The greatest potential of technology is that it can bring accessible healthcare solutions to virtually everyone. The Internet of Things (IoT) paired with accessibility devices is the future of healthcare, a future bringing equity and safety to the way we treat and manage patients.
For those with physical limitations, accessing digital health resources can make a world of difference. IoT-based technology in healthcare makes that accessibility possible through smart innovations and real-world solutions.
Here we explore how IoT has evolved healthcare to be a more accessible, equitable industry.
Internet of Things and Healthcare Solutions
The Internet of Things is defined as a network on which everyday smart devices can communicate to provide data and analytical solutions across industries. In healthcare, this is transformative and highly beneficial.
IoT in healthcare is set to become a $534 billion industry by 2025. This value is evident in the ways that IoT can help healthcare professionals provide the best level of care available. With IoT paired with the emerging 5G Wireless connectivity revolution, medical professionals can provide personalized medicine, enhanced diagnostic procedures, and analytical answers to healthcare needs never before possible.
Here’s what you should know about IoT in healthcare:
- Through wearable devices and even smartphone application tracking, vital metrics can be reported to a physician instantly. Emergency signals can even be sent in the event of a heart or asthma attack.
- IoT transforms the way doctors can interact with patients, making telehealth and remote diagnostic processes increasingly possible. This is especially vital in the current pandemic world.
- The ability for IoT devices to communicate and store vast amounts of data make predictive analytics and disease prevention practices better all the time. This means health care providers are now able to better understand the presence of disease or risk factors through access to patient information.
IoT devices affect the healthcare sector by making concurrent reporting, data analysis, alerting and tracking, and even treatment accessibility more possible. These innovations brought about by IoT in healthcare offer better healthcare solutions for everyone.
Perhaps IoT’s greatest potential is its ability to connect all kinds of people, no matter their situation, for greater healthcare solutions. Whether individuals face physical impairments or patience underserved in resources, IoT is impacting the future of healthcare accessibility.
The Future of Healthcare Accessibility
There is arguably little more vital to the future of equitability than accessibility across the web. Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of considering every situation when creating and managing digital content. This means creating platforms that are accessible even to those with visual or auditory or physical impairments that make the traditional web experience difficult.
In healthcare, web accessibility is being enhanced by the use of IoT. Here’s how:
- Computer vision. Through visualization data-driven by drone and piloting the technology, IoT devices are being created that can help visually impaired individuals manage their surroundings. This is one instance in which accessibility is being brought about in the healthcare sector through technology.
- Wearables. IoT technology like wearables is growing in popularity in the age of COVID. These devices allow doctors and patients to communicate healthcare data over the Internet of Things, monitoring everything from pulse, blood pressure, and other vital signs to keep patients safe and prevent disease. There is an urgent need to avoid overburdening care facilities. Wearables can provide excellent diagnostic tracking without requiring patients to be physically present. This keeps everyone safe and social distancing while reducing the risk of receiving healthcare for the most at-risk patients.
- Smart devices. The ongoing prevalence of smart devices used at home can make a substantial impact on accessible healthcare solutions. It’s estimated that the average home houses up to 500 connected smart devices, many of these with the potential to offer care solutions like integrated telehealth options. Smart devices can fundamentally change the nature of healthcare by conducting tasks through simple voice commands or other accessibility features that make for more equitable care. This helps to bridge gaps in accessibility where they exist, giving more the tools they need for effective treatment.
The potential for IoT technology to increase accessibility solutions in the healthcare sector is immense. From the innovations that IoT brings to healthcare to the accessibility features these innovations make possible, everyone stands to gain from the integration of IoT into our medical practices. In the wake of COVID-19, the ability for IoT to offer remote connectivity in managed care—no matter who or where you are—is just the innovation the future of healthcare requires.