While the internet of things may posit both positive and negative contributions to the world of tech-savvy security, the medical realm is perhaps where this kind of technology can be the most helpful. After all, the United States is beginning the burdensome process of supporting its baby boomer generation, and the major rise in members of the 65-and-over club is driving new development in medical tech. Devices that connect patients with caregivers ad help machines get better at learning how to read sensors are more needed than ever.
Grand View Research recently published a report stating that “high, unmet medical needs” of seniors are likely to trigger the increased use of remote patient monitoring by healthcare organizations. These organizations’ efforts to meet the needs of their patients will likely sustain the market for the “Internet of Medical Things” for the next decade. Considering 2022 is when the IoT sector is expected to explode (industry experts have predicted that the market will reach about $410 billion), it’s likely the market won’t be losing momentum anytime soon. The sector’s medical devices are projected to drive a compound annual growth rate of 28.3 percent between now and 2022.
What kind of devices can you expect to see gaining momentum? Think Fitbits and Apple Watches that can read your heart rate, activity levels, and sleep cycles. Google is even developing contact lenses that can read your glucose levels. mc10 is coming out with a biometric stamp the size of a band-aid that can report a person’s vitals to connected devices and doctors. Developers at the University of Buffalo are creating a pendant that can analyze chewing and swallowing sounds to determine what wearers are eating and alert them when they’ve started to overeat or eat unhealthily.
While these devices may be helpful for those hoping to maintain good health, Ian Shakil notes that it’s important to realize that these devices are only able to provide so much assistance.
“The Internet of Medical Things will continue to evolve and deliver value by getting the complexities of technology out of the way and connecting- or better yet, reconnecting- doctors with patients,” said Shakil, CEO of Audmedix.
Shakil’s company estimates that physicians spend at least 70 percent of their time reading documentation before they started sing their service. “This new ly reclaimed time that can be repurposed in-clinic for other administrative tasks or even to see more patients,” he explained.
According to Joel Cook, real-time location systems posit one of the original uses for the IoMT. Cook is a senior healthcare solutions manager at Stanley Healthcare.
“Using wireless RTLS devices, staff and family members can trace a patient’s entire journey through the hospital- from the waiting room to surgery to post-op, and how long they spend in each area,” Cook explained.
RTLS devices can be leveraged for asset management to locate equipment and monitor for temperature-sensitive substances as well.
Keith Cooper, CEO of Constant Therapy, explained that IoMT devices can also help in terms of collecting data about which medicines work for which kinds of people:
“By collecting anonymized data from every person’s interaction with our therapy programs, we can analyze what works ankd what doesn’t work for each type of individual,” he said.