8 Ways IoT Enables Personalized Healthcare

Zachary Amos -
8 Ways IoT Enables Personalized Healthcare

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly transforming various industries. It enables devices to communicate and interact with each other over the internet, leading to more efficient and automated operations. In healthcare, IoT has become particularly influential. It creates personalized healthcare, enhances patient care, improves clinical outcomes, and reduces operational costs.

Healthcare facilities can offer more personalized and timely care by integrating IoT devices, such as wearable health monitors, smart hospital beds, and real-time location systems. It ensures better asset management and streamlines processes that lead to significant cost savings.

This shift supports healthcare providers in delivering high-quality care and improves the overall patient experience — a pivotal development in the ongoing evolution of healthcare services.

IoT & Healthcare

#1: Personal Emergency Response Systems

IoT-enabled emergency alert systems are a critical safety net for seniors and high-risk patients. In fact, as of September 2022, 27.5 percent of the U.S. workforce works remotely, often away from traditional healthcare settings. These systems utilize sensors and wearable devices to detect falls, monitor vital signs, and send real-time alerts to health providers or employers.

This instant communication is vital for prompt medical response, ensuring authorities dispatch help quickly when needed. As such, IoT emergency systems provide a sense of security for the individuals using them and peace of mind for their colleagues. It’s indispensable in pursuing safe, independent living for vulnerable populations.

#2: Enhanced Drug Management

Smart pillboxes and IoT-enabled medication dispensers revolutionize how patients manage their medication regimes, significantly boosting adherence and treatment effectiveness and providing personalized healthcare.

These innovative devices have alarms, notifications, and the ability to communicate with smartphones and other digital platforms. They can remind patients when to take their medication and track their dosages.

This technology benefits individuals managing complex medication schedules and reduces the likelihood of missed or incorrect doses. The resulting improvement in adherence enhances the effectiveness of treatments and minimizes the risk of hospitalizations due to medication errors.

#3: Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote monitoring devices are becoming increasingly integrated into healthcare strategies, especially as 77% of employers now include virtual care options in their employee benefits packages. These devices — from wearable heart monitors to glucose tracking systems — enable continuous monitoring of health conditions from afar.

This capability is crucial for managing chronic diseases and caring for older adults, as it allows healthcare providers to track patients’ health data instantaneously. In addition, it adjusts treatments as needed and predicts potential health issues before they become severe.

The proactive management of these devices enhances patient health and safety and reduces the frequency of hospital visits, making this approach to healthcare more accessible and efficient.

#4: Oxygen Monitors

IoT-enabled oxygen monitors transform patient care in clinical settings by providing real-time monitoring of oxygen levels. These advanced devices continuously track and transmit oxygen saturation data to healthcare providers. It enables them to make timely decisions and adjustments to treatment protocols.

This continuous oversight helps prevent emergencies — such as severe hypoxia — by alerting caregivers when a patient’s oxygen levels drop below safe thresholds.

For patients with respiratory conditions, heart issues, or those recovering from surgery, this level of monitoring ensures a higher standard of care. It can significantly improve recovery outcomes by preventing complications before they escalate.

#5: IoT in Surgery

In surgical environments, IoT tools enhance the precision and outcomes of procedures through innovations like image-guided surgery, telesurgery, and comprehensive patient monitoring. IoT-enabled devices provide surgeons with real-time, high-resolution images that guide complex surgeries more accurately, providing a personalized healthcare approach.

Additionally, telesurgery with IoT technology allows expert surgeons to operate remotely with robotic systems, expanding access to specialized surgical care in underserved areas.

On the other hand, telemonitoring integrates continuous patient monitoring during surgeries. It ensures surgeons can closely monitor vital signs to address anomalies promptly.

Integrating IoT tools elevates the precision of surgical interventions and improves patient safety and outcomes, making surgeries less invasive and more targeted.

#6: Real-Time Location Services

Using IoT in healthcare facilities to track medical equipment, staff, and patients significantly enhances operational efficiency and asset management. By embedding sensors and utilizing RFID tags, hospitals can monitor the real-time location of critical equipment. This reduces the time spent searching for it and ensures its optimal use.

Additionally, tracking systems for staff and patients enhance safety and improve workflow, allowing quicker emergency response times and more personalized care management.

Precision in resource allocation streamlines hospital operations and reduces costs associated with misplaced or underutilized equipment, fostering a more efficient and effective healthcare environment.

#7: Wearable Health Tech

The array of wearable technologies in healthcare is growing, with over 80 percent of users sharing their device-generated data with their doctors to enhance health monitoring.

These wearables — including fitness trackers, smartwatches, and specialized medical devices — collect various health metrics, such as heart rates, activity levels, and sleep patterns.

This data collection allows continuous health monitoring. It also enables doctors to track patient wellness and intervene when trends indicate potential health issues.

Users’ willingness to share their data underscores the trust in and value of these devices. They’re integral to modern preventive medicine and personalized care strategies.

#8: Data Analytics and Predictive Maintenance

Using IoT data for predictive analytics in healthcare settings revolutionizes how facilities maintain their medical devices and equipment. This technology can predict when equipment might fail or require maintenance by analyzing patterns and trends from historical data.

The proactive approach to preventive maintenance ensures medical devices operate efficiently without unexpected downtimes.

Further, it helps healthcare facilities manage their resources better while reducing the costs of emergency repairs and extending the lifecycle of critical healthcare equipment. This strategic application of IoT data boosts operational efficiency and supports a higher standard of patient care.

The future of IoT in healthcare appears bright, with emerging trends like AI integration for enhanced diagnostic precision and blockchain for secure patient data exchange.

As these technologies continue to evolve, businesses must integrate IoT solutions for personalized healthcare. They can capitalize on their potential to improve care quality, operational efficiency, and patient outcomes.

Zachary Amos - Features Editor, ReHack

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From Smart Cities to Industry 4.0, melita.io provides simple, transparent M2M and IoT connectivity solutions based on LoRaWAN wireless networks and SIM cards to enterprises, cities, and municipalities worldwide. On its way to a digital future, mel...