Have you ever thought how the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) will transform the healthcare sector in 2018? Well, this is one unique idea that doesn’t click the mind instantly. You may also question the need for IoMT, when there are arrays of medical and healthcare apps already available in plenty on both Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store.
Probably, we are aware that the Internet of Things (IoT) has played a significant role in uplifting the healthcare industry. It helps in accurate collection of data and patient records with reduced chances of committing mistakes, the medical bills have curtailed with better patient experience and management of the disease etc.
Now, what would be the role of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)? Well, the advanced virtual internet technology will allow the doctor and the other medical staffs of the hospital to gather data from the devices put on by the patients and store it in the cloud for analyzing the health conditions.
1. The Increase in Numbers of IoMT Devices
According to a research, there are about 3.7 million medical devices that have connected the monitor to different parts of the body. One of the other reports indicates that the Internet of Things (IoT) healthcare market will scale towards new heights and expected to reach up to $136.8 billion by 2021. But it is important that this new technology mainly focuses on offering high-quality customer service and simplifies the task of the healthcare professionals.
Nowadays, most of the gadgets and wearable devices are enabled with smart sensors coupled with the facility of Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. This further makes it easier to interact with the IoT enabled devices.
Also, the number of patients suffering from the chronic diseases is increasing and this calls for offering much improved medical attention. Although we have advanced medical apps that come to the rescue of the ailing people, the IoMT will help in offering the best treatment in real-time and cut the cost of medical bills.
2. Better Management of the Resources
One of the major benefits that Internet of Medical Things is going to offer to the hospital administration is better handling of the resources and managing the stock of goods. The IoMT solutions will offer the facility to track the location of your products and check the quality of the drugs and medicines supplied.
Not only that the medical staff can also check which medicines have been prescribed to the patients and whether they are available in the stock or not.
The medical professionals basically use the RFID tags for the management of such resources. The RFID helps a great deal in monitoring the health progress of the patient and keeps an eye on his consultation, hospital stay, methods of treatment and so on. It reduces the loopholes in the administrative system of the departments.
In fact, the patient and his family get an access to additional information such as how long the treatment will take, the time taken in recovery, the info on possible surgery dates etc. The hospital administration can plan their resources according to the available information and data. Thus, it reduces the cost of managing the data and enhances the experience of the patient.
3. Following the Instructions of the Doctor
The Internet of Medical Things is not just a boon for accurately diagnosing the patient but also makes sure that medical staff to follow the instructions from doctor clearly. The healthcare team can gather valuable inputs from the devices and use them to plan for the better treatment and diagnosis.
Since the doctor receives the exact parameters of health condition he does not waste time in taking quick decisions about the next step of treatment.
Therefore, the IoMT proves to be a blessing in cases of medical emergency where the doctor can instruct the staff or his juniors if even he is not physically present at the hospital.
This becomes a crucial phenomenon as it can relatively save the life of the patient for instance if he suffers a cardiac arrest or stroke. Moreover, the doctor can see the reports of the patient in real-time and know accurately where the problem is.
In addition, there are some IoMT connected devices that can conduct the internal scrutiny of the patient such as the pacemaker. This helps medical team to not only diagnose the current condition but also determine the future impact as well.
4. Integration of the Internal Segmentation Firewalls (ISFWs)
The Internet of Medical Things also lends a helping hand to the Chief Information Office (CIO) in the healthcare sector to integrate the Internal Segmentation Firewall (ISFW) as the network setting is wide open.
The major function of the ISFW is to safeguard or secure the network segments from the malicious codes that can actually penetrate the internal network. That is why the IoMT becomes quite crucial from the security point of view.
The ISFW basically works within the network and creates a distant category of the administrators, the patients, the doctors and nursing staff and other visitors. It also can identify the various types of device such as between the patient and the life-supporting system devices. It also sets the priorities based on the emergency basis that needs high protection and monitors the traffic between the segments.
5. IoMT to Take Care of Elderly People
The Internet of Medical Things will surely become a boon for the healthcare sector as it will take off the pressure that is expected to increase in the future. According to a research, around 1.2 billion people will grow older by 2025. As it is evident that elderly people are more prone to health issues and diseases and this will further lead to hike in cost of treatment.
However, IoMT has a venerable solution to the problem by offering the elderly person better care that would curtail the cost of treatment. The devices will keep a track record of all health-related parameters including the heartbeat, the blood pressure, sugar, sleeping activity and other important body functions.
The old aged people often forget to take their medicines on time and IoMT device is one which will always keep reminding them about this. Apart from that, it will also keep reminding them that they need to go for regular health checkups and consult the doctor within specific period of time. In fact, they can do the small tests like checking the blood sugar level using their portable devices.
It is true that the Internet of Medical Things is providing to be a boon for the healthcare industry but there are several challenges as well. First and foremost, the IoMT technology is still new and it needs to be adopted by all segments including the medical staff, the doctor and the patients.
The second major issue is related to the security as the data and other information are highly confidential and there is always a risk of cyber threat. Lastly, it can be said that IoMT has great potential to transform the healthcare sector but it needs to be utilized in the right way.