During the toughest months of the pandemic, IoT technology has proven its potential to evolve healthcare. Automatic data collection, data analysis, process visibility and the ability to orchestrate it can completely transform healthcare and have a major impact on patients, professionals and families.
COVID-19 has shown that certain exceptional situations are impossible to provide 100%, but we must be equally prepared with a health system that can adapt and evolve to society’s needs. This is precisely the fundamental role of IT in a health system that must always be on guard against adversity. An added value that not only provides tools for everyday life, but also the ability to have a much broader view of the situation through data for strategic and organisational decision-making.
However, going one step beyond the data, which are fundamental, the real value that IoT technology brings us is the well-being of patients, and that is that improving their health care is not just an individual benefit, but that it enriches us as a society.
Benefits of IoT technology in healthcare
◆ The possibility of connecting devices to each other, the potential offered by RTLS solutions and the communication between the different systems involved in the healthcare process allows professionals to improve and speed up patient treatment due to instantaneous information and real-time monitoring of their status.
◆ Improvement of patient flows towards a Lean system in which tasks that do not add value to medical care are made visible, those that are eliminated or automated, and coordination between teams is prioritised for better patient care.
◆ Automated data collection and management that not only allows no information to be lost and patients to be safely identified at any time, but also provides the data needed to act as quickly as possible. Especially in areas as complex as the Emergency Department.
◆ The Big Data obtained through the technology allows the creation of more complete and complex databases having more information of all the processes that intervene within the health centre (patient waiting times, times of each operation, tasks that most hinder the attention, necessary resources,…) In this way it is possible to speed up the processes and improve the operations.
◆ SaaS technology or cloud connection allows this valuable information to be accessible from anywhere at any time. This facilitates the exchange and transmission of information, improving the connections between patients and professionals and always providing information in real time.
The role of IOT technology in active ageing
IoT technology can have a great impact not only on the most visible health area, hospitals and health centres, but also on the health of the elderly. As the ageing population increases it is important to develop strategies to make their entry into the health sector as smooth as possible without breaking the health balance.
It is true that as the population grows older, the medical requirements are much higher both in terms of needs and costs, often requiring daily assistance. One of the strategies is to ensure that this population has an active ageing process in which they can look after themselves as much as possible.
How can this be achieved? Through IoT technology it is possible to develop tools and mechanisms that allow us to provide remote assistance and non-invasive daily support to both carers and family members. This allows us not only to improve their state of health, but also to detect emergency situations more quickly.