Internet of Medical Things – An Extensive Overview

Internet of Medical ThingsInternet of Things (IoT) has helped immensely to transform the healthcare industry. Today, we are witnessing the IoT integration in healthcare app development to enhance processes and operations of the healthcare sector.

With hundreds of medical and healthcare apps already on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, the some questions that comes to the mind is –

  • Why do we need the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)?
  • What does IoMT exactly bring to the table?
  • How will it change the healthcare industry?
  • What can we expect from it?

Let’s look into these questions one after the other, but first, we need to understand about the Internet of Medical Things.

What is the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)?

The Internet of Medical Things is a technology that enables machine to machine communication among healthcare devices and instruments. It can monitor and notify real-time health issues, not just to patients, but to healthcare providers too. Experts believe that it has the potential to radically transform the medical industry.

With the Internet of Medical Things technology, doctors and other medical staff will be able to collect critical health data from patients directly via the devices which are attached to the patients. They can analyze, monitor, and even store data in cloud-based applications for future records.

IoMT will bring more transparency, affordability, reliability, and accuracy to the healthcare industry. These devices range from wearables, home medical devices, healthcare applications, and point-of-care kits. It also helps in the quick and accurate diagnosis of diseases based on symptoms and data gathered from such devices.

These smart devices can also communicate with other devices and can relay data between them, which enables medical professionals to take correct decisions on time.

A few glimpse IoMT market

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) Market size is projected to reach $187.60 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 29.5% due to increasing investment by healthcare organizations for reducing medical service costs, optimizing patients’ care delivery services, and improving operational efficiency.

The COVID-19 outbreak becomes the top reason for the growth of IoMT as the healthcare sector remains an epicenter of the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

According to an Accenture survey, 62% of the users prefer to choose virtual technology- IoMT to check symptoms and for remote treatment. It has proved quite helpful during COVID-19 to test, track, and trace infections.

According to a McKinsey study, IoT deployment in the healthcare industry is growing at more unexpected rates than in any other industry. This is why IoMT is likely to have a global impact of $1.6 trillion by 2025.

What are the benefits of IoMT (Internet of Medical Things)?

Benefits of Internet of Medical Things

The range of advantages that internet of medical things trends brought for patient quality care and healthcare organizations bolstering IoMT market growth and appealing to the healthcare industry to embrace it at scale.

The benefits for patients

Deliver personalized care

IoMT devices can track the patient’s health status to a degree that even doctors during clinic visits can’t reach. The devices are powerful enough to capture the vital signs in detail such as pulse rate readings of the last month, which, in turn, helps in diagnosing the patients precisely and providing personalized healthcare plans.

Remote treatment becomes a breeze

The beauty of IoMT devices lies in capturing, recording, and sharing users’ health-related data anytime, anywhere. The information transmit helps in getting remote medical treatment or necessary suggestions from the comfort of the home or any remote place.

Medical devices and other wearables directly transfer data to the doctors so as to quickly set the next treatments and medication changes in cases where physically checking the patients is not feasible. Sometimes, in critical situations, Online direct consultation might even prevent casualties as the data collected by these devices will help doctors to quickly diagnose the problem and begin treatment accordingly.

Empower patients

Post-pandemic, people have become more health-conscious and prefer to live a healthy lifestyle. That’s where IoMT devices- wearable or smart devices help them know their health status in real-time without waiting for hospital visits or annual checkups.

Electronic Health Record (EHR)

Electronic Health Record (EHR) prodides healthcare history of the patients. Patients and their families would have access to crucial details such as past records; possible symptoms patients might develop, possible medicinal side effects, surgery dates, and recovery symptoms. Patients won’t need to visit hospitals frequently, as medical records can be shared online without any physical consultations.

The benefits for healthcare providers

Diminish healthcare cost

The medical care cost is increasing, which has made healthcare organizations embrace IoMT devices to enable remote care. Remote patient care delivery has helped organizations save billions.

Monitor patients 24/7

Chronically or severely ill patients need monitoring and care around the clock. It’s implausible even when the patient is admitted to the hospital. IoMT devices work wonderfully by allowing healthcare institutes, professionals, and providers to get more visibility into patients’ health and provide necessary treatment instantly.

Furthermore, RFID technology will help doctors and medical professionals to track the progress of a patient’s health. They would have in-hand, real-time data about the case, including methods of treatment, prescribed drugs, previous surgeries, lab reports, and consultation records. Imagine how it will improve medical procedures and processes. Discrepancies and errors would have no place in the whole process.

Optimize operations

The roles and responsibilities of the doctors and staff when segregated with no centralized control, it becomes difficult to manage everything. IoMT provides centralized control over every task assigned to every prospect in the hospital and healthcare institutes.

Even for medical staff too, IoMT helps to implement doctors’ instructions precisely as they have real-time data in their hands. Juniors not present in the hospital can be contacted immediately when an emergency arises.

Supercharging healthcare service providers with high-resolution digital imaging and robotics surgical help enable them to perform to their peak efficiency with the least errors.

Resource Management

Resource management is also crucial to ensure that everything is streamlined and organized. IoMT can help in this direction. Hospital administration would be empowered with IoMT as it would get accurately analyzed data for inventories and other resources. Also, they would be able to check the quality of drugs and other medical devices before placing an order. It would improve supply management too. The medical staff would be able to track the stock of medicines at patients’ houses and supply a new stock as and when necessary.

How rise of IoMT Devices transforming healthcare industry?

It is a good sign that the number of IoMT devices is rapidly increasing with each passing day. More and more people are using the healthcare applications such as on-demand medical diagnosis app that is helping in making the treatment process of the patient easier. As a result, the cost of sensor technology is gradually decreasing, and Near Field Communication and Radio Frequency Identification technologies can be found in all the smartphones now. These technologies can be incorporated with the IT systems to monitor and gather data.

Internet accessibility is increasing even in remote areas and all these things have contributed immensely to the growth of IoMT ecosystem.

Also, The security of available data is also crucial preventing any thirds parties to access it. With IoMT, the Internal Segmentation Firewall (ISFW) can be integrated with IoMT devices easily to strengthen the security network. ISFW performs multiple duties to secure the data hence integration of it becomes very benefitial. It can monitor and identify medical devices and prioritize situations based on emergency.

Research on the forecasted business of IoMT was conducted by Deloitte, which projected that by 2022, the market size of IoMT devices would be in excess of 158.1 billion U.S. dollars.

Us Significant IoMT Market Growth Predicted
Image courtesy:-Deloite

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IoMT helps to Monitor the Elderly people

Elderly people and senior citizens frequently get sick, and they also require more attention and treatment than young and middle-aged population. A report by the United Nations predicts that there will be approximately 2.1 billion elderly people across the world by 2050.

IoMT will help to cut down the cost of treatments in elderly people by reducing frequent visits, prompt diagnosis, and preventive care facilities.

IoMT integration is an elite addition to medical app development that enable doctors can constantly monitor the health and progress of health conditions in elderly people, which will result in excellent and effective treatments and better recovery rates. Vital body functions such as blood pressure, heartbeats, blood sugar, sleep patterns, and past medical history would help to prevent diseases by diagnosing potential diseases in advance.

In addition to that, there is a tendency among older people to forget medicines and precautions and scheduled health checkups. IoMT will efficiently remind them about the medicines. Elderly HealthCare with Internet of Medical Things will also be effective in reminding and getting some simple tests such as blood sugar tests, blood pressure checkups, heartbeats, and other tests conducted timely. It won’t be an exaggeration if we say that IoMT is bliss for elderly people.

What are the challenges of IoT based medical healthcare system?

Challenges of Internet of Medical Things

Legal challenges

IoMT devices are generating petabytes of data that are very useful in gaining rich insights out of the data when properly organized and analyzed. The unclear picture of the owner of the data allows all the stakeholders involved in the remote care journey to share or reshare the data online. In the distributed network, when the real owner wants to destroy the data, they cannot remove it entirely because multiple copies of the data are generated and shared.

Technical issues

IoMT data shared through distributed networks follows distributed infrastructure that involves secure interaction between software and devices. However, the security standards and protocols created for integrations are evolving continuously emerges compatibility issues. Making legacy systems keep up with the latest technologies and standards is difficult.

More research

There are so many healthcare app ideas that can help start-ups grow and improve their ROI. Integrating IoMT helps in innovating healthcare apps that in turn, helps in serving patients in a better way. However, IoMT is in its earlier stages where more theories are involved than practical examinations to identify the possibilities lying there. Investors, researchers, and medical professionals need to put more efforts in research and analysis to check the advanced operation models and efficiency of IoMT in-depth.

Open Data Accessibility among Players

When it comes to developing effective interoperability, open data access among players is needed. Open data platforms would give more access to data to different stakeholders to work on it to develop processes and operations. For instance, diet and nutrition tracking app when enhanced with IoMT, the developers need to consider open data platforms.

Cyber Security

The role of IoMT technology in the healthcare industry is huge and so does the risks. Interconnected devices and instruments make data security more vulnerable. A data breach is a threat that needs to be addressed efficiently.

Regulatory change

Regulatory compliance such as HIPAA is imperative in the healthcare industry. Managing those regulatory changes is a challenge for IoMT as well as for the development of medical devices. Understand and follow a guide to build a HIPAA-compliant app as it will help entrepreneurs and developers to avoid glitches and data leak points that are multiplied with IoMT development.

Acquiring and managing the trust

People are becoming more aware and particular about the data they share with companies. Companies need to explain to patients, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders about data usage and security measures. Convincing them to share data with other entities would be a big challenge for companies. When doctor appointment booking apps are developed, patients rest assure for health-related data, which is safe with the app and not shared with anyone during care delivery.

How are healthcare providers leveraging IoMT?

IoMT majorly positively impacts consumers and healthcare providers such as Doctors, clinicians, laboratories, healthcare institutes, healthcare practitioners, and hospital management. The enormous benefits have spread IoMT usage across the world especially North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East/Africa regions. Considering the facts and figures, IoMT devices development usage shows no sign to get slowing down.

According to research, around fifty thousand types of IoMT devices are available in the market that are inching patients and healthcare service providers closer to new options for treatment and better medical care delivery.

The blend of healthcare IoT technology and IoMT devices enables providers to easily, quickly, and precisely diagnose patients with high risk without physical visits. Besides, it has mitigated service costs and improved accessibility to reach patients.

How IoMT deployment impacting the healthcare industry in different ways?

IoMT transforming the medical industry, but still, it’s not able to touch every aspect of the healthcare space. This is why we will discuss how IoMT deployment influences the healthcare industry in distinct ways.

In-home IoMT

In-home IoMT allows patients to share medical data with care givers from the comfort of their home which minimizes the need to visit a hospital. For instance, a remote patient monitoring program involves medical devices that transfer blood pressure or oxygen saturation-related information to the physicians. The earlier monitoring and treatment of any disease or healthcare problem reduce the chances of admitting or readmitting to the hospital.

On-body IoMT

On-body IoMT includes wearable medical devices that are worn on the human body and connected to the remote system for distance monitoring in real-time. Without affecting the daily routine, the wearable is a great help in tracking and sharing health metrics with physicians. The data from sensors help in providing quick and accurate treatment. Patients can track their health-related condition and take necessary precautions.

Community IoMT

When an IoMT device is made to use by the community of a particular location, its results are tracked and the improvement to make is revealed. For example, mobility sensors are designed for community patients to track their vital signs while in transit in a vehicle. Kiosk distributes medicines to patients in remote area, and help suppliers in transporting medical equipment. IoMT devices help in monitoring temperature and pressure to ensure quality is maintained.

In-hospital IoMT

Hospitals need to keep tabs on the journey of patients from admission to exit. In the same vein, managing medical assets’ quality and supply are all-important. IoMT devices enable hospitals to get a holistic view of the interactions and assets seamlessly.

What is the future of IoMT?

IoMT has upended the healthcare industry with continuous upgrades. The technology is now widely adopted by different stakeholders such as doctors, professionals, and patients globally. Besides, some key challenges need to be addressed to use IoMT technology more efficiently. Proper use of the IoMT technology can bring a new dawn in the healthcare sector where diagnosis, treatments, processes, and operations are quick, efficient, and streamlined. Stay tuned to us to know the miracles that IoMT will create in the healthcare industry in the years to come.

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