How connected medical devices and integrated mobile applications address healthcare's biggest challenges

June 19, 2017 OpenSystems Media

Because of the rapid population growth and increased lifestyle diseases, remote patient monitoring and health control have become some of the top emerging technologies for healthcare shareholders globally. As per the latest research on Internet of Things (IoT), healthcare IoT spending will grow to approximately $1 trillion per year by 2025. There will be 25 to 50 billion connected devices by 2025, and healthcare will make up a large portion of those devices.

Connected medical devices and integrated mobile applications aid in personal care and home-based diagnosis solutions, where systems have compound features, from data capture to storage to analysis to visualization. They can reduce spending on medical treatments and hospital stays by allowing the remote monitoring of patient’s health parameters, enabling doctors to diagnose patients through an integrated mobile application and provide a prescription if needed.

Real-time remote monitoring and consultation

In a real-time remote monitoring set up, connected devices collect medical and other health data and use a Wi-Fi, zigbee, or cellular network to either transfer that data to a doctor or store it in the cloud where it may be accessible to doctors, care providers, patients, and consultants.

Connected devices collect and transfer health data like vital signs, blood pressure, sugar levels, oxygen levels, weight, electrocardiograms, etc. Sometimes in the case of emergency, a patient needs initial consultation immediately. With the help of smart mobile apps, it is possible to connect with a doctor who is miles away for their expert care and the doctor can consult with a patient on-the-go when needed.

End-to-end connectivity for complete visibility and cost optimization

In a traditional healthcare set up, almost everything is manual and human-dependent, from appointments to care delivery. The use of IoT technology helps automate the entire patient care workflow. Device to device communication, information, and data transfer makes care-delivery more impactful with the use of connectivity protocols like BLE, Wi-Fi, zigbee, Z-wave and more.

A connected hospital set up automates the flow to the bar, and thus with connectivity comes complete visibility over operations. It also brings down the cost by reducing unnecessary visits, better-utilizing resources, and improving allocation and planning.

Data collection and analysis

Real-time health data collection can be a mind-numbing task if there is no connectivity. One must transfer that data to other devices and analyze it manually. In the case of a connected arrangement, devices collect vital signs and other medical metrics on a real-time basis and transfer the same. With cloud deployment, concerns can acquire these data from any devices and connected smart applications. The smart application also performs analysis and gives insightful inputs.

Continuous data collection and analysis improves disease management with access to real-time data analysis and enhances overall patient’s outcome. Healthcare analytics can provide excellent details to inform decision making with minimal error compared to a human-centric approach.

Use case

Envision a commercial establishment – a restaurant chain, hotel chain, college, university, or large day care center – that must accommodate food allergies and the possible onset of anaphylaxis. A portable medical unit could be placed on the premises so that when an anaphylactic event happens in one of these locations, any available person would open the unit, whereby the unit would automatically link to a network physician who would be connected via audio to that location. The physician would then listen to a description of symptoms, talk to the patient if possible, make a diagnosis, and prescribe a medicine. With this portable device, there would be another dispensing machine that will contain medicines for common allergies. Based on the doctor’s prescription, a command would be sent to dispensing device and it would dispense the appropriate medicine to the patient.

A similar solution was created in a recent case study at VOLANSYS, where a healthcare client developed a compact and battery operated respiratory attack monitoring and management device that provides various information of the patient to the physician over a mobile application that can communicate with respiratory detection device.

Purva Shah is a Marketing Executive, at VOLANSYS TECHNOLOGIES.

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