The Possibilities of IoT in Healthcare: Applications, Benefits and Challenges

Emerging Technologies

Friday, 12 April 2019

Technologies like mobile app development, IoT solutions, Artificial intelligence, VR & AR, and machine learning are continuously changing the healthcare landscape. A report from MarketResearch.com suggests that the healthcare IoT market segment is poised to hit $117billion by 2020. Besides, as per Statista, in 2020, around 161 million IoT healthcare devices are expected to be shipped worldwide for installation. So, the market for IoT healthcare solutions is huge and the growth curve is rising high.

These solutions can help control the higher costs associated with personalized healthcare amenities being offered in different markets to different demographics at different rates and are likely to improve patient satisfaction by offering high-quality treatment at reduced wait times. Let’s check out some of the IoT based applications in healthcare.

Some IoT based Solutions for Smart Healthcare

  • Wearable Apps for Gauging Patient’s Health: These apps assist in monitoring a patient’s health without the need for the patient to be in the hospital. Doctors can monitor the data remotely, and medical care and attention can be offered as required. Apple Watch, ADAMM Asthma Monitor, smart fabric, and electrocardiogram patches are some good examples of medical-grade wearables.
  • IoT-based Blockchain Applications: In healthcare, Blockchain technology can be used for protected and transparent transactions, and for safely storing medical records. Using this technology, Pharma companies can closely track their supply chain and can eliminate counterfeit drugs. According to BIS research report, the healthcare industry can save up to $100 billion per year by 2025 in data-breach related costs, IT costs, counterfeit drugs frauds, insurance frauds, and so on by using this technology.
  • Ingestible Sensors, OpenAPS(Open Artificial Pancreas System): Ingestible sensors, taken in the form of pills, relay data from the stomach to a smartphone app helping to track and maintain the regularity in taking medicines, and having an informed dialogue with your physician. Likewise, OpenAPS is yet another IoT healthcare solution attracting a number of diabetics who wish to use this open-source technology to hack their insulin delivery.

Besides these, there are many other IoT healthcare solutions like connected inhalers, smart contact lenses, smart continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pens revolutionizing the healthcare industry. In addition to direct health benefits, IoT will also be helpful in:

  • Reducing Health Costs: Technology driven setups with an end to end connectivity cut down the costs of unnecessary patient visits, transport costs and waiting times.
  • Better diagnosis: Healthcare organizations can access vital healthcare analytics and data-driven insights via IoT devices that can collect, report and analyze data in real-time, making it possible to take low-risk quick decisions.
  • Timely Intervention: Real-time tracking and monitoring permit hands-on treatments, better accuracy, and timely intervention by doctors. The alerts and remote medical assistance can be truly useful in cases of emergency.

Hence, it appears that the benefits of IoT in healthcare are huge and the future looks bright. So, if you’re in the healthcare sector and are looking for a mobile app developer who can help you in developing an IoT based app for your services, or you want to find the cost of an IoT app, it’s best to get in touch with the top app development companies and get some consultation before you move ahead. 

Despite these useful applications and associated benefits, IoT also poses some serious challenges.

IoT in Healthcare: Some Challenges

  • Data Security and Privacy concerns: Lack of data standards and protocols for data transmission via IoT devices can cause data leakage. As data is transmitted in real-time, it is highly susceptible to cyber-crimes like hacking, identity theft and so on.
  • Data Deluge: It’s a data age with the number of data sources growing by each day. By 2025, connected devices could produce over 95% of the 160 zettabytes created by the world each year. Handling all this data and getting some real insights will be a tough task.
  • Integration issues: Multitude of devices with different communication protocols further complicates the process of data aggregation and reduces the scope of scalability of IoT in healthcare.

Hence, data security and IoT device management remain a big challenge in the application of IoT in the healthcare sector.

Conclusion

To sum up, the internet of things can offer tremendous benefits to the healthcare sector but it isn’t without its set of challenges. On one hand, it leads to reduced costs, better diagnosis, timely medical assistance and so on, while on the other hand, data vulnerability and IoT device management issues are a cause of concern. So, how far can IoT really benefit the healthcare segment is still a matter of speculation. 

Author
App Development Agency

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