Five Ways IoT Can Transform Healthcare 

The healthcare industry is arguably one of the most important sectors in major need of digital transformation, for the benefit of healthcare workers and patients. The benefits of utilising IoT in healthcare are endless, but here are five ways that digital transformation can make the healthcare industry more efficient:

Major Reduction in Drug and Vaccine Waste

The French Directorate General of Health has stated that an estimate of 30% of vaccines have gone to waste. An employee in a medical centre in Wisconsin allegedly allowed hundreds of vaccine doses to spoil due to poor transport and storage of vaccines. The reason why waste is so high is because of the complex process of transporting and storing vaccines, and within that process I’m sure you can imagine that there are millions of things that could go wrong. For example, the Pfizer vaccines must be kept at temperatures down to -70C from production to storage, just one minor disruption can ruin an entire batch. We’re just talking about covid vaccines at the moment, imagine how much waste is produced by all the other drugs and vaccines that have to be kept under specific temperatures and conditions – hepatitis a and b vaccines, universal vaccines against mumps, measles, and rubella, glaucoma eye drops, aerosol sprays against asthma, insulin for diabetes treatment, and biopharmaceuticals (any pharmaceutical drug product that is extracted from an organic source).

So, what’s the solution? How can IoT devices solve this major problem? Tagging devices like Findaa’s electronic devices have sensors that can track temperature, humidity, vibration/shock, light/UI, and GPS both outdoor and indoor using 5G and Bluetooth. This data is put onto a dashboard to give a big picture overview of where your assets are at all times. In today’s day and age where these life-saving materials are becoming harder to produce, whilst having a steadily growing demand, drug and vaccine waste should be tackled immediately.

Increased Productivity of Employees and Prevention of Loss of Medical Equipment

According to the Nursing Times, nurses spend 10% of their time looking for equipment. In a chaotic hospital environment, they should not be spending that much of their time simply looking for equipment. But this highlights a much bigger problem that hospitals are facing, which is the loss of medical equipment. In many instances, all types of crucial medical equipment are lost due to lack of inventory control and accountability which leads to wasting money and time through overordering. Electronic tagging devices can help resolve this issue by tracking the location of equipment so a healthcare worker can easily and instantly identify its location, and help workers prepare for certain procedures.

Patient Tracking

These tracking devices can automatically collect biometrics like heart rate and blood pressure from patients who are not physically present in a healthcare facility. This is advantageous as it eliminates the need for patients to travel to their healthcare providers, which is encouraged with the current pandemic. This specific information allows the healthcare provider to know exactly what the problem is due to the specific biometrics; this is advantageous because traditional methods rely on the patient informing the healthcare provider through their facility which can be time-consuming and not possible in some extreme circumstances. These devices work well for healthcare workers to get the essential information without wasting time.

Glucose Monitoring

A glucose monitor is a small device that you wear just under your skin, and it measures your glucose levels throughout the day and at night. The data that is collected is useful because it can be accessed instantly and shared with doctors and healthcare employees so that they can review and adjust treatment appropriately. This device also allows you to see unique trends as you can clearly and instantly see when sugar levels are starting to rise or drop and what may be causing these trends overtime. The biggest advantage is the elimination of the need to keep records manually which poses many problems for both the patient and healthcare professionals, the manual method, which is typically done through finger prick tests, requires the patient to be fully accountable for their readings and can be problematic if they miss readings or even if they do not, there is no way of knowing what their blood sugar levels are like at other times.

Ingestible Sensors

Ingestible sensors are exactly what they like, small devices that can be swallowed easily to collect information from digestive and other systems in a much less uncomfortable and invasive way to older methods. These devices can also dissolve or pass through the body on their own. They are currently used for conditions like internal bleeding as they can provide insights into stomach PH levels which can help pinpoint the source of internal bleeding quickly and effectively.

Where lives are at stake, clear communication and efficiency should be at the forefront of hospital agendas. Healthcare workers and patients need reliable and effective service, and the pandemic has only brought out how much improvement could be added to both state and private hospitals worldwide. If you’d like to know more about IoT, contact us at simonr@findaatech.com for a free consultation.

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