A decade ago, who would have thought that healthcare professionals would consult and monitor their patients without meeting them in person? Hospitals and clinics would have real-time access to their patient’s health information. Things that seemed no less than a dream are now a reality. Thanks to the advent of advanced technologies, particularly the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).
IoMT, an extension of IoT (Internet of Things), is a network of medical devices, sensors, health systems, software, and applications connected via the Internet. All these devices are linked to cloud platforms to capture and examine enormous amounts of collected data. Let’s dig deeper to know more about this technology and the benefits it renders to the healthcare industry:
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT): Growth Statistics
The Internet of Medical Things has a profound impact on the healthcare industry. From remote patient monitoring to making data-driven decisions, the technology is refining every aspect of the industry. That is why IoMT is gaining immense popularity, and the global IoMT market is booming at an unprecedented rate.
The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 29.5% during 2021-2028, reaching $187.60 billion in 2028. It was $30.79 billion in 2021. These numbers are proof that IoMT is here to stay for long. It will transform the way the healthcare sector works. So, without wasting any time, let’s glance through the key advantages of IoMT.
Advantages of the Internet of Medical Things in Healthcare
- Remote Patient Monitoring
IoMT enables healthcare professionals to monitor patients’ vitals and health conditions without meeting physically. Remote patient monitoring benefits mainly elderly patients or the ones living in remote areas. They don’t need to travel miles to reach a healthcare facility or hospital to get answers to their health-related queries or monitor their vital signs. RPM improves patient outcomes and also shrinks the per-patient cost.
According to Insider Intelligence, approximately 70.6 million patients in the United States will use remote patient monitoring tools by 2025. Another report by Markets and Markets highlights that the global RPM market is estimated to be over $175.2 billion by 2027.
- Reduced Costs
Cost reduction is one of the significant benefits of using the Internet of Medical Things in the healthcare domain. Remote consultations or monitoring reduces per-patient costs; they don’t need to visit the healthcare facility for issues that can be diagnosed and treated online. Besides, the hospital or medical facility doesn’t need to hire large teams or invest in infrastructure to manage in-hospital tasks or arrangements for patients.
- Research and Population Health Management
The Internet of Medical Things has brought a revolutionary change in the healthcare sector by generating enormous patient health and treatment data. Research experts can use this data for various purposes, including population health management. Researchers can also identify disease patterns and check the efficacy of treatment. The driven insights can help find the cure for many diseases and make data-driven healthcare strategies.
- More Accurate Diagnosis
IoMT-enabled devices continuously track, record, and send patients’ vital signs and health status to medical professionals. By capturing and analyzing the health status, health professionals can more accurately diagnose the issue and recommend the most effective treatment.
For example, to do critical surgeries, professionals monitor heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other vitals over several weeks. In the conventional approach, a patient visits the medical facility regularly to allow the doctors to check and record these vitals. IoMT-powered devices save patients from this hassle by allowing them to capture and digitally record their vitals. These devices also help healthcare experts to keep a record of the same.
- Enhanced Patient Experience
IoMT, the extension of IoT, also enhances patient experience with the healthcare system by sharing patients’ crucial health information with their doctors. By using these insights, doctors can make data-driven decisions and spot health-related issues with great precision. Patients can get the best medical treatments at the right time.
- Reduced Burden on Healthcare Facilities
Remote patient management can reduce the burden on healthcare facilities or clinics. Fewer hospital visits mean the medical facilities don’t have to set up new infrastructure or hire more professionals. An old study conducted for one year in a cardiology hospital in Pennsylvania highlights a one-third drop in hospital admissions as they used remote patient monitoring technologies.
Use Cases of Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) in the Healthcare Sector
Now that you have established the benefits of IoMT, it’s time to check some common types of IoMT devices:
- Wearable Devices
Wearable devices enable individuals to track and monitor heart-related parameters, such as heart rate, sleep pattern, vital signs, and activities. Wearables can be a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or heart-monitoring patch. These devices have top-notch IoMT systems developed by a top mobile app development company.
For example, the Apple Watch has a fall monitoring sensor, which automatically dials the emergency number if it detects a fall. Besides, it also has an ECG monitor to alert the person of heart-related issues.
- Remote Patient Monitoring Devices
RPM devices enable healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely. They can even collate real-time data on vital signs for medical adherence and disease management. For instance, if a healthcare professional wants to monitor a patient’s vitals after surgery or any other treatment, they can use remote patient monitoring devices.
A glucose monitors that automatically reminds diabetic patients to have insulin and also sends real-time data is a perfect example of an RPM device. Another example is digital blood pressure monitors that enable patients to check their blood pressure and oxygen levels while automatically sending the report to the physicians.
- Connected Medical Imaging Devices
Another significant usage of IoMT is in medical imaging devices and equipment such as CT scanners, MRI machines, etc. The technology connects these devices to facilitate seamless image sharing and improve diagnostic capabilities. Connected medical imaging equipment also saves a lot of time and effort.
- Smart Pill Dispenser
A smart pill dispenser is an incredible innovation that helps patients to manage their medication schedules effectively. These IoMT-powered devices send reminders, dispense the correct medication at the dedicated time, and alert the healthcare provider about the medicines the patient forgets to take.
- Implantable Medical Devices
These IoMT-based devices are surgically implanted within the patient’s body for various purposes, such as monitoring vitals, delivering medication, etc. Some examples of such devices include pacemakers, neurostimulators, and insulin pumps.
Challenges Associated With Implementing IoMT in the Healthcare Industry
IoMT is bestowing the healthcare sector with immense opportunities; however, many challenges come with its implementation. Let’s check them below:
- Security Challenges
The Internet of Medical Devices connects several medical devices that capture and store patients’ health information and other sensitive data, which makes it vulnerable to cyber-attacks. With more devices added to the network, the risk of data breaches will increase.
- Maintaining Interoperability
Facilitating seamless capturing, storing, and transferring of patients’ data involve different stakeholders, including vendors, payers, and network service providers. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain interoperability and transparency among all parties involved.
- Cost of Setting Up Tech Infrastructure
IoMT indeed lowers the overall healthcare costs; however, setting up tech infrastructure requires investing in technology. Making this investment can be difficult for businesses that want to make the most of the Internet of Medical Things.
The Internet of Medical Things shrinks overall healthcare costs, boosts patients’ experience, captures, stores, and transfers patients’ health information in real time, facilitates remote monitoring, and renders many other benefits. Considering these advantages, it is clear that the IoMT is here to stay for long.
To unlock the full potential of this technology and develop an IoMT-powered solution, healthcare experts should connect with skilled and experienced healthcare app development services providers. When you contact the one, define your requirements and the goals you want to achieve with that solution.