Of all the emerging technologies influencing and shaping verticals around us today, the internet of things (IoT), is perhaps, the most intriguing. Combining advanced sensors with artificial intelligence to self-determine and predict a range of insights, IoT is increasingly being used to revolutionize several crucial areas such as improving customer experience to analyzing data effectively.
While manufacturing, retail, financial services and more are benefiting greatly from IoT innovation, its impact in healthcare has been one of great interest and extensive study. Driving close collaboration between tech companies and caregivers, IoT is simplifying complex procedures, aiding diagnosis and providing vital insights and tools for furthering medical research.
No wonder then, that the global IoT healthcare market is growing at a CAGR of 20.2% annually and is poised to cross $72.02 billion by 2021. The increasing investment and results being driven by IoT for business leaders can be referred to in this report.
When a leading medical technology company approached us to figure out how it could leverage digital technology to solve problems related to the shortage of clinicians, increase in patient count and rising cost of equipment and labour, we quickly zeroed in on IoT to work its magic.
Combining an intelligent mobile app with advanced sensors connected to patients at all time, we enabled caregivers to monitor every patient, keep track of their vital signs, medication schedules and other necessities. The system was also equipped with an automated alarm system which would instantly alert professionals in case it detected any abnormality.
Solutions such as these and many others are what’s making the case for IoT and other emerging technologies in healthcare stronger, as elaborated in this write-up.
So what IoT healthcare innovations can we look forward to in the new decade? Let’s take a look:
With rapid strides in connected devices and wearables, patient monitoring and diagnosis is no longer limited to the confines of medical facilities. Patients can now keep in touch, interact and have physicians look into their problems from home using connected medical devices which keep collecting and analyzing relevant data to provide actionable insights.
Vital signs monitoring devices accounted for the most market share in 2019 and the global market is looking to become a US$ 213 billion behemoth by 2025.
Smart solutions in medical facilities can speed up emergency procedures by keeping records of available accommodation, idle diagnostic equipment and surgical procedure areas. Consequently, wait times at hospitals for patients and their companions can be reduced by as much as 50%. For administrators, this will mean less overheads and staff can dedicate more time on tasks that matter.
Machinery used for investigation, monitoring and treatment need to be in top shape at all times and IoT can ensure they remain so. Machines are being increasingly augmented with capabilities which generate alerts for periodic maintenance, automatically provide detailed reports on functioning and assist repairs.
Regarded as one of the top draws of IoT, predictive maintenance is helping facilities save big on complex repairs and prevent downtimes.
The intelligence that systems are increasingly gaining from tons of medical reports and data on diseases worldwide, is enabling them to predict chronic diseases by tracking symptoms and advising the right course of action at an early stage.
Wearables like Fitbit are great for keeping an eye on heart rates, blood pressure and sugar levels and more, making users more conscious and providing valuable information on maintaining healthy lives.
Medical data and patient records are sensitive information. In an age where cybersecurity is being given the utmost importance by industries across all spectrums, it helps that IoT solutions are built secure with focus on web vulnerabilities, data encryption and regular OTA updates. Such measures are the mainstays behind the growing popularity of IoT implementations in healthcare.
As discussed before, the growing number of connected medical devices are generating immense volumes of data. However, it will prove impossible for us to deal with it unless intelligence and innovative mechanisms are in place to analyse and extract key insights which we can use and learn from.
IoT, combined with artificial intelligence, is simplifying this task and opening our eyes to new diseases, ways of diagnosis, symptoms, functioning of drugs and more. Such information is propelling research and paving the way for major breakthroughs in medicine.
Accelerating Drug Discovery
For pharmaceutical companies engaged in clinical tests and approval processes, IoT is aiding significant savings in cost and time by creating cells-in-a-chip or organs-in-a-chip which are small simulated laboratories that can virtually reproduce aspects of human physiology and provide real time reporting of parameters through a smart interface. These systems are providing detailed analysis on the effect of drugs on humans, directing companies to a winning formulation.
The systems are sophisticated enough to gauge the impact of experimental medicine on multiple organs and their effectiveness in combating specific diseases.
Judging by the points above, we might be led to believe that the application of IoT on various healthcare processes are already at an advanced stage. However, this is far from the truth.
Enterprises and institutions around the world are still at the formative stages of exploring the potential of the internet of things and artificial intelligence, and many are struggling with the scarcity of skilled professionals, lack of clarity on what to build and whether their product would be a good market fit and increasing costs.
At [x]cube LABS, we have worked with leading technology companies worldwide to deliver over 40 IoT solutions. Our teams, passionate about the many possibilities of IoT, have set up a state-of-the-art innovation lab where we spend many hours developing prototypes, strategising products and brainstorming over a range of solutions which can solve problems around us. Contact us for your IoT development needs and we’d be happy to have a chat.