Medical video assistance thanks to IoT

Beatriz Sanz Baños    6 February, 2019

Much has been said about the arrival of Internet of Things in numerous sectors such as industry, home automation or even leisure, but little, however, of its application to medicine; a sector that concerns us all, because it is directly focused on the health of people and their well-being.

The IoT applied to healthcare has been implanted little by little in clinics and hospitals and is already part of the daily life of thousands of chronic patients.

IoT applied to hospitals

This technology, through sensors and specific devices connected to each other, has many benefits, as it not only helps monitor patients’ medical data in real time, it can also be done remotely. Thanks to this patients don’t have to go to the medical center constantly and it favors the decongestion of the waiting rooms of the emergency centers.

Another of its applications is to monitor the medical hardware virtually, which in many cases saves or sustains lives, and whose failure due to a power outage can be disastrous. For this the company Phillips has developed e-Alert, an IoT technology that alerts in advance of any possible technical problem.

The IoT applied to healthcare has been implanted in hospitals and is already part of the daily life of thousands of chronic patients

IoT in patient care

The monitoring of health parameters through sensors is not the only tool that the Internet of Things offers to healthcare. Some steps have been taken in recent years to create solutions that offer improved medication administration. There are already pills with microscopic sensors that send signals to an external device and remind which medication is needed and guarantee, when ingested, that the patient has received the appropriate dose. Patients, in this way, have access to information from their smartphone through an app that tracks their health status.

These solutions are especially interesting for those who suffer from chronic illnesses that significantly limit their quality of life. The company Health Net Connect is an example of a program focused on patients with diabetes, which aims to improve their quality of life and improve the management of their illness.

In Spain we find applications such as Gádaca, which make use of the latest technology to connect patients with doctors through video attention with a simple click and 24 hours a day. The company is developing IoT solutions that will expand the service in the future. It will deliver elements that measure the tension or the cardiac pressure to the users and that, by means of sensors, send the data to the mobile application of the patient and to the device of his doctor.

The IoT technology also contributes to the generation of telerehabilitation services. It’s the implementation of distance rehabilitation therapies, in which patients perform the exercises from home with sensors and biometric devices in an interactive environment while the physician monitors their progress from a Hospital.

The IoT technology also contributes to the generation of telerehabilitation services

Another variant of medical care with images is digital twin technology. It is a simulated model that forms a virtual representation of the human body, or of some of its structures, from the data obtained from the population and from each patient; thus making it possible to carry out personalized tests on the impact of the different treatments. ANSYS, a company specialized in simulation, provides this type of software, which allows, for example, to simulate the upper respiratory tract to optimize the administration of chemotherapeutic drugs in oncological patients or to reconstruct the blood vessels to choose the most appropriate way to surgically treat an aneurysm.

This is only the beginning of what Internet of Things can do to improve the lives of people, knowing what their physical conditions are and controlling the treatments they have to incorporate according to the advice of health professionals.

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