IoMT: The Future of Healthcare Delivery
April 29, 2021 • Daren McCormick (PointClear Solutions)
4 Min Read
We’ve become conditioned by the “Amazon Experience” and other industries that allow us, as consumers, to feel empowered with no shortage of available options to address our unique needs. These types of experiences have become much more of a “must-have” than a “nice-to-have,” greatly influencing how we make our decisions.
When it comes to our most valuable asset, our health, we want to experience a similar level of convenient and personalized care. As both patients and consumers, we now expect the same level of healthcare experience that we receive from other industries. Until recently however, this extent of personalized and digital care hasn’t been available to us. Fortunately, the gap is closing and we’ll all benefit as this continues to develop.
Want to see a few examples?
The Stage is Set.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly transforming how we do business and live our lives. Smart Homes are becoming more common with security systems, thermostats, and lights all controlled from a smart phone. Doorbell cameras allow users to see, hear and speak to visitors at their door via a computer, tablet or mobile phone. IoT is beginning to take over more and more areas of everyday life, at work and at home, providing more and more personal conveniences and personalized experiences. Can similar solutions be utilized to provide a better experience in medicine and healthcare? The answer is yes – enter the IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) or the Healthcare Internet of Things (Health IoT).
What is IoMT?
The healthcare industry is being revolutionized by technological advancements specifically, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). IoMT is the connected infrastructure of devices, software, hardware and services to process and analyze data for decision making by both patients and healthcare professionals.
The pervasiveness of medical wearables such as activity trackers and other devices that monitor various health measures are prime examples. Data collected from these devices can be valuable to diagnose and treat patients, and to create individualized connected care plans.
IoMT is the new frontier with remote health monitoring (RPM) capabilities driving a shift from in-person, onsite care to more convenient virtual care at home or just about anywhere. Traditional healthcare is experiencing a paradigm shift as digital transformation puts technologically advanced and connected products in the hands of patients and clinicians. This delivers the promise of helping medical professionals better serve patient health while expanding available options for care.
Practical Uses of IoMT.
The application of IoMT can already be found in many places. For example, bed sensors in hospitals can help prevent bed sores. Telehealth offers convenient access to care across specialties, from general health concerns to disease management to mental health. Devices mounted on the wall above the bed remotely monitor the patient’s vital signs in a touchless manner. Smart homes include remote medical monitoring capabilities for the elderly and disabled. Individuals wear devices with sensors that measure glucose levels, blood pressure, physical activity and more.
Future applications may include smart bracelets to replace the traditional bracelets when being admitted to the hospital to include your identification, location in the hospital and monitor vital signs. Smart pills may be ingested that send critical information back to your clinician for diagnosis without the need for more invasive procedures. Contact lenses may be able to collect health information or treat specific eye conditions.
Investments in just one component of IoMT, telehealth, are reported to be double what they were just last year at this time with $4.2 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone, according to CB Insights1. Simply stated, IoMT is the future of healthcare, a very promising future. Years from now we will be connected in ways that are difficult to imagine today. The applications, especially when combined with artificial intelligence and automation, will improve decision-making, efficiency, convenience and wellness, among so many other things.
Eventually, virtual care and IoMT devices will become tools for both clinicians and patients alike that become as familiar as thermometers and stethoscopes are today. The integration of these technologies will enable creative thinking, connected care and innovative solutions across healthcare, enhancing the experience for patients, caregivers and providers.