Updated: Oct 4, 2020
Technology solutions have played a vital role during the Covid-19 pandemic. IoT is one such technology that provided real-time information access and analytics to curb the spread of Covid-19. IoT enabled interconnected devices, possessing data transmission capability over defined networks, helped provide insights to healthcare authorities and workers, with no human intervention. This was a gamechanger in contact tracing.
IoT creates a neural network of sensors that provide real-time access to data. IoT offers seamless device integration to process real-time data and provide accurate insights. Thus, it has facilitated access to real-time data across departments, agencies, and hospitals, allowing them to analyze datasets and provide an accurate assessment of the situation. IoT-enabled wearable technologies have enabled identifying Covid-19 cases, thereby eliminating the spread and reducing the pandemic's impact. Given the increased demand for self-health or homecare, IoT was able to cater to increased demand and accelerated the push towards a modern healthcare system.
Again, though IoT is not new, it did improve hospital staff and patients' safety and security during Covid-19. IoT allowed sensors to track patients' real-time location and inform the medical staff accordingly. It delivered real-time access to patient information to their families in easy to understand dashboards, ensuring patients receive timely medication in their homes. It helped trigger alert mechanisms in emergencies and eased patients' home monitoring via connected blood pressure monitors, glucose monitors, and other devices, enabling doctors and nurses to track patients more closely and provide personalized care, creating new value for the healthcare industry.
IoT applications provide a greater degree of support to high-risk individuals prone to complications and potential readmissions. The analytics and alerts patients receive via data captured by sensors facilitate increased engagement, promoting overall healthy behavior.
IoT helped elderly citizens seek support proactively. The benefits are substantial as by providing early detection and faster response times; medical emergencies are avoided, thereby providing the elderly and their caregivers greater confidence. By improving patient-facing technologies and analytics, providers can identify when an individual deviates from their normal routine.
IoMT is an application of IoT for healthcare services. This is a specific technology that helps in the interconnectivity of medical devices over a common network through which valuable patient information can be exchanged for better delivery of health care services to the patients. IoMT enables applications to rely on data collected through wearable medical devices to propose health advice and solutions.
The ongoing pandemic has been a brutal reminder of how unprepared we are against infectious diseases. The positive takeaway from this situation is the powerful technologies we have like IoMT have become mainstream and can now help tackle medical challenges like remote patient monitoring, alternative care facilities, emergency recovery facilities, and home care provision. The implementation of IoMT applications has shown significant improvements in the outcomes of treatment.
The medical fraternity will definitely be relying on advances and innovations in IoMT applications to improve future pandemics management.