10 Benefits of Internet of Things for Healthcare and Hospitals

Internet of Things (IoT) has been in thick of things right since the inception of its concept. The benefits of IoT is beyond questions and experts are convinced about the positive potential of IoT in every aspect of the human lives & healthcare is no exception; in fact, Healthcare is possibly the only industry which is collecting remote data even before the IoT was given that name.

IoT is all set to gain rapid growth in coming years, 20.8 billion connected things are expected to be in use by 2020 when we compare this with 5 billion connected things in 2015; it is obviously a massive growth.

There is a stream of healthcare & fitness apps in the app stores (Using IoT) and needless to say that adoption of IoT in healthcare is set to increase in near future. Trusting the initial industry trends, we can easily say that IoT has already started making a positive impact in the healthcare industry.

Here are Benefits of IoT for Hospitals & Healthcare -

1.Better Patient Engagement-

While Healthcare is shifting from fee for service to value-based care; effective patient engagement plays a key role in the implementation of value-based care program. With the application of IoT, patients can use apps and software which help them access their own health data; this way patient can be sure about the progress he / she is making and affects of care management program on his / her health.

2. The Increased Interest Level of Patients-

Ever since healthcare apps with integration to wearable devices (such as Apple watch, fitness band etc.) have been launched; industry has seen a sharp increase in the population of fitness freak people.

The increased interest in fitness has resulted in more educated patient population; educated patients not only understand the importance of good health but also participate proactively in a care management program & their own health decisions. (Image source-www.freepik.com)

3.Healthcare Analytics-

The use of IoT has also given a positive impetus to healthcare analytics. With connected devices in the application, healthcare experts can get access to a large amount of data, this helps in analyzing healthcare trends and also in gauging the effects of the particular medicine or particular health condition.

Conclusions made with the help of healthcare analytics are helping the whole population; so needless to say IoT in healthcare is a big boost for Population Health.

4.Reduced Healthcare Cost-

Availability of real-time data via wearable devices has given the possibility of better remote monitoring of patients, doctors and care managers can not only take better care of their patients remotely but it also helps in reducing the overall healthcare cost, as doctors do not require to meet patients physically and doctors and care managers also do not require to meet physically to discuss a particular case; so IoT has reduced the healthcare cost and also helped in speeding the delivery of care.

5.Real-Time Data for Care Managers-

The concept of care management software is well understood in healthcare Industry but unfortunately, care management solutions could not register the success that they had been expected to.

However, with the arrival of IoT in healthcare, care managers can get access to the real-time data of patients. There are so many health apps with integration to wearable devices such as Apple watch and other health bands; these apps can send patient’s real-time data to the care managers and care managers can use this data to create & implement a better care management program for patients. (Image source-www.freepik.com)

6.Meaningful & Timely Health Alerts -

Using Care management solutions care managers can send alerts to patients, however with the use of IoT care managers can get the access to real-time data and thus can send more meaningful health alerts to patients and caregivers right at the time it is needed.

Real-time data access can get the attention of care manager whenever a particular health parameter goes beyond the ideal limit and care management team can act immediately to send alerts; this can save lives of critical care patients. (Image source-www.freepik.com)

7.Better Chronic Care Management -

One of the most important aspects of chronic care management is continuous health check up and health assessment of the chronic disease patient. IoT has provided new dimensions to remote patient monitoring. Now doctors can be more confident about remote patient monitoring and can also monitor the health parameters more accurately from a remote location, thanks to connected medical devices (IoT).

8.Reduced Scope for Error-

Reducing the scope of error is an important step towards better healthcare and IT is playing a key role in reducing medical errors, IoT has surely given a new impetus to the efforst of reducing mediucal errors.With IoT we can successfully integrate accurate data, automation and analytic-based decision making; the results of this unique integration are more accurate than ever and thus healthcare is moving towards eliminating the errors and improving the quality scores.

9.Enhanced Drugs & Medication Management-

IoT is doing wonders in drug and medication management as well, now we have smart wireless pill bottles to track the medicines and auto fill when needed. IoT enabled medication management product is also providing patients the analytics for better chronic care.

10.Helping Differently Able People-

Probably the greatest benefit of IoT in healthcare is its ability to help differently able people. Now we have IoT-enabled wheelchairs, hearing devices, Eye Glasses etc., which are helping the many needy people. The integration of mobile apps and IoT has given birth to the stream of gadgets that help differently able people.

IoT in Healthcare — Associated Risks

Healthcare industry is already very sensitive to cyber security & data protection and connected devices certainly have the potential of increasing this risk of data breach. Implementation of IoT may increase the scope of “Unauthorized data access”. The concept BYOD also adds up the risk factor as there can be multiple sources of devices.

IoT in healthcare — conclusion

IoT surely presents “universe of benefits and new possibilities”. However extra precautions are required while using & implementing IoT; not using IoT due to possible data security issues will truly be a negative approach, organization need to use extra layer of security while leveraging the benefits of connected devices. With extra level of security in place and with IoT experts (for data & cyber security) in the team, IoT augurs a lot positive in healthcare.

**Images used in bullet points 2,5 and 6 are from www.freepik.com