The Future of IoT Healthcare Monitoring

Posted by on January 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM Cheryle Custer  
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healthcare-doc looking at digital screen.jpgIoT has enabled healthcare monitoring to become more widespread and effective. In the past, patients could only be monitored in a medical facility or under the care of family or home nurses. If a patient decided to heal in a hospital, their vital signs - blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and heart levels - could be monitored by healthcare professionals. But if a patient decided to heal at home in the care of family, they risked not being able to immediately detect complications from illness and disease.

With IoT technologies remote patient monitoring devices, patients no longer need to choose between living independently and feeling safe should health emergencies occur. With the consistent monitoring provided by IoT technologies and real time alerts, patients and their family have a sense of security even if the patient decides to be at home. According to Grand View Research the global IoT remote health monitoring market is expected to grow from $58.4 billion in 2014 to more than $300 billion by 2022. In the future, IoT health monitoring will provide increased independence and mobility for elderly, sick, and physically or mentally disabled patients and reduce stress for family and doctors who can be alerted and react immediately as soon as issues arise.

Giving Patients and Caregivers Peace of Mind with IoT Monitoring

The stress of leaving a sick or elderly family member at home by themselves can affect the day-to-day life of their relatives. Many family members take time away from their jobs to take care of sick relatives because they worry about what might happen while they’re away. However IoT home health monitoring will automatically detect and report emergencies to caregivers.. IoT home health monitoring will allow monitoring of patients’ vital health information through the use of wearable technology that tracks their condition. These wearables range from blood pressure and pulse detectors worn around the wrist to personal emergency response systems worn as a necklace to sleep apnea machines worn on the face, and they report health information and statistics through cellular networks and the internet. This flow of health information allows health abnormalities and emergencies to be detected and cared for immediately, either through text or email alerts to family and doctors, or by contacting emergency services to send an EMT. For example, an elderly parent with a heart condition can be monitored by IoT home health monitoring, and should a health emergency occur, an ambulance can be summoned automatically.

Increased Independence for Patients With IoT Home Monitoring

IoT home health monitoring increases independence for the elderly and chronically ill by allowing them to go about their day to day lives without fear they will be unable to summon help in the case of an emergency. In the future more and more homes will have complex sensor networks to monitor patient activity so that patients living own can call for assistance if there is an emergency. Sensors can be placed in cabinets, refrigerators, bathroom doors, and any other part of the home that patients interact with on a daily basis. This technology already exists in some homes thanks to innovators such as SimplyHome who are pioneering home IoT practices. The systems from SimplyHome monitor day to day activity and can report if there has been no routine activity in a patient's house so that family or health professionals can check on patients.

GTX Corp, another innovator in remote patient monitoring devices, offers technology to monitor patients outside of their home. Their product GPS SmartSole is a GPS tracking shoe sole for those with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other mental illnesses. A patient’s family or caretaker can set up a geofence, which is a specific boundaries around the patient's home or neighborhood. Whenever a patient wearing SmartSole crosses a geofence, healthcare professionals and family members receive an alert so they can quickly find the patient to return them to their home safely.

Smart Medicine For The Right Dose, Every Time

Another challenge for patients with illnesses is keeping track of their prescribed medicine routine. It can be difficult to remember when to take medicine and how much to take for those with dementia or Alzheimer's disease or those on a complex drug regimine. If a patient takes too little or too many of a particular medication, it can lead to serious side effects and health emergencies. IoT-enabled “smart pill boxes” and packaging make it easy for health professionals and family to keep track of a patient’s medicine schedule and intake.

MedSignals’ solution is their IoT operated MedSignals® Pill Case. Pill Case has 4 compartments that can hold up to 70 small pills each. Each compartment remains closed until it is time for the patient to take the medication. Once that time is reached, one of four corresponding buttons for each compartment will light up so patients know which pill o take. MedSignals® Pill Case also has a speaker onboard so that customized dosage directions can be played to clarify which pills and how many to take.

Mevia takes a different approach to medicine accountability solutions by incorporating IoT technology directly into the medication’s original packaging. Mevia develops smart packages that automatically sends alerts whenever a pill is removed from a pack or bottle. Mevia’s packaging method decreases the burden on the patient or caretaker of having to remember to remove pills from their original packaging and put them in a separate smart container. This is especially useful for patients with poor memory and caretakers with a busy schedule. In the near future, pharmaceutical companies may begin partnering with companies like Mevia to help patients remember to take their medication or remind caretakers to give medication and ensure the proper dose is being taken every time.

As IoT health monitoring devices become commonplace, don’t let your company miss out on the comfort and independence it can provide your customers. Contact Aeris today to find how your health solutions can connect on an IoT network.

Topics: IoT, healthcare, remote patient monitoring