Building the floorplan for Connected Health

According to the latest research, the industry of medical IoT is estimated to grow to $188 billion by 2028. This growth is driven by an increased push toward Connected Health. By uniting new health tech devices, enabled systems, advanced software, and patient digital devices, the future of connected health could improve conditions, optimize care, and save lives.

Engaging IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technical term for any network of sensors and small computing devices that exchange and share information to improve the operations of real-world systems. These devices are helping to connect the disparate parts of the greater patient experience, capturing invaluable data. These smart IoT tags are also being used to complete blockchain programs, tracking and transmitting information throughout the process, from a patient’s bed location to the measurement of medication to implantation of pacemakers.

Across the healthcare industry, IoT is forecast to grow  to $188 billion by 2028. The growth is for a good reason: Connected medical devices, combined with the right software, can improve conditions and delivery, optimize care and devices, and save lives. As the healthcare grows into its IoT opportunity, practitioners must rethink what advantages and insights can be gleaned from engaging IoT throughout the process. By adopting new tech-capable devices today, what advantages can be gained in the future, and health issues prevented?

Digital divergence
Some IoT solutions are eye-catching, such as digital monitors with sensors that alert a health network when they encounter the patient’s stomach chemistry. Also promising are apps that use the Apple Watch to track the progression of Parkinson’s symptoms.  Even digital drug companions that can indicate when a patient is most likely to stop medication therapy and push a proactive intervention to course-correct and maintain adherence. There are even connected AED that can resuscitate patients back to life before they’re even aware of a risk.<

By using IoT, connected AEDs continuously assess battery and paddle health and transmit a patient’s data to first responders and medical professionals for remote monitoring in real time. And platforms like Medisafe can indicate if a patient is prescribed a medication that can cause complications with other medications, alert the prescribing physician, and instruct the patient what not to take to prevent risks. These connected health models are making patient health a possibility in more public settings, and ensure its maintenance and avoid tragedy.

Better diabetes management
Traditionally, diabetic patients have used fingertip pricks to test their blood glucose levels. This method does not continuously monitor levels, and the inconvenience of these tests leads some patients to check less frequently than they should. But new continuous glucose monitoring combines a wearable sensor and smartphone app to track blood glucose levels 24/7. CGM systems can issue predictive alerts before glucose spikes or dips.

Through the adoption of IoT and connected health, more advanced glucose monitoring can tell patients when and what to eat, times to exercise, and incorporate more lifestyle behaviors to help assist with insulin levels. These smart devices are taking real-time data to learn how much insulin to administer and at what time, based on the individual performance of a patient.

Sleep without disruption
Approximately 25 million adults in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night. IoT has the potential to transform apnea treatment by allowing doctors to access patient information in real time and develop more accurate treatment programs.

Millions of Americans already wear CPAP devices at night to push air into their lungs at just enough pressure to prevent the collapse of your airway. The emergence of Internet-connected CPAP devices will allow patients to upload sleep data daily to a cloud-based management system, providing secure, real-time analysis of treatment progress. Physicians and patients will be able to treat sleep disorders as they occur and act when necessary.

The benefits of connected health are clear: better outcomes, more efficient care delivery, and happier patients and care professionals. If the industry stays on top of the growth pains around data management, the future of healthcare is one that is more personalized, more responsive, and more connected than ever before.

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