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IoT: Changing the Dynamics of Healthcare for Good

The Internet of Things (IoT) is enhancing the overall experience of treatments for both patients and healthcare professionals alike. This is owing to better connectivity provided by IoT to analyze, manage and offer real-time results. 

COVID-19 has changed the functioning of the healthcare industry and forced healthcare professionals to redesign the way of treating patients. As everything became remote in the wake of the pandemic, healthcare systems too integrated digital technologies to smoothen the process of treatments. IoT not only helped in connecting various entities smoothly, but also helped in offering instant results to healthcare professionals. Future Market Insights states that IoT in the healthcare industry is expected to register a staggering double-digit CAGR of 18% by garnering a market value of US$ 952.3 Bn by the end of 2032.  

The successful emergence of 5G networks and augmented wireless connectivity has opened doors for inventions in the healthcare sector. Thus, modern machines too will be fully digital and have the potential to work without human intervention. This, in turn, is expected to fasten the process of diagnosis, treatments and medication.

The dependency on contactless treatments, health monitoring systems and medical sensors has changed the dynamics of the healthcare industry. All these factors are changing the functioning of offering health digitally. 

Improving the Fleet of Imaging Services with IoT

The demand for the early diagnosis of illnesses has increased. This has led to patients going through MRIs and CT scans for early detection of tumors, observing changes in tissues and monitoring the growth of the same. With the help of IoT, gaining easier and faster access has become possible and is helping healthcare professionals take quick steps to address various issues. 

Although imaging techniques have existed for long, technology companies are improving the overall imaging efficiency to analyze the changing functions of the body in real-time. Diagnostics companies are tying up with healthcare sectors to offer a fleet of services under one umbrella to solve various issues. As healthcare sectors are eyeing providing instant care to patients, integrating IoT is beneficial to healthcare professionals, different departments of healthcare sectors and patients. 

For instance, Unilabs has partnered with GE Healthcare to provide Portugal with cutting-edge imaging equipment and digital technology. The investment in healthcare diagnostics in the country will ensure better access to care for Portuguese patients. The partnership will use MRIs, CT scanning technology, mammography, X-ray machines, ultrasound devices and an innovative fleet of imaging services. Through this partnership, the entities focus on providing additional imaging capacity and speeding up diagnosis for delivering real-time results to patients. With IoT at the heart of these functions, diagnosis and treatments will be more precise, efficient and personalized.  

Latest IoT Trends in Healthcare

IoT has given birth to the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). IoMT helps in connecting various machines present in different departments of healthcare sectors. Not only does it give real-time access to information to healthcare professionals, but it also prevents cyberattacks and malware on medical devices.

The emergence of 5G networks will strengthen the functioning of IoT in healthcare sectors. The development of hybrid clouds and the potential of wireless technologies to seamlessly integrate various entities, including hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and technical departments, is improving the experience of delivering overall patient care. For instance, IBM and AT&T are strengthening the efficiency of 5G networks for delivering telemedicine facilities to the healthcare sector. Through telemedicine, healthcare professionals can consult and supervise patients’ conditions using voice and collaboration tools.  

The ratio of people suffering from mental health issues and mental health doctors or psychologists is uneven. This has led to healthcare sectors relying on bots to provide real-time access to patients suffering from anxiety or depression. Thus, connecting patients and bots or mental healthcare professionals 24*7 has become possible with the use of IoT.  Easy accessibility and maintaining privacy have boosted the dependency on bots for dealing with mental health issues. 

Conclusion – IoT: Changing How Healthcare Functions

Integrating IoT in healthcare will provide multiple advantages that range from monitoring patients’ heath to inventing methods to prevent diseases. IoT is not only promising to change the healthcare industry but also delivering on the same. Examination of various ailments, remote monitoring and wearables will become mainstream in the upcoming years. 

During and post the COVID-19 pandemic, health-conscious patients have become alert about their everyday lifestyle and food consumption habits. Tech-savvy gadgets such as smartwatches, blood pressure and sugar intake measuring devices provide everyday results of the effects of food and a sedentary lifestyle. Thus, the use of IoT in everyday wearable gadgets is becoming commercial.

IoT can automate the workflow of patient care by using healthcare mobility solutions. Data movement, machine-to-machine communication and interoperability have made healthcare sectors more productive. With the integration of IoT, patients and healthcare professionals can save time. The increase in the use of smartphones is helping patients to consult doctors at any given time and, in turn, saving money as they do not have to visit hospitals anymore. 

Moving ahead, IoT will be integrated into nearly all sectors of healthcare. From prescribing medicines to offering the best services in ambulances, IoT will change the face of the healthcare sector. As technology has become an essential part of daily life, IoT too will upgrade the existing healthcare system and provide faster and better services.

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