described as a network of physical devices that uses connectivity to enable the exchange of data. However, in relation to healthcare, it could be defined as the interplay between bedside monitors, smart watches, fitness bands, implants and any other objects that transmit or receive a signal containing data that must be accessed or stored somewhere else.
Looking at the data integration aspect, IoT will have major implications for the way health IT systems will be designed and executed in the future, but why should healthcare providers care about the IoT right now?
IoT has also laid the foundation and paved the way to future internet’s growth in healthcare, and in the past couple of years, it has transformed the face of architectural design to engineer flawless life-care support systems for the healthcare industry.
To understand the diverse facet of IoT in Indian medical science, let’s start exemplifying it to know how, in what ways, in what manner and by what means it can advance Indian healthcare space and allied industry.
In these ways
IoT forms a new dimension to the personal and public healthcare domain whereby, simply analysing real-time monitoring and direct access to patient’s critical health data can help doctors to predict occurring diseases before they happen to some extent, and individuals to keep track of daily health activity. This data further acts as a goldmine for healthcare department stakeholders to improve the healthcare experience, while making revenue opportunities and improving healthcare operations. Moreover, by using IoT in logistics, manufacturers can call out expired batches from the market.
Besides, pharmaceutical preparation of any drugs requires the right set of measures, and the process involved such as formulation, pre-formulation development, powder feeding in continuous manufacturing process, powder blending, milling, granulation and hot melt extrusion requires accuracy. Thus, identifying IoT as a tool for accurate collection of data measure, automated workflow, waste collection, reduced operational cost and more importantly reduced risks of error is what the industry demands. In addition, real-time process monitoring with the help of IoT drastically increases the safety of the overall production line, like raising alarm on major leakage or default.
In this manner
IoT could be applied in the healthcare sector that could benefit patients, parents, families, hospitals, general practitioners, insurance firms and allied paramedical services and staff. Automatic collected health graphs, metrics, and insights like heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, through IoT-enabled devices, can even help diagnose and predict other heart-related diseases. These predictions are based on well-advanced data analytics, continuously evolving Machine Learning (ML) and growing Artificial intelligence (AI).
Via minimising the mobility factor, IoT can empower patients, doctors and kin alike by sending automatic reports, feeds, medicine reminders and pharmacy notifications to patients about refilling their prescriptions being remote to each other. This could be the idea of drawing a line, for building remote life-saving medical support systems, which are also geared up with advanced robotics tagged with sensors to perform general surgeries.
By what means
More often, the IoT-enabled ecosystem and its application require many other systems – such as cloud computing, big data, AI/AR, ML, wearable technologies and analytics tools with connected networks. Remote patient monitoring being the most common application of IoT in the healthcare industry; hand hygiene, depression and mood monitoring, glucometer, connected inhaler, ingestible sensors, Parkinson’s disease monitoring and connected contact lenses are several examples of IoT devices and its immense application in health and medical science.
Moreover, with the spread of COVID-19 and its growing vulnerabilities, over 69 per cent of world IT Leaders consider technical debt as one of the biggest threats to innovation according to the latest report published by “The Growing Threat of Technical Debt.” Most of the IT companies’ leaders admit the fact that the amalgamation of old code, along with the new generation of mobile apps, stack applications and SaaS sprawl are robbing organisations of resources, time and the ability to innovate.
Therefore, application developers and the healthcare industry itself need to understand that this technical debt will continue to accumulate, and requires a new pace to step over and innovate at a speed and scale for true competitive advantage.