Technology has been fundamentally reshaping every aspect of our life. From the onset of 21st-century, technology has not left a single prospect of our life untouched. From industries to medical technology, applied science has picked pace towards an era of automation.
The next big step in mankind is the evolution of “Internet of Things”. Internet of things is built on the intelligence of multiple sensors and connected devices that collect data and make crucial decisions.
Internet of Medical things will transform healthcare industry not only by developing better medical healthcare facility, lowering medical costs or better patient care but also by managing, monitoring and forecasting the health of every individual. And with a whopping $117 Billion market expectation of IoT in healthcare by 2020, well IoT is here to stay.
The greatest advantage of having an intelligent system is obtaining real-time and life-critical data which can be utilized to drive efficiency, help in advance research and better healthcare.
IoT devices can be used to collect patient’s vital signs, medication record and ventilator monitoring, providing excellent care to patients. Also resolving the tedious work of manually maintaining the medical records using Electronic Medical Records (EMR). Medical equipment differs in forms and on levels of complexity, and if these medical equipment become connected, the hospital can benefit from cost reduction and saving time. However patient monitoring function having the highest priority.
We will be seeing some major growth in the following area.
Wearable: The concept of the wearable device is to help doctors monitor vital information of their patients. These devices can detect a person’s heart rate, breathing, temperature and steps count and keep updating the mobile devices on a constant basis for an improved health analysis. And as a matter of fact, this wave of wearable technology will soon move from laboratory to market.
Ingestible: Research is happening in the field of developing a tiny electronic medical device that can be swallowed and partially digested, and in the process providing diagnostic treatments. These capsules could stay in the body for about 18 to 24 hours though they might have a battery life of two to three hours transmitting information vital for diagnostic and therapeutic functions. Its major significant could be seen in gastrointestinal endoscopy.
Tele-medical healthcare: The world of telehealth will advance in the near future. The future of healthcare will largely be dependent on mobile devices, video conferencing technology and a broadband Internet.
Research and Analytics Arena: IoT will provide standardized and quantitative analysis in research. The machine will cut down workflow significantly.
Hospitals: New hospitals been constructed not have a state-of-the-art healthcare facility but also been constructed predicting the future. The IT infrastructure should be extremely flexible so that it can incorporate what comes along in the next 10 to 15 years. Smart Hospitals will also integrate smart patient rooms, smart bed, patient monitoring smart system, smart alerts etc.
But as we look at the brighter side of healthcare IoT, we are neglecting the fact that progression doesn’t come without any challenges. The security of IoT in medical healthcare is so serious issue that a contractor from Department of Homeland Security addressed about it at HIMSS 2015.
One of the main issues which need immediate attention is to protect and safeguard the patient medical records as these records will be uploaded to cloud database. Therefore, end to end encryption should be implemented using robust technology.
Till now hospitals have dealt with one device at a time. But as the time passes there will be an increase in the number of devices connected to a network. A simplified yet effective networking solution should also come to light parallel to the up rise of IoT.
As we talk about the future of the IoT revolutionizing and making healthcare industry patient friendly, simultaneous research is taking place in the field of artificial intelligence as well.
“The idea behind Behold.ai is to increase efficiency,” Raut said onstage at TechCrunch’s Disrupt NY 2016 Startup Battlefield.
Jeet Samarth Raut and Peter Wakahiu Njenga created behold.ai to assist the process of finding cancers and to minimize human error. And as a matter of fact, Jeet Samarth admits the accuracy of the algorithm to be100 percent. The concept is to teach the program how to identify any problem and then make improvements on it over time.
“We’re initially focused on increasing the efficiency of the doctor while helping them maintain accuracy, but down the line we’d like to help them become more accurate,” Raut added.