IoT In Healthcare: Benefits, Use-Cases And Challenges

Published On: October 16, 2018
Last Updated: June 30, 2023
IoT In Healthcare: Benefits, Use-Cases And Challenges

The healthcare industry has witnessed a remarkable transformation as it has started adopting the latest technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, and more. Nowadays, companies are actively involved in developing wearables and IoT apps to revolutionize the healthcare industry.

Among these technologies, IoT offers immense benefits and modifies the way doctors, hospitals, and healthcare insurance companies operate. It allows them to provide personalized care to patients.

According to Global Market Insights, the mHealth market size was about $111.5 billion in 2022. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% through 2030.

Considering the above statistics, if you plan to integrate IoT into healthcare apps or develop dedicated IoT applications and wonder how IoT can be useful to the healthcare industry, you have reached the right place.

In this blog, we will explore the advantages and various use cases of IoT in healthcare and know how this technology can shape the future of the industry and improve patient outcomes.

Let’s get started.

Benefits of IoT in Healthcare

Here are some of the benefits of IoT for the healthcare sector listed below:

Simultaneous Reporting and Monitoring

Real-time monitoring of patients with the help of connected devices can solve various severe issues in an emergency, such as heart attacks, asthma, etc.

Using real-time monitoring of any disease or illness of patients is possible through a smart medical device linked to a medical app on smartphones. Here, connected devices can fetch relevant patient information and send it to the doctor via the Internet.

In short, IoT devices gather and transfer health data, including blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, oxygen, etc.

Here, all the IoT healthcare devices are interconnected, which means they can be programmed to provide instant help when needed. It is super helpful in emergency situations where every second matters.

Data Collection and Analysis

A large pool of data that healthcare devices send within a few seconds to the real-time app is difficult to store & manage if access to the cloud is unavailable.

Moreover, healthcare providers face difficulty in obtaining & analyzing data from different devices and sources.

However, when everything is connected with the IoT device, it becomes efficient for a doctor to gather, report, and analyze the data continuously as they don’t have to store the raw data.

All the things happen in the cloud, and doctors or healthcare service providers only get the final reports along with charts.

This helps doctors or healthcare service providers enhance their decision-making process and make fewer mistakes.

Better Connectivity and Economical

The Internet of Things in healthcare is responsible for the continuous exchange of information, better communication between different machines, and much more.

By using different connectivity protocols such as Bluetooth, Wifi, Zigbee, etc., a healthcare expert can easily detect various diseases in patients with ease and discover new and effective treatment methods.

Moreover, IoT reduces the cost of care by improving patient outcomes and reducing unusual doctor visits. It also helps in remote monitoring of patients with chronic conditions that lead to reduced hospital readmissions.

Also, using smart pills and wearable sensors that help improve medication & prevent side effects.

Want to Develop Your IoT-Powered Healthcare App?

Our experts help you to develop an app that enables remote patient monitoring,
real-time data analytics, and personalized healthcare solutions.

Assisting the Elderly

IoT technology provides considerable support to elderly individuals, especially to those living independently or in supported living facilities.

With the help of smart IoT devices & wearables, it enables continuous monitoring of vital signs, activity levels, and environmental factors for elderly individuals.

These devices detect falls or emergencies & send immediate alerts to caregivers while reducing the risk of hospitalization or other health complications.

For example, Apple has integrated a fall detection system in its Apple watches to detect if the user falls.

IoT healthcare solutions promote independent living, enhance safety, and provide peace of mind to older people and their caregivers.

Real-time Tracking & Alerts

IoT devices enable real-time tracking and monitoring of the location and status of medical assets, patients, and staff in real-time. It efficiently manages and locates medical equipment, supplies, and medications. This ensures their proper utilization and reduces theft or loss.

Furthermore, IoT devices can be integrated into patient identification bands or wearable devices. It allows healthcare providers to monitor the location and movement of patients within a facility, improving efficiency and response times during emergencies.

Check-up on the Go

IoT-based medical devices and wearables empower individuals to monitor their health anytime and anywhere.

From smartwatches that track heart rate and physical activity to connected glucometers for blood sugar monitoring, IoT enables users to perform quick check-ups and share vital data with healthcare professionals remotely.

This promotes preventive care, early detection of health issues, and facilitates timely interventions.

Improved Operational Efficiency

IoT solutions automate various healthcare processes, reducing manual efforts and streamlining operations.

For example, connected devices can automatically update patient records, track inventory levels, and optimize resource allocation.

This automation reduces errors, enhances productivity & allows healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care.

Create an IoT-Enabled App for Better Patient Care!

Improve patient monitoring, streamline data collection, and enhance
medical diagnoses by building your IoT-based Healthcare App.

Personalized and Remote Care

IoT devices enable personalized and remote care that extends healthcare services beyond traditional healthcare settings.

Here, patients can receive real-time monitoring, medication reminders and access to virtual consultations, which empowers them to participate actively in their own care management.

This leads to improved patient engagement, convenience, and better adherence to treatment plans.

We have discussed the benefits of IoT in healthcare. Now, let’s move towards the use cases of IoT in this sector.

Use-Cases of IoT in Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, IoT is being used to provide seamless experience to patients by monitoring them to virtually assist them. Due to this, various leading tech giants like Google, Tencent, etc are investing in the IoT healthcare industry.

So let’s look at the use cases of IoT healthcare.

Remote Patient Monitoring

At the time of emergency, patients can instantly contact a doctor that lives miles away using the mobile apps.

By integrating various mobile app development solutions in healthcare, doctors can check patients and identify diseases simultaneously.

For example, the blood pressure and temperature wearable is a small smart device that can be worn on the wrist that will help to monitor the heartbeat, blood pressure, and body temperature of the patient.

The high and the low indicators can be set at particular levels, when reached, will send out an alert to the app in the smartphone of the patient or caregiver, so that the patient can get the required medical attention right away.

Moreover, various healthcare delivery providers plan to develop machines that deliver drugs as per the prescription and disease.

Data about these patients is gathered by linking various devices with each other.

Monitoring Staff, Patients, and Inventory

Security is the most critical issue that is faced by the majority of hospitals across the globe. To handle security in the best possible manner, one has to monitor a lot of things in the hospital, such as staff members, patients, hardware, doctors, and much more.

Monitoring Staff, Patients, and Inventory

This work can be handled with ease in the case of smaller institutions; however, it is challenging to look after different things in large hospitals that possess different buildings along with a lot of patients and staff members.

Many reputed hospitals around the globe are opting for IoT and real-time GPS services to improve the monitoring process. IoT is a powerful, efficient, and affordable method of tracking regular activities at hospitals.

Also Read: An Ultimate Guide to Hospital Apps

Improved Drug Management

IoT has released several devices that alert patients about medications that they require to take regularly. The data collected by these devices can track medication and identify potential issues.

This enhances the timely delivery of drugs, especially to older people suffering from blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc. Hence, IoT healthcare devices enrich the healthcare experiences of patients.

Furthermore, it can be used to monitor the storage & transport of medications, ensuring the proper temperature and protection from damage. IoT has the potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

Reducing Waiting Time

IoT can help reduce waiting time and improve patient satisfaction scores. It enables patient check-in, which speeds up the registration process.

Also, IoT-connected devices can be used to track the location of patients and staff in real time, which can help optimize patient flow through the facility.

By utilizing healthcare resources better, IoT helps you improve the patient experience and increase satisfaction scores.

Ready to Transform Healthcare by Building an IoT App?

Empower healthcare professionals and patients by crating an IoT-based
app and be at the forefront of the healthcare revolution!

Keeping Track of Hardware Maintenance

IoT technology can be used to monitor the condition and maintenance needs of medical equipment and devices.

For example, a hospital has hundreds of medical equipment, and it is challenging for staff to manage the different parameters of each piece of equipment.

Healthcare providers can track parameters such as usage, performance, and maintenance schedules in real time by integrating IoT sensors and connectivity into this equipment.

This allows for proactive maintenance and timely repairs, reducing downtime and ensuring that equipment functions optimally, thereby supporting efficient healthcare service delivery.

In a hospital, even a short downtime can have serious consequences, so technology like this can save lives.

Identification of Chronic Diseases

IoT devices and wearables can play a significant role in the early identification and management of chronic diseases.

For instance, continuous tracking of physiological parameters, such as blood glucose levels or blood pressure, can help detect patterns that indicate the presence or progression of chronic conditions.

Here, the patient needs to enter their symptoms. Based on this, devices analyze the collected data to provide insights and alerts to both patients and healthcare providers. It allows us to make personalized care plans early.

Healthcare app development for wearables and mobile apps has made people more health-conscious and aware of their medical conditions.

Also Read: Innovative Healthcare App Ideas for Startups

Examples of IoT in Healthcare

Healthcare IoT devices are examples of technical expertise which offer several benefits. So let’s look at a few examples:

Hearables

Hearables are IoT devices that combine the functionality of wearable technology with audio capabilities. These devices can be worn in or around the ear and offer smooth interaction for people with hearing loss.

Hearables are synced with smartphones via bluetooth, allowing the person to control sound with an equalizer, filter, and other features.

Hearables

For example, IoT-enabled hearables can monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation levels. They can also provide features like noise cancellation or real-time language translation.

Moodables

Stress can cause mental disorders or neurovascular problems. Patients need moodable to uplift their moods. It is an IoT device designed to track and improve mental well-being.

These head-mounted smart devices can be worn throughout the day to enhance the mood. The moddable sends out low-intensity pulses to the brain that helps to elevate the mood of the wearer.

Moodables

Moodable devices can be a boon for people who depend on antidepressants as it helps them to relax. This device can be worn throughout the day and will not have the usual side effects that come with antidepressant drugs.

Insulin Pens

IoT-enabled insulin pens are designed to help individuals with diabetes manage their insulin injections.

As reported by Research & Markets, the global market for smart insulin pens could reach USD 123 million by 2023. This increase is due to the rising number of diabetic patients and the cost-effectiveness of insulin pens.

These pens can capture data, such as the time and dose of insulin administered, and transmit it to a connected app or platform. It allows them to measure their insulin dose and share data with healthcare providers for better management of diabetes.

Smart Thermometers

By using IoT technology, smart thermometers measure the body temperature accurately and can be used to detect early signs of illness. These thermometers often come with mobile apps that record temperature readings and transmit data to connected devices. It provides insights to caregivers too.

It can also be connected to other IoT devices, such as blood pressure monitors and heart rate monitors. Usually, it is useful for monitoring fevers in children or tracking temperature changes in individuals with chronic conditions.

This allows for a complete view of a patient’s health which helps to identify potential problems sooner.

Smart Pills

Smart pills, digital pills or ingestible sensors contain embedded sensors that monitor the patient’s body functions and alert healthcare providers if any irregularity happens.

These tiny pills can be swallowed and travel through the digestive system. It transmits the data to a receiver worn outside about the body’s condition.

These sensors monitor drug absorption rates, detecting early signs of cancer and providing insights into patients’ medication usage patterns. It also sends an alert at the proper time if a patient has not taken their medication.

Healthcare providers can develop a healthcare app that seamlessly integrates smart pill technology. The data collected by smart pills can be accessed and analyzed by healthcare providers for effective treatment.

Healthcare Charting

IoT digitizes the traditional paper-based charting process. It can be used in IoT devices, such as tablets or mobile devices, to capture patient data directly at the point of care.

This healthcare charting consists of medical history, demographics, diagnosis, medications, treatment plans, allergies, tests and the results.

This eliminates the need for manual data entry, reduces errors, and enables real-time access to patient information, which assists in more efficient and accurate healthcare documentation.

Harness the Power of IoT with an App in Healthcare

Develop an app that facilitates seamless communication between healthcare
providers, and empowers patients with better healthcare management.

Computer Vision Technology

Computer vision technology uses cameras and image analysis algorithms to detect and diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer.

It can monitor patients’ vital signs, track their progress, and use facial recognition to identify patients.

Moreover, it can also be used to create 3D models of organs to help in surgical planning or to provide guidance during procedures in the operating room.

This technology is used by Zebra Medical company to improve accuracy, efficiency and automation in different healthcare processes.

Challenges of IoT in Healthcare

Although various benefits come with the use of IoT enabled devices, there are various challenges as well that come with new technology.

Varied standards and protocols

A whole lot of healthcare devices that are used in the healthcare system now are IoT enabled. Multiple devices are integrated to monitor a single patient at times. The variance in the standard and protocols of the various devices makes it difficult to integrate and interpret it.

Security and Privacy

We know that the data between a doctor and a patient is bound by doctor-patient confidentiality. The easy availability and access of the data can compromise the security of personal health information of both the patient and the doctor.

There is a possibility of cybercriminals misusing this data to create fake IDs to get access to drugs that can be later used for selling or using data to file fraudulent health insurance claims.

Data overload

Various devices are used with technology, but not all of which may have the same communication protocols and standards. This can lead to a tremendous amount of data to be aggregated, all of which may not be effective in interpreting sensibly.

Conclusion

We hope you have understood all the essential things related to IoT in Healthcare. Also, the healthcare industry is reaching new heights due to the adoption of IoT by leading hospitals across the globe.

So if you want to come forward and integrate IoT or develop an IoT healthcare app, you can contact us. We will provide you with a free quote by analyzing your project requirements.

Guru TechnoLabs is a well-known healthcare app development company with years of experience creating healthcare apps for clients across the globe. Our team of experts can deliver you with the best IoT healthcare solution.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.