According to Forbes researchers, IoT is one of the most important technologies transforming healthcare. Statista predicts significant growth in revenue for the IoT industry: from $74 billion in 2022 to $135 billion in 2025. IoT devices and related applications have made telemedicine and remote patient monitoring possible. Let’s take a look at five medical IoT projects popular in 2022.
IoT assistant for hospital staff
A European healthcare software development company implemented an application for Emfit ferroelectric sensors. A Finnish company makes health and sleep monitoring devices that hospitals and nursing homes use to care for patients remotely.
The software solution is based on IoT and ballistocardiography. A connected sensor installed under a mattress monitors a person’s heartbeat, breathing, or body movements. Heartbeat, blood flow, convulsions, and other movements are converted by the sensor into an electrical potential, which is recorded on an electrocardiograph or other equipment. The collected data on health and sleep quality is processed and stored in a special application.
The platform analyzes health and sleep statistics from 12,000 patients simultaneously. If one of the patients falls ill, the system warns the medical staff. Thus, patients receive proper attention even at night when they are sleeping and cannot call for help. The tool allows doctors to assess the level of recovery of the heart muscle for athletes, the elderly, or people with chronic heart disease and help patients promptly (for example, when an epileptic seizure occurs). Companies that use the application together with Emfit IoT devices note that in 89% of cases, customers are satisfied with the level of service.
Connected dialysis treatment with itACiH
The Swedish company itACiH uses IoT for regular “home” care of patients with kidney disease and other chronic conditions. Patients receive a tablet, scales, and a tonometer. They regularly weigh themselves and measure their blood pressure, and the data is automatically transferred to the tablet and a computer in the clinic. So, doctors and nurses monitor the condition of a patient in real time, even when they are at home.
Through the itACiH application, a person communicates with a doctor in a chat, sharing medical images and photographs if necessary. If you need an urgent consultation, you can contact a specialist via video call. The platform also reminds you when you need to take a certain medicine.
The itACiH IoT platform was of particular value in 2020 when patients with chronic diseases were at risk due to coronavirus. Thanks to the software solution, they continued remote safe treatment without sacrificing efficiency. According to the company, more than 1.8 million data items were recorded in patients’ homes and shared with clinics.
Monitoring hand hygiene in hospitals with IoT
Mandatory handwashing for medical personnel was introduced in the 19th century, and since then, hospitals have taken care of cleanliness and sterility. The issue of hygiene became topical in 2020 when it was one of the measures to combat COVID-19. For doctors who were in constant contact with the infected, sanitary standards became even stricter.
Biovigil’s IoT sensors and software emerged as a response to this problem. The US company created an electronic solution that reminds medical staff to sanitize their hands.
The device is an electronic badge attached to a physician’s gown. A reminder will turn the badge yellow. If an employee did not wash their hands, the pager signals red. When the doctor disinfects their hands on time, the device lights up in green, and data on successful processing is uploaded to a special application. Thus, a “hygienic” card is created for each employee, and the clinic administration monitors compliance with sanitary standards.
According to the Healio website, regular hand washing reduces the risk of healthcare-associated infections by 61.4%.
SMAG IoT baby monitor
According to the CDC, each year, more than 3,000 American babies die from sudden infant death syndrome. The SMAG IoT project, which is still under development, aims to monitor the state of a baby during sleep. The product is a video surveillance system and IoT sensors that respond to the child’s movement and breathing. When the baby’s breathing deviates from the norm, the system sends an alarm. In this way, parents can prevent the death of their child by removing the cause of suffocation.
According to researchers from Santa Clara University, the study has significant implications for medicine. This is an additional opportunity to remotely monitor the condition of patients and provide timely assistance.
IoT diabetes management with BrightInsight
WHO reports that 442 million people worldwide have diabetes, and approximately 1.5 million deaths are related to the disease in one way or another. The international medical company Novo Nordisk created BrightInsight, a platform for the treatment of diabetes. According to Anders Dyhr Toft, ex-vice president, there are few better drugs to fight this disease. It is necessary to constantly interact with people and offer convenient treatment options.
The platform is an integrated solution that includes applications for patients, an IoT device for data collection (insulin pens, blood glucose monitors), and a platform for doctors. Based on the blood glucose level, the system automatically calculates a new dose of drugs, constantly adapting the dosage to each patient. Diabetic device data and progress statistics are sent to BrightInsight’s Clinician Portal. Through it, doctors keep in touch with patients and adjust the treatment.
The five medical IoT projects listed above are already changing the lives of many people. But the possibilities of information technology are not limited to these cases. As you have seen, the innovation can be adapted to any healthcare service that needs data collection, monitoring, and compliance. The Internet of Things has enabled telemedicine, remote treatment, and personalized care. Medical devices and things people are used to are getting smarter, helping them get well or maintain good health.