Applying IoT in the Medical Industry
As the demand for quality healthcare rises, the Internet of Medical things will play a pivotal role. The Internet of Medical Things connects healthcare IT systems to an array of devices and applications through a computer network. At the foundation of this system are medical devices connected to a network that allow for machine-to-machine communication. It is essential in the medical field to work on accurate information, and IoT devices can help deliver real-time data to the fingertips of medical professionals from wherever they need to be. This can help medical professionals identify a problem before it becomes critical or identify patterns that can prevent issues altogether.
Asset Monitoring, Tracking and Control
In the medical field, a major concern is keeping track of expensive equipment and the condition of that equipment. Equipment that is moved from place to place can easily be lost in a large hospital or other medical setting. It is also important to keep this equipment maintained to avoid equipment failure. Installing IoT devices to equipment connected to an underlying network can not only help you track these expensive assets, but can also collect data regarding the physical location of your equipment, when and how it was used, when maintenance is necessary, and other necessary information along with allowing you to control these assets remotely.
The flow of data through an asset tracking system:
- Sensors, medical equipment, BLE beacons, and other connected tools collect data.
- Data is sent to an internet gateway device.
- Information is fed and organized for display through a web portal.
- Medical personnel access this information in real-time.
- If necessary, medical personnel change controls for the asset.
Benefits of IoT device-use for assets:
- Track the physical location of expensive medical equipment
- Change the settings of equipment remotely
- Access information such as operating status, possible misuse, and identifying the user of the asset and the length of time the asset was in use.
- Preventive maintenance to avoid any equipment downtime
- Track supplies through an operating room or other area
One vital role of a medical professional is monitoring a patient’s condition. This can be demanding on a medical staff when monitoring multiple patients and patients that require close attention. Rather than moving from patient to patient to evaluate medical devices and vital signs, a monitoring system can help a medical team monitor vital statistics remotely and help prevent medical issues before they become a problem. You can also track the movement of patients who should not be moving unassisted. This allows medical personnel to provide more efficient and attentive care.
Benefits of IoT device-use for patients:
- Monitor patient conditions such as heart rate and oxygen level
- Receive alerts for concerning vital statistics
- Prevent falls by tracking the movement of patients who are fall risks
- Control medical devices such as insulin pumps or medication dispensers
- Track the location of elder care patients to prevent them from wandering too far
Real life Viaanix patient monitoring solution:
A vulnerable child with a cognitive disability or an inability to convey stress signals requires constant monitoring, an issue that is compounded when attending school. Viaanix has designed a solution by developing an easy-to-use wearable device and accompanying application that sends alert signals when the child’s hands have stopped moving for a period of time. Device also sends the child’s location so that an adult can quickly find the child.
Telehealth utilizes telecommunication technologies to deliver health related services and information. This covers a wide range of applications, from something as simple as communicating and storing patient data to an issue as complicated as using networked robotics to remotely perform surgeries. Communication through a medical team of doctors, nurses, maintenance, administration, and other medical personnel can be a challenge, but better communication means more efficient and better-quality patient care. It is not only important that this information is accurate and accessible to medical personnel, but also safely stored in order to comply with health privacy guidelines.
Benefits of IoT integrated telehealth:
- Streamline communication across a medical team.
- Securely store information according to privacy guidelines.
- Monitor patients remotely.
- Gather round-the-clock patient information.
- Avoid the stress of travel by reducing the need for in-person visits.
Viaanix IoT integrated tele-health:
- Customizable wearables can monitor patient information and activity remotely.
- Allow patient or caregiver can receive medicine alerts from an app.
- Access a patient’s emergency contacts remotely.
- Create a chronic disease management system.
- Use analytical tools to provide insights to a caregiving team.
One area in the medical field where IoT can play a pivotal role is assisted living. When it comes to the elderly or other patients who need help carrying out their daily lives, the integration of IoT devices can help both the employees to provide better care and assist the patients in giving them more control over their surroundings. Monitoring the vital signs and for variations in a patient’s habits can alert their care team or family to an issue before it becomes a larger problem and help their caretakers formulate an action plan for resolving that problem.
Important assisted living statistics to monitor:
- The physical location of a patient
- Heart rate, oxygen levels, and other vital statistics
- Signs of stroke or heart attack
- The patient’s sleep patterns
- How often a patient uses the bathroom
Viaanix assisted living solution:
- Monitor the patient remotely through wearable devices.
- Develop an easy-to-use app for controlling a patient's lighting or television.
- Use analytics to send alerts for variations in a patient's activities or vital signs.
- Alert the care team to the location of a patient potentially wandering too far.
Optimize Hospital Workflows
One concern of hospital management is optimizing hospital workflows, especially in high volume areas like emergency rooms. Workflow optimization means orchestrating patterns of activity by organizing resources and processes for better efficiency and return on investment, leading to reduced costs and improved patron satisfaction. In hospitals, key components of this include secure and effective channels of communication along with collecting data to analyze for optimization. The more information you have, the easier it is to use analytics to optimize hospital workflows.
Hospital Workflow Optimization benefits:
- Reduce operating costs
- Improve patient satisfaction
- Comply with privacy guidelines
- Run a hospital more efficiently
- Get test results faster
Viaanix Applications for optimized hospital workflow:
- Track the flow of employees through high traffic areas to optimize how space is used.
- Create secure and efficient messaging channels and patient monitoring.
- Track a process’s speed or effectiveness to analyze for improvement.
- Monitor bed availability.
- Track the usage and location of items essential to a process.
Food delivery error prevention
In the medical field, one challenge includes preventing patients from encountering food that could cause adverse health effects. This could mean avoiding food they are allergic to or food that has an otherwise negative effect on their condition. One of the best ways to avoid improper food delivery is to design a system with multiple checks in place. IoT device integration makes it easier to perform these checks in a reliable manner.
Common dietary errors in healthcare:
- The patient receives food meant for another patient.
- The patient is given a tray with food they are allergic to.
- Receiving the wrong diet, such as not receiving low-sodium meal when necessary.
- A patient that should not be fed by mouth receiving a meal.