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How IoT Turns Healthcare Challenges into Possibilities
IoT is transforming the healthcare industry by reimagining the space of devices and people interaction in delivering healthcare solutions
Fremont, CA: The healthcare industry embraces innovative technologies that optimize operations to support medical professionals, besides technologies that improve patient outcomes and help save lives. According to recent market forecasts, global demand for the Internet of Things (IoT) in the healthcare market will touch $534.3 billion by 2025. This projected growth emphasizes the crucial role IoT devices will continue to play in the healthcare sector, as they are used for a wide variety of applications, such as patient monitoring, operations management, and beyond.
While IoT devices have immense potential for the healthcare industry, there are some downsides that hamper their feasibility for adoption at scale. The majority of these connected solutions are battery-powered, requiring maintenance time to change the batteries frequently. The time and effort to change all these batteries add more stress to hospital employees, and the cost of buying new batteries also adds up fast. Hospitals are also monitoring sustainability practices, so the environmental concern of battery waste is also escalating.
Over the last few years, a few groundbreaking technologies have emerged to solve the issues associated with batteries in IoT devices, unveiling new possibilities for the IoT in healthcare.
Using Wearables for Contact Tracing
Exposure notification systems are being rolled out around the world to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These systems use Bluetooth to exchange anonymous identifiers with other smartphones that are less than six feet away. While smartphones are useful for the general public to stay informed about their potential exposure to the virus, medical facilities will require purpose-built devices for their own exposure notification systems. These devices will be small in size, such as wrist bands or beacons that are comfortable for all-day wear, easy to use, and cost-efficient to roll out. These wearables can also be used to collect other types of valuable information, such as a person's temperature, to help monitor for potential symptoms.
Tracking hospital assets such as medical equipment and computers can be a tedious task. By equipping machines with small tag-like beacons or sensors, hospitals can easily track thousands of assets at a time and ensure that every location has the necessary equipment.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Beyond exposure notification, wearables are also used for other types of noncritical patient monitoring. Wearable tags, wrist bands, badges, and rings allow nurses and doctors to keep tabs on a patient's vitals without having to check on them frequently. These devices provide insights on a variety of biometrics data, including blood pressure and heart rate. Battery-free wearables and forever battery life devices help healthcare professionals spend their precious time on the patients who need the most attention while still providing care to patients in less critical conditions.