How the Internet of Things is changing the healthcare sector
27. September 2019
The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly finding its way into our everyday lives. Whether for intelligent sensors in machines and production plants, in warehousing, in kitchen machines, in smart homes or in aviation: Connected products and transmitted data make processes more efficient and intelligent. Furthermore, the aim is to reduce energy consumption, cutting costs, automating processes or using the data to further optimize them.
Things from which only large corporations have been able to benefit from, is now becoming more and more accessible to the individual. The area of Social Innovation is precisely working on this matter: Making technologies and new business models in the areas of IoT, Big Data and Machine Learning accessible to the general public and helping to overcome social and ecological challenges.
Healthcare sector is catching up
If you compare the health sector with other sectors, such as finance or industry, it is only in the recent past that this area has begun to use and further develop IoT and machine learning for itself. However, the possibilities with which IoT can support healthcare and pharmaceuticals are extremely diverse and will establish themselves in the coming years as an integral part of the development of new therapies or completely new areas of application.
According to the large financial investment and the less sufficiently convincing results, health insurance companies and therapy facilities are discouraged. For this reason, the usage of digital media is still mostly limited to telemedicine or text medicine. However, IoT or connected devices will soon be able to contribute to doctors being able to call up and estimate all necessary vital signs from anywhere in the world. If irregularities are detected in the data, the system can independently take countermeasures, alert a doctor or call the emergency services.
IoT application areas in the healthcare sector are extremely diverse
IoT can do much more in the future. One major topic that data analysts and doctors are dealing with is the early detection of diseases. Using modern AI image recognition, processing and real-time comparison of the data in the worldwide available databases, even minimal cell changes can be detected and reported. In this way, therapeutic measures can be initiated at an early stage and the chances of cure can be increased immensely.
Another area of application in which IoT can give patients more security and independence is diabetes. Diabetics had to measure their own blood sugar levels at regular intervals and calculate the required amount of insulin, but IoT can now help monitor the data permanently. The data can be tracked and stored via Smartwatch or Smartphone and irregularities can be detected.
The third example is a smart contact lens developed by various European, American and Japanese companies. The smart lens can measure and store various parameters in the area of the eye and iris and thus detect and report changes at an early stage. For example, cataracts can be detected and treated.
Safety is the top priority
However, despite all the innovations and advantages, the safety aspect of these systems must not be neglected: All patient information and data have to be kept confidential and access to the systems by third parties must be prevented by extensive security measures. Data security is at least as important as the innovation it generates.
Co-founder & Managing Director
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