Jun 13, 2022

How is the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) Revolutionizing Healthcare?

PRIYANKA RAJAKUMAR
BUSINESS MANAGER – IOT, GROWTH UNIT

IoMT or Internet of Medical Things is a category of smart devices that provide medical assistance to users. This includes wearables that have heartbeat sensors and portable devices to monitor glucose, blood pressure, and pulse of patients which are then translated into usable form by certain applications to help patients and doctors prepare for the next step.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices have embedded sensors that share data with other devices via the internet or edge. This has changed the fate of modern products, such as connected cars, which now have several sensors incorporated into them such as GPS, camera sensors, tire pressure sensors, and so on. IoMT or IoT Healthcare refers to IoT devices used in the medical field.

What is the size of this industry?

According to Data Bridge Market Research, the market is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 23.0 percent from 2021 to 2028, reaching USD 1,84,592.31 million by 2028.

This data is a testament to the success of IoMT and the new wave of personalized healthcare systems. Patients are keen to use these devices to measure their core vitals rather than going to a hospital, which is not only expensive but also inconvenient. As a result, the advancement of the industry is inevitable and companies associated with healthcare are increasingly partnering with technology firms to develop innovative smart devices which are portable, accurate, and inexpensive.

How is IoMT transforming healthcare?

IoMT has enabled patients and healthcare firms with access to devices that are cheaper and convenient than large equipment found in hospitals or a doctor’s room. This is opening up new avenues for medical innovation to address challenges like mobility, and delivering medical assistance to remote locations with fewer resources, which are ideal requirements for both developed and developing countries. To understand the impact, let’s consider how it affects the behavior of patients as well as caregivers such as doctors and nurses.

Patients –

  • Bringing medical assistance to their home – With these low-cost devices, detecting vital signs has become easy. As an example, patients with high blood sugar and blood pressure can be proactive in detecting anomalies in their health.
  • Better assisting doctors – With these technologies, patients can be vigilant about their health. They can assist doctors by answering questions accurately, resulting in better diagnosis.
  • Avoid paying for expensive regular check-ups – Patients who possess these devices can avoid paying for expensive regular check-ups. They can use them whenever they wish and save money at hospitals.

Doctors and other medical professionals –

  • They don’t have to wait for reports – These devices have removed the time factor for doctors as hospitals have many things going around, and reports take a long time. This slows down the diagnosis process, which will not be the case if things like ECG (Electrocardiogram) and glucose levels can be measured at home and can be conveniently presented to the health professionals.
  • Better medical advice – As a result of ongoing monitoring and data collection, medical practitioners are better equipped to prescribe the right medicines. In addition, the process of trial and error in cases of generic medicines is eliminated as there is enough data to compute the right ones.

 What are the Potential Negative Ramifications of IoMT?

Among so many advantages and revolutionary effects of IoMT, it also has quite a few alarming disadvantages. For starters, it is a new avenue, which means there are new challenges coming up every day. People all over the medical industry do not fully trust it because it doesn’t have much credible history. This goes for both medical professionals and patients.

Research has shown that over 80 percent of the healthcare organizations’ IoT devices have been targeted with a cyberattack in the past year. A major issue with these devices, as highlighted in an article by Health IT Security, is that they are hackable. With sensitive data like this, the potential misuse is limitless and goes beyond the extent of one’s imagination. It might feel like a small issue but can result in disastrous consequences if groups with expertise in this area get control of the devices and the data.

Another major issue with IoMT is inaccuracy. These devices often fail accuracy tests, rendering their purpose ineffective. The ones which do provide high levels of accuracy are quite expensive for commoners, which again defeats their purpose. The cheap ones available in the market often show inconsistent readings, which even medical professionals dislike. In both developing and developed countries, medical professionals are very skeptical of these devices as the ones available in the market are not reliable, which pushes its agenda further back.

IoMT: The Future Roadmap

IoMT is the future, with new innovations happening every day. Medical engineers are working toward making devices that are more accurate, secure, and portable. This revolution has not stopped or slowed down in any way since its inception. Devices such as the one which monitors the health of women going through menopause are being made into wearables, making it easy to administer the right medication for them at the right time. Many more such ingenious devices are being researched by the healthcare industry across the world.

Despite challenges in making these devices accurate and cost-effective, manufacturers and producers are gradually winning the confidence of patients and medical professionals. Nonetheless, the future is bright with the significant advancement to healthcare brought in with this new technology.

Microland Smart Healthcare Facilities

Microland Smart Healthcare Facilities, a Microsoft co-sell ready solution available on Azure Marketplace, leverages IoT to transform hospitals, clinics, other medical facilities into safer, efficient, and sustainable assets.