dafa888移动版app:How Medical IoT Is Improving Healthcare Outcomes

作者/来源:  Larry Alton / Datafloq    责任编辑: 闫文美 时间: 2018年07月06日

Healthcare IoT is a rapidly growing specialty but, as data-driven monitoring and treatment modalities advance, concerns about privacy and security have also risen. Researchers have recognized the potential of these tools to improve patient outcomes, and the FDA has stepped in to streamline the approval process and better secure patient data.

If medical IoT is going to enhance current data, patients need to feel comfortable embracing these valuable tools.

An Expanding Market

Part of what makes healthcare IoT so valuable to doctors and researchers is the wide range of monitoring devices available. Among the most commonly used are digital insulin pumps, cardiac monitors, and blood pressure sensors.

There are even smart pills now that can transmit data from inside the patient. But this is just the beginning.

Not only are developers likely to engineer newer devices in the next few years, but the degree of application is also poised to expand at a rapid rate. Researchers predict there will be more than 50 million users by 2021, which will represent a jump from just 7 million in 2016.

In order to reach that level of adoption, medical IoT needs to prove that it’s both trustworthy and effective, which is why the FDA’s approval is so essential. Following several serious device failures, the FDA recently modified the vetting process to speed up approval of low-risk products and review those that pose a greater chance of causing harm with more care.

It’s all about balancing patient benefits and urgency against the potential risks.

Improving Outcomes

Because the greatest proportion of healthcare IoT focuses on patient monitoring, rather than treatment, the approval process can be largely straightforward. The greatest barrier involves proper cybersecurity protections.

Protecting patient data from hackers, ensuring device interoperability, and establishing firmware maintenance practices at the start of a device’s lifecycle are all vital issues that, if they can be properly addressed, will ultimately enable improved healthcare outcomes by facilitating patient trust and blocking data manipulation.

One of the most valuable ways that doctors hope to use IoT devices is to monitor high-risk patients remotely so the possible need of an ER visit or hospital admission may be anticipated well in advance of a medical crisis. Patients who have chronic conditions, particularly those with poor access to outpatient care, routinely overburden emergency services with basic care needs, such as pain management and medication refills. By procuring direct data, doctors will be in a position to advise such patients whether and when additional care might be needed.

IoT can also be employed to enhance treatment compliance by supplying medication reminders, tracking symptom reduction, and identifying improvements linked to physical therapy or other interventions. Especially for patients with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and even an infection, compliance is a significant indicator of long-term outcomes, yet only about 50% of medication is taken correctly.

Even the awareness that their compliance is being tracked is likely to encourage patients to take their medications as directed. But when doctors can measure patient behaviors directly, we see optimal results … and can also determine whether the patient is capable of following medication protocols.

One of the basic facts of medicine is that we can’t know what patients do outside of the office. Some of them lie when asked about symptoms, medication, exercise, and drinking habits, or can’t recall the details accurately.

Medical IoT promises to provide doctors with the insights necessary to treat patients appropriately, monitor non-emergent symptoms, and help people attain the best possible outcomes and improve treatment for future patients with the same conditions. This is data-driven medicine’s latest frontier.

Article Author: 

Author for Datafloq

Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources, including Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com, and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.