The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is resulting in some exciting advancements in the 21st century.
Although it’s often associated with manufacturing, warehousing and smart factories of the future, the IoT isn’t constrained to these niches. It’s brought about some significant developments in the healthcare and medical sectors, too, including:
1. Reducing Emergency Room Wait Times
Few things are as dull and boring as a visit to the emergency room. Apart from the resulting medical expenses, emergency room visits can sometimes take hours to complete.
Thanks to some recent ingenuity and the IoT, at least one hospital — Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City — effectively slashed wait times for 50% of their emergency room patients who are in need of inpatient care.
It’s their partnership with GE Healthcare and new, IoT-driven software, known as AutoBed, that tracks occupancy among 1,200 units and factors in 15 different metrics to assess the needs of individual patients.
It’s a highly effective system that highlights some of the more innovative and exciting uses of the IoT.
2. Remote Health and Monitoring
In some cases, patients don’t even have to visit an emergency room or hospital. One of the most obvious and popular applications of healthcare and the IoT is in remote health monitoring — sometimes known as telehealth.
Not only does it minimize costs and eliminate the need for some visitations, but it helps improve the patient’s quality of living by sparing them the inconvenience of travel.
If a patient has limited mobility or depends on public transportation, something as simple as this can make a world of difference.
3. Ensuring the Availability and Accessibility of Critical Hardware
Modern hospitals require next-gen software and hardware to function — some are even used to save or sustain human life. Like all electronic devices, this equipment is prone to numerous risks — from power outages to system failures — that could be a matter of life or death.
A new IoT-driven solution from Philips, called e-Alert, aims to solve that problem.
Instead of waiting for a device to fail, Philips’ new system takes a proactive approach by virtually monitoring medical hardware and alerting hospital staff members if there’s a problem.
Philips recently unveiled the product through a collaborative effort with OpenMarket.