How IoT technologies transform medicine12 August 2016
The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing many aspects of our live. But these changes are the most significant in the medicine and healthcare. Traditional ‘doctor-patient’ model is already not the only acceptable one, since wearable devices and gadgets connected to the Internet give users an opportunity to receive professional medical care remotely, and the quality of medical service will increase several-fold.
Given below are the examples of advanced IoT technologies that were implemented in the healthcare field.
Chimaera is an interesting tool since it displays a real-time image of the areas to be operated, so the surgeon can avoid nerves or blood vessels more easily.
Healthcare at home
Smart bands can not only increase the efficiency of physical exercises, but also allow doctors and relatives to monitor patient’s health. Due to the recorded measurements and telemedicine, diagnostics may be performed remotely, saving time and efforts.
Today engineers create a lot of various wearable gadgets for basic vitals monitoring. One of them is Flow Health Hub, designed by Cambridge Consultants. It measures the level of cholesterol, diabetes, and blood pressure. The device can automatically alert patient’s doctor, providing all mentioned above measurements.
Fitness trackers and other wearables became very popular, and developers decided to extend their functionality greatly. Modern wearable devices can measure steps, respiratory and heart rates, etc. One of those gadgets is First Response Monitor, designed by Cambridge Design Partnership. It helps to treat multiple trauma patients in disasters, battlefield situations, etc.
What is IoT introduction into medicine going to lead to?
According to Collette Johnson, representative of Plextek Consulting, wearable IoT devices will have unique features. Today there is such gadget as CareClip that will help users to overcome panic attacks. Soon engineers will develop a sticking plaster sensor to measure hydration level of the body. Or there will be a device for obesity treatment, an ingestible sensor that could track how food affects health of the user.
The introduction of IoT technologies into our homes will increase health care services as well. For example, people with memory loss can use PIPS by Nominet. PIPS are buttons that will send a message to doctors or relatives, if patients forget to do their daily routine. Special sensors help care providers to monitor wellbeing of dementia patients remotely. There are special systems that are applied for monitoring for the seniors, etc.
It should be noted that such smart sensors are powered not by regular batteries, but rather by biological energy sources, radio waves and vibration, and connect to smartphones via Bluetooth or Near Field Communications (NFC). It means that they are much easier to use.
Experts believe the market of medical IoT devices will reach $47.4 billion by 2020. The demand for smart healthcare gadgets continues to grow, and soon we will see the golden age of digital medicine.