The Internet of Things is revolutionizing the way people interact with technology. Web-connected devices make it possible for homeowners to change temperatures, turn off lights and start a robotic vacuum from the convenience of a smartphone or computer. Similar connections are developing in the healthcare sector, and medical professionals are finding new ways to interact with their patients.
What is the Internet of Medical Things IoMT?
A hospital or medical clinic is a natural place to take advantage of this new technology. The healthcare industry has long been at the forefront of innovation. In the past, data from advanced testing machines were siloed until they were entered manually into the patient’s record. The IoMT allows information to flow directly from connected machines to a patient management system.
Healthcare IT professionals understand how the benefits of web-enabled technology will extend beyond patient care. Connecting devices to a network can change the way medical organizations handle staffing, prescriptions, inventory and reporting.
Examples of the Internet of Things in Healthcare
The IoMT is already in use in many medical settings. Observing real-time data improves patient care and general healthcare management.
Wearable devices are some of the most familiar types of web-connected technology. Many consumers enjoy wearing fitness devices that track their steps and measure their heart rates. In a medical setting, these devices can do even more such as tracking glucose levels, monitoring blood pressure and reporting patient movement and falls.
These wearable devices will also help monitor patients in their homes. This ability can shorten hospital stays and help health professionals check on post-appointment compliance with medical orders.
Resource and Staff Tracking
Web-enabled badges help large organizations keep track of staff and equipment. Portable devices move frequently on a hospital floor. A badge can report the location of the item and whether or not it is in active use. Any factor that decreases response times will improve patient outcomes.
In the same way, hospitals can incorporate tracking technology into employee ID badges. This ability enables the organization to send doctors and nurses who are not involved in critical patient care to supplement ER staff during a rush.
Medical staff measure vital signs to observe changes in a patient’s condition. Frequent visits to check the temperature, blood pressure and heart rate take time and can disturb a resting patient. Web-enabled monitors integrated into the patient’s bed can send this information more regularly with less disruption. They will also alert staff members of sudden changes.
Working with IoMT devices results in an integrated approach to patient care. A medical center’s case management platform will receive information from various sources so that doctors and nurses can see it in one place. They can avoid issues with conflicting orders and receive alerts about potential prescription interactions or allergies. Importantly, they will be aware of a change in a patient’s status in real-time.
Benefits of the Internet of Medical Things IoMT
IoMT technology brings benefits to every aspect of the healthcare system. From the hospital intake process to monitored aftercare, connected devices will improve patient outcomes.
Streamlined Patient Flow
A web-connected hospital management system can get patients and staff where they need to be. Reporting software that tracks staff members, patients and facilities will minimize the wait time for tests and procedures.
The sooner physicians can see medical data, the faster they can make an informed diagnosis. Medical centers may also use AI technology to expedite the diagnostic process.
Real-Time Patient Data
Doctors and nurses can see real-time data rather than information received at longer intervals. This feature enables them to respond faster to changes in a patient’s condition.
The patient care process has many steps that are vulnerable to human error. Connected devices will alert medical staff of potential prescription errors and prevent wrong-patient mistakes.
Patient wearables and smartphone apps help doctors track individuals after an appointment. They can observe vital signs outside of the clinical setting and remind patients to carry out aftercare instructions.
IoMT technology will reduce the cost of medical care. There will be fewer routine appointments so that doctors can see more patients. Reducing the number of medical errors will reduce the cost of both institutional and individual insurance.
The hospital software development team at Chetu provides IoMT solutions for medical settings. These experienced developers can integrate web-enabled devices with case and practice management platforms. A well-planned system will bring IoT benefits to both patients and staff.
The Growth Potential of IoMT
The global market for the IoMT is growing quickly. New medical facilities are incorporating the technology as they see the benefits for early adopters. The compound annual growth rate for the IoMT sector is expected to be more than 25% over the next few years. There are several reasons for this expansion.
Patient Familiarity with Wearable Technology
Wearable devices are no longer a new technology. Patients are already comfortable wearing fitness trackers for their personal benefit. In many cases, medical apps can work on a device the patient owns. Physicians are more likely to work with technology that has a high chance of patient compliance.
Increased Focus on Home Health Care
Hospital stays are expensive, and patients often recover better in the comfort of their homes. However, it has been difficult to monitor patients remotely. Home health aides are part of the solution, and remote monitoring devices will enhance their abilities. Web-enabled devices help to recover patients stay safe and receive the attention they need. Demand for home-based care will only increase with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation.
Emphasis on Remote Health Care
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced the world to the possibilities of remote health care. More patients are comfortable interacting with a medical professional over the phone or on a telehealth appointment. This technology lowers the cost of care by decreasing the number of office visits. Adding IoMT technology to this process will increase its effectiveness.
Increasing Health Care Costs
The cost of health care continues to grow. Both medical institutions and health insurance companies want to lower fees. As large medical centers seek to streamline patient care, they will look to IoMT solutions to reduce inefficiencies and overhead costs. Manufacturers and software developers will see growth in applications for facilities management, patient care and prescriptions.
Healthcare Software Solutions for the IoT
Integrating IoMT devices into a clinical setting requires a knowledgeable development team. At Chetu, we have over 20 years of experience in developing custom software solutions across many industries. Our hospital management software solutions will provide interconnectivity between case management platforms, mobile apps and medical devices. We can provide a technological framework that will improve patient care.