The rapid expansion of IoT enables remote diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring in healthcare. Cloud-based telemedicine platforms enable the integration, management, and control of medical devices. With IoT enabled telemedicine, physicians can monitor the vitals and medications of patients in their own homes.
With telemedicine, doctors can use the data collected by medical devices to preventatively treat their patients before developing serious health complications. Hospital admissions and re-admissions can be reduced, as physicians can catch warning signs before a patient’s condition deteriorates to the point that she requires emergency care. Reduced hospitalizations cut costs, enabling administrators to apply the savings towards improving efficiency in their facilities rather than on preventable hospital admissions.
IoT platforms can also cut costs for hospitals and physician practices by improving work-flow and enhancing efficiency. With device-integrated IoT platforms, doctors and administrators can monitor the quality and quantity of all medical equipment and supplies in their facilities. IoT helps ensure that healthcare facilities are always well equipped with necessary supplies. IoT can be designed with predictive maintenance and analytic capabilities, including notifying staff when equipment needs to be replaced or repaired.
The interconnectivity that IoT provides has even been used to create smart medication devices. Wearable IoT devices can confirm that patients actually take their medications on schedule. Ingestible IoT pills monitor patients’ medication intake in real time. Smart caps on medication bottles audibly alert patients when medication needs to be taken and track usage.
One of the biggest contributors to hospital re-admittance is patients’ failure to understand discharge care instructions. Through smartphone and web access, doctors can track their patients’ adherence to medication and care programs. IoT can integrate these smart medication devices with mobile apps and web-based portals. Smart medicine devices increase adherence and reduce the cost and burden of hospitalization for both patients and physicians.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are projected to be a $20 billion sector of the Healthcare industry by 2020. EHRs hosted on IoT cloud platforms can collect data from a variety of devices. With IoT platforms, EHRs can be automatically updated with input from patient wearable sensors and physician smartphones and Google Glass. The interconnectivity that IoT provides ensures that EHRs can be viewed and updated from any smart device at any time.
Over 22% of surveyed US hospital nurses believe that mistakes in patient health records are a direct result of manually entered data. The automated nature of IoT enabled EHRs reduces errors made by manual data entry. IoT allows EHRs to use shared data from multiple devices to crosscheck for errors and eliminate discrepancies; it creates the most accurate medical records possible. Accurate and easily accessible health records are essential to improve the quality of healthcare for patients and the efficiency of doctors.
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