The Internet of Things (IoT) makes it possible for those devices to track blood pressure, heart rate, calorie intake, and more.
But it extends far beyond personal wearable devices. IoT is making it possible for physicians to make real-time decisions and hospitals and health clinics to provide the best patient care possible.
Let’s explore how IoT is impacting physicians, patients, and hospitals.
Thanks to IoT, healthcare providers can now extend their reach outside a brick-and-mortar office or hospital. Wearable IoT-connected devices and other home monitoring equipment allow physicians to keep track of patients’ health more effectively and proactively contact patients if needed. Data collected from those devices can help physicians identify the best treatment plans to achieve the healthiest outcomes.
Remote monitoring also plays a significant role in helping prevent hospital re-admissions. According to a Center of Connected Health Policy study, remote monitoring on heart failure patients reduced the 30-day re-admission rate by 50%.
Robotics was the first milestone to extend the accuracy and efficiency of how physicians operate on patients. This involved a physician using a robot where one or more of the robotic arms were controlled by a surgeon. Traditionally, these procedures resulted in less downtime, were less invasive, and allowed healthcare teams added benefits through enhanced optics that surpassed the human eye under normal circumstances.
Today, telesurgery or “remote surgery,” achieved through IoT-connected robotics, is yet another milestone in surgical technology and intervention, providing widespread prospects of operating on a patient remotely with increased accuracy and precision.
Beyond simply tracking heart rate, blood pressure, or calorie intake, wearable IoT-connected devices are changing—and saving—lives. For the elderly, an IoT wearable device can track a change in daily routine to detect a possible fall. The device then sends a notification to family members or healthcare providers to send for assistance, if needed. IoT can also help transform at-home patient care. Smart medication dispensers can upload information to the cloud and alert doctors when patients don't take their medicine.
As another example, it’s estimated that 463 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, but glucose monitoring has traditionally been difficult and inconvenient—only recording a patient’s glucose level at a specific moment in time. IoT glucose monitoring devices provide continuous, automatic monitoring to immediately alert patients to problematic levels.
Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings are using IoT to increase patient comfort, facilitate provider decision-making, and make the overall environment safer for both patients and staff. If patients are comfortable, they are likely to recover quicker and have better outcomes.
Many hospitals are already using smart beds, which can sense when a patient is in bed and automatically adjust to the correct angle and pressure without intervention from a nurse or other caretaker. IoT can also be used to track the real-time location of medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, nebulizers, or oxygen pumps.
The capabilities and opportunities for IoT in healthcare are countless. But one thing is for sure—the positive impact IoT has on the healthcare industry is helping transform the healthcare experience—for providers, patients, and facilities alike.
Want to learn more about how IoT can help your organization optimize your customer’s experience? Check out Oracle’s IoT Service Monitoring for Connected Assets and take a brief self-guided product tour.
Oracle for Healthcare can help you improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs by using your data to better plan, operate your business, support your team members, and develop evidence-based care approaches. Visit our website for more details.
Steph Dollan is a Product Marketing Manager for Oracle CX