Type: Critical Essays
Sample donated: Deborah Jackson
Last updated: March 17, 2019
Internetof Things(IoT) in healthcare use cases continue to grow, with remote monitoringof patient’s health and clinical trial usage getting recent attention.
Everyoneis agreed on one statement, that’s IoT is transforming the industry. IoT is bringing new applications, tools andworkflow into the mix that are not only ensuring better patient care andtreatment outcomes, but are also bringing new efficiencies that are reducinghealthcare costs. TheIoT has been used inside healthcare facilities for quite sometime, and the listof use cases continues to grow. But it’s the use of IoT outside hospitals anddoctor’s offices in situations that allow for remote patient monitoring that isattracting a lot of recent attention. By allowing patients to be monitored athome, instead of in a healthcare facility, the true “connected” potential isrealized for IoT in healthcare.Inmany cases, these remote monitoring devices are taking on a much moreuser-friendly form factor, appearing to the user to be more like wearable technology than medical devices.
When devices seem less likebulky medical devices and more like “wellness devices”, patients are morelikely to actually wear them.Thereis significant interest in the use of medical grade wearables, including smartfabric, glucose monitoring devices, electrocardiogram patches, pulse oximetersand other devices that untether patients from healthcare facilities.Asmuch as companies are changing form to make devices more user-friendly, in theend, it’s all about the data gathered that is making remote monitoring sosuccessful for healthcare providers and their patients. Rather than a hospitalor doctor’s office visit, remote monitoring relies on a patient regularly takingtheir own blood pressure, or measuring glucose or oxygen levels and other vitalstats in a home environment. Wearable devices do this automatically and reportdata to the healthcare organization’s platform using a cellar or wi-Ficonnection.Anotheruse case for IoT in healthcare is ClinicalDrug Trials, where there’s been a significant increase in accuratelyreported data, as well as improved patient engagement. In this case, connecteddevices are playing an important role in providing accurate readings of vitalstats during the trial period, allowing the patient to remain at home insteadof at a healthcare facility.
IoT HEALTHCARE APPLICATIONS:IoTapplications are directly used by user and patients. Various gadgets,wearables, and other healthcare devices currently available in the market. Inthis section ,application of IoT is discussed.1. GlucoseLevel Sensing – Diabetes is a group of metabolism diseasein which there are high blood sugar glucose(sugar) levels over a prolongedperiod. Blood glucose monitoring reveals individual patterns of blood glucosechanges and helps in the planning of meals, activities and medication times.Anm-IoT configuration method for non-invasive glucose sensing on a real-timebasis.
In this method, sensors from patients are linked through IPv6connectively to relevant healthcare providers. This device includes a bloodglucose collector, a mobile phone or a computer and a background processor. AIoT based medical acquisition detector that can be used to monitor the glucoselevel. 2. ElectrocardiogramMonitoring – The monitoring of the electrocardiogram (ECG),that is , the electrical activity of the heart recorded by electrocardiography, includesthe measurement of the simple heart rate and the determination of the basicrhythm as well as the diagnosis of multifaced arrhythmias ,myocardial ischemia,and prolonged QT intervals. The application of the IoT to ECG monitoring hasthe potential to give maximum information and can be used to its fullestextent. An IoT- based ECG monitoring system composed of a portable wirelessacquisition transmitter and a wireless receiving processor.
The systemintegrates a search automation method to detect abnormal data such that cardiacfunction can be identified on a real-time basis. 3. BloodPressure Monitoring –Thequestion is has the combination of a KIT blood pressure(BP) meter and anNFC-enabled KIT mobile phone becomes part of BP monitoring based on the IoT isaddressed.Amotivating scenario in which BP must be regularly controlled remotely ispresented by showing the communications structure between a health post and thehealth center. The question of how the WithingsBP device operates depends on the connection to an Apple mobilecomputing device. A device is needed for BP data collection and transmissionover an IoT network.
This device is composed of a BP apparatus body with acommunication module. 4. BodyTemperature Monitoring – Bodytemperature monitoring is an essential part of health-care services becausebody temperature is a decisive vital sign in the maintenance of homeostasis.The m-IoT concept is verified using a body temperature sensor that is embeddedin the TelosB mote, and a typical sample of attained body temperaturevariations showing the successful operation of the developed m-IoT system ispresented. The temperature measurement system based on a home gateway over theIoT.
The home gateway transmits the user’s body temperature with the help ofinfrared detection. The main system components responsible for temperaturerecording and transmission are the RFID module and the module for monitoringbody temperature. 5.
HealthcareSolutions using Smartphones – Recentyears have witnessed the emergence of electronic devices with a smartphone-controlled sensor, which highlights the rise of smartphones as a driver of the IoT.Various hardware and software products have been designed to make smartphones aversatile healthcare device. An extensive review of healthcare apps forsmartphones is systematically provided, including a discussion on apps forpatients and general healthcare apps as well as medical education, training,information search apps.Fewapps are available for general healthcare : · Diagnosticapps – It is used to access diagnostic and treatmentinformation.· DrugReference apps – It provides name of drug, theirindications, dosage costs and identifying features.· MedicalEducation apps – It deals withtutorials, training, various surgical demonstration, Color illustrationsof different images and medical books.· Calculatorapps – It has various medical formulas as well asequations and calculate respective parameters of interest (e.
g. the body surface burn percentage) · Clinicalcommunication apps – It simplifiescommunication between clinicians within a hospital. BENEFITSOF HEALTHCARE IoT: 1. ReducedHealthcare Cost – Remotemonitoring of patients become possible because of real time data and wearabledevices. Doctors and healthcare centers can take better care of their patientsremotely.
It also helps them in minimizing the overall healthcare cost, asdoctors do not require to meet patients at the regular basis. IoT has reducedthe healthcare cost and also helped in speeding the delivery of care. 2. Better Result of Treatment – Connectivity ofhealthcare to cloud computing or other virtual infrastructure gives healthcarethe ability to access real time data that provides informed decisions as wellas offer treatment that is evidence based. This enables healthcare provision istimely and treatment outcomes are improved.
3. Improved Disease Management – Inthis technique, patients are continuously monitored and healthcare centers areable to access real time data. With the help IoT disease are treated beforethey get out of hand. 4. Reduced Errors – Accuratecollection of data, automated workflows combined with data driven decisions arean excellent way of cutting down the costs. Reducing system costs helps inminimizing on errors. 5. BetterPatient Engagement – Healthcare is transforming from fee for service to value-basedcare.
Effective patient engagement plays a key role in the implementation ofvalue-based care program. Withthe help of IoT, patients can use apps and software which help in accessingtheir own health data. In this way patient can be sure about the progress inhealthcare management. Doctors and patients both can keep their eyes on theirdaily routine and diet chart. For old age patients, this app is a good engagementand through this they can monitor their health record.
6. Real-Time Data and Information forCare Managers – Withthe advent of IoT in healthcare, care managers can get access to the real-timedata of patients. There are so many health apps with the integration towearable devices such as Apple Watch and other health bands; these apps cansend patient’s real-time data to the care managers and care managers can usethis data to create & implement a better care management program forpatients. 7. Increased Interest Level of Patients- There is a sharpincrease in the population of fitness freak people as healthcare apps withwearable devices (such as Apple watch, fitness band etc.
) have been launched. People has increasedinterest in healthcare matter which results in more educated patientpopulation. Educated patients understands the importance of good health.
8. Meaningful & Timely Health Alerts- With the use of IoT care managers canget the access to real-time data and thus can send more meaningful health alertsto patients. Real -time data access can get the attention of care managerwhenever particular health parameters go beyond the ideal limit and healthcarecan send alerts immediately. This technique can save lives of critical carepatients. 9.
Helping Differently Able People – The greatest benefit of IoT in healthcareis its ability to help differently abled people. IoT enabled wheelchair,hearing devices, eye glasses etc, which are helping the many needy people. Thecombination of mobile apps and IoT has given birth to the stream gadgets thathelp differently abled people. CHALLENGESOF HEALTHCARE IoT: 1. LACKOF EHR (ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD) SYSTEM INTEGRATION When data is collected from IoTdevice, it can save patient’s important information, daily physical routine orglucose level. This information not automatically go to an EHR system until itis centralized.
Some EHR systems allow patients to import data into theirrecords. But still this remains relatively limited to a few dominant EHRplayers. Still many providers are uncertain of how to handle information thatlives outside of their record system. 2.
LACKOF INTEROPERABILITY WITH EHR (ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD)SYSTEM – Patientsare likely to collect different sets of data when using different medicaldevices depending on each device’s purpose and, in some cases, the ordering physician.A patient with diabetes may frequently collect glucose levels and report themback to their primary care physician while also potentially capturing datarelated to their asthma on a separate device, which may be going to theirasthma and allergy care provider. Inmany cases, the information that the patient captures stays within theboundaries of each of the systems and IoT vendors and is not visible to othersystems. Unfortunately, with the lack of wider adoption of adequateinteroperability, data from different IoT devices may remain locked in eachindividual system and lose its potential value to the rest of a patient’s careteam. 3. NEEDOF FULL HEALTH RECORD OF PATIENT – IoTdata alone may not be meaningful if it is not within the context of a fullhealth record.
Many service providers support the collection of meaningfulpatient data between every visit, but this data is only valuable within thecontext of a full patient chart and timeline. There are still many cases wherethe data collected from wearables and other medical devices stays locked in theIoT vendor repository or apps. For a doctor, that data may not be useful untilpatient’s full record is visible. 4. DATA SECURITY – Datasecurity causes concern in the implementation of IoT in healthcare.
From thetime that the data is collected at the device level to the point that it istransmitted over to its final destination.Butwith the lack of common security standards and practices, many health IoTprofessionals have concern about the risks associated with IoT device. FUTUREOF HEALTHCARE IoT: There are countlessapplications for the IoT in healthcare, but the technology is still evolving .One of the challenges of healthcare IoT is how to manage all of the data itcollects, the future of IoT will depend on the ability of healthcareorganization to turn that data into the meaningful insights.