With the rising popularity of Fitbits, smartwatches and the greater Internet of Things (IoT), IoT sensor technology is starting to have a real impact on health care.
The market for medical wearables is estimated to hit $12.1 billion by 2021, according to a recent study by Markets and Markets. These wearables go far beyond fitness tracking. New devices can monitor for heart attacks, signs of stroke, and measure and control insulin levels for diabetics.
Sensors and wearables are doing their part to make people healthier, medical providers smarter and more efficient, and health care more affordable. Here are three examples of how IoT sensor technology is revolutionizing the health care industry.
1. The Kardia Heart Health Monitor
What if a smartwatch could detect a heart attack before it even happened? The team at AliveCor asked this question and came up with Kardia—a mobile app and IoT sensor that could possibly save your life.
Kardia is an EKG IoT sensor that is built into an Apple Watch strap. It monitors a patient’s heart health and keeps track of the data through a mobile app. If the app’s detection algorithm identifies a possible heart arrhythmia, it prompts the user to record an EKG.
The device is particularly useful for patients with a high risk of heart attacks, or for those who have recently undergone heart surgery. It provides peace of mind. Patients are able to monitor their heart health and get real-time feedback. Allowing the patient to perform their own EKG anytime they want without having to go to a doctor’s office or emergency room saves time and money for all parties.
2. Diabetes Management from Diabnext
The Diabnext Clipsulin device keeps track of insulin dosages and transmits the information to an app on the user’s mobile phone. This eliminates the need for the patient to manually record insulin intake throughout the day in a logbook and provides optimal diabetes management. The company’s Gluconext gadget attaches to a patient’s glucose meter and updates the app with real-time glucose levels and testing results.
Diabnext has come up with their own version of Ironman’s J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) interface that connects doctors and patients. Doctors will be able to see and monitor a diabetes patient’s glucose and insulin levels through the system and provide recommendations without requiring the patient to come into the office.
3. Securing Alzheimer’s Patients at Home
In March of this year, AT&T announced that it had partnered with Clairvoyant Networks to produce health care wearables that could greatly benefit both the elderly people suffering from cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and also their caregivers.
Theora Care is a smartwatch device that sends patient data over a secure AT&T network connection to a caregiver. The device can alert the caregiver if the patient strays outside of a designated “safe” zone and allows for two-way audio communications.
The technology was developed by caregivers who know first-hand the frustrations and fears of taking care of Alzheimer’s patients. The device provides peace of mind to the caregiver while allowing the patient to stay in their home as opposed to a nursing home or assisted living community.
The Future of IoT Sensors in Health Care
Demand for health care software, such as apps for wearable devices, continues to rise. The benefits of leveraging IoT sensors to solve healthcare problems are becoming clearer.
By giving patients more control over their own health, paired with access to superhuman knowledge about their symptoms and conditions, these devices are reducing the amount of time and money spent on expensive medical procedures and doctor’s visits. Moreover, these solutions enable doctors and medical experts to access real-time information about their patients, which helps them to be more efficient.
IoT sensor technology could very well prove to be the best medicine for making health care more affordable for everyone.
Written by Mariya Tsarova, Content Creator at iTechArt