When we talk about healthcare, the first thing you visualize is hospitals and medical practitioners. A lot has been made possible in the field due to the availability of IoT devices.
Traditionally as well, doctors always used to rely on a variety of investigations to diagnose a patient symptom before prescribing medicines. Today, with the advent of IoT, a lot of these parameters can be monitored in real time and can significantly aid patient rehab and recovery. In the healthcare space of hospitals and medical practitioners, service providers, who can analyse data captured from smart IoT devices and report inferences are making rapid strides.
There are a number of areas that IoT health care sensors are disrupting:
- Elder care: From tracking wandering patients to monitoring the engagement and activities of elderly individuals in nursing homes and hospitals, elder care is a big market for IoT medical devices.
- Patient data-gathering: This is the most mature field in health care but continues to grow with new innovations in the IoT world.
- Real-time location: Today, hospitals are using IoT technology to track both people and assets at a lower cost than ever before.
IoT is slowly allowing for the health care industry to reduce its dependency on humans (and their associated human errors). Even though IoT medical devices may not always impress the everyday consumer, they are steadily improving health care and providing early diagnosis and treatment of serious issues. Having said that though, there are quite a few IoT health care challenges that application developers have to overcome, which include:
HEALTH CARE PRIVACY & HIPAA
Security is important for the IoT industry as a whole, but it’s even more important when you add in patient privacy. The regulations that medical apps need to uphold make innovation in the IoT medical device field a challenge. HIPAA—the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act—sets the standard for protecting patient data that is created, received, maintained, or transmitted electronically. Privacy is always an issue with health records, but since we now have sensors automatically collecting and storing our medical data, security is even more critical. This means anyone creating an IoT medical device has to keep patient privacy as a top priority.
IT INTEGRATION & CYBER-SECURITY
Cyber-security is a major concern in every sector, and the health care industry is no different. In March 2016, for example, health care group MedStar was a victim in a ransom ware attack that rendered their computer systems—and vital patient records—unusable. The company had to resort to using paper records until they could restore their systems.
All this to say, hospitals today are even more hesitant to put anything on their network that is not well-vetted—and since IoT medical devices are the frontier of connectivity and many new applications are hitting the marketplace regularly, they often aren’t well-vetted. But keep in mind that not all technology needs to be deployed within the IT network of a hospital.
It’s hard to predict where IoT medical devices are headed next—but we are certain that with the rise in interest in IoT and the money being spent in health care innovations, good things are bound to happen in this space.
If you’re looking for opportunities, health care is a great place to be. We’re excited to see what kind of innovations—from connectivity, to data privacy, to application architecture—come into this space.
Pratiti technologies is focused on the IoT space and has worked extensively in the healthcare sector, helping both medical practitioners as well as health care providers leveraging IoT for improving patient care.
The core team at Pratiti has over 25 years of industry experience and we have built some great competencies in the Cloud Computing Technologies and Data Analytics. We offer flexible partnership models, through which we partner with you to build scalable technology solutions to bring your innovation faster to market.