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Internet of Medical Things (IoMT): Transforming Healthcare with Wearables and Remote Monitoring

The Internet of Medical Things describes the application of the Internet of Things within the medical sector.

Basically, IoMT allows medical systems to connect to smart devices like medical examination instruments, hospital assets, and wearable sensors.

All of this helps in establishing information delivery within the medical field and for more accurate diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of medical conditions.

In this article, you’ll learn about the Internet of Medical Things and how it is transforming healthcare with wearables and remote monitoring. Continue reading for more information.

What is the Internet of Medical Things?

IoMT is a collection of applications and devices that help in connecting to the information technology systems used in healthcare.

This connection is with the aid of online computer networks. Basically, medical devices are equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows for communication between machines.

Here are some examples of IoMT to help you understand better:

  • Tracking of patient medication orders.
  • Utilizing remote patient monitoring for people with long-term medical conditions and chronic diseases.
  • Data collection from wearable health devices.
  • Tracking patient location in hospitals.
  • Enhancing connectivity between ambulance and healthcare professionals.

A key thing to understand is that there’s a link between cloud platforms and IoMT, which helps in storing and analyzing stored data.

Today, the practice of using IoMT devices for patient care is also known as telemedicine. With this treatment approach, patients won’t need to travel long distances to receive medical attention and care.

Difference Between IoMT and IoT

IoT describes device networks that autonomously communicate over the network. These devices use sensors to gather information and transmit it to other network parts without human assistance.

Some of the common IoT devices on the market today are smart home devices like motion detection devices smart sensors, and smart thermostats.

On the other hand, IoMT are devices applications that are actually a type of IoT. They are designed to enhance medical devices, electronic components and applications for seamless data collection from patients, and transmission to healthcare providers.

It’s worth noting that this data collection and transmission is with minimal intervention from the patient, and healthcare provider.

Influence of IoMT on Healthcare

The convenience offered by IoMT helps increase the amount of data available to healthcare providers. This is due to the diverse sources of data available and the speed of transmitting, collecting, and analyzing these data.

With these amazing features, healthcare professionals and patients can make more informed and faster decisions.

IoMT also offers the networks and devices needed for virtual care and telemedicine. The need for remote healthcare became popular during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During this period, there was a high need for a reduction in the number of patients who traveled to healthcare centers. The aim was to reduce the stress and traffic in most hospitals. With IoMT this need is now easily met today.

Telemedicine now allows people to easily access medical care, regardless of their location. It also enhances access to health specialists that are not usually available.

Benefits of IoMT

In addition to everything above, here are some of the benefits of IoMT to note:

  • Accessibility: IoMT allows patients to have easy access to health care services.
  • This also gives patients more options when it comes to how they can access health care services, and this is with the help of telehealth applications and devices.
  • Patient Monitoring Systems: Round-the-clock patient monitoring is further enhanced by IoMT, and this is vital for patients with severe or chronic health conditions.
  • Physicians also get more information from round-the-clock monitoring, which can be applied to improve patient outcomes.
  • Accuracy: The data gotten from IoMT gives medical professionals accurate insights into a patient’s conditions. For instance, a blood pressure monitor that is IoMT enabled can provide heart rate and blood pressure readings for many days, which can be used for more accurate diagnosis.
  • Cost Control: IoMT helps to minimize the costs of visiting healthcare facilities in person. It also allows for faster healthcare delivery, to further save time and money for patients and healthcare providers.
  • Enhanced Patient Experience: IoMT offers technologies that enhance patient self-service, which further reduces the number of in-person visits a patient has to make. Ultimately, this leaves patients excited as they can get medical attention without leaving their homes.

Challenges of IoMT

Despite the amazing benefits above, it’s worth noting that there are a few challenges, and they include the following:

  • Upfront Costs and Implementation: The cost of implementing IoMT technology in healthcare facilities is high, and this can slow down its full-scale implementation. Also, device compliance with currently available standards is an issue that further complicates the implementation of IoMT in these facilities.
  • Security: There is the issue of security risks and regulations, especially with protected health information like the Accountability Act and Health Insurance Portability. Basically, medical data is exposed to cyber threats, fraud, and data breaches. Credentials can be stolen to obtain drugs or medical services.
  • User Experience: Designing applications and medical devices that are easy for patients to use can be an issue. Medical devices with poor designs also affect data collection and in some cases may cause incorrect data collection.

The Future of IoMT

As mentioned earlier, the Covid-19 pandemic triggered the use of telemedicine and other similar practices and technology. However, the number of IoMT medical devices is expected to experience continued growth in the coming years.

The advances in IoT technology will also trigger the growth of IoMT as providers will integrate upgrades into IoMT networks and devices.

For instance, sensor technology is projected to enhance the provision of more advanced real-time data. Also, AI-assisted machine learning and data analytics will enhance predictive healthcare in the coming future.

Another interesting thing to note is that data generated using IoMT will further enhance research and development and create opportunities for new management and treatment approaches.

These devices show potential for reducing costs, improving data sharing, simplifying medical management, and enhancing collaboration between healthcare providers.

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