Digital Themes

Internet of Medical Things

What is the Internet of Medical Things?

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) uses network technologies to create a web of Internet-connected medical devices and applications that transmit patient information into healthcare databases and infrastructure. IoMT is a term specific to the healthcare industry for describing interconnected medical systems that use the internet to communicate with devices, applications, and software that monitor patients outside a hospital setting. 

Patients can use health wearables – such as fitness devices that track activities, i.e., smartwatches – or clinically approved medical equipment prescribed and monitored by physicians. Additional devices that can connect to an IoMT system include remote patient monitoring, emergency response systems, and telehealth monitoring. IoMT devices outside home care, for example, help to connect paramedics and hospital units when patients are in medical vehicles. In person, off-site providers oversee clinical checkups by obtaining vitals through an IoMT digital platform that provides real-time medical updates. 

Medical technology, such as MRIs and glucose monitors, are an integrated network of systems where data is obtained and transmitted, allowing providers to efficiently access medical information while keeping patients engaged in their healthcare journey.

How IoMT is impacting healthcare

IoMT creates a connected infrastructure of devices and health systems that allows patient data to be easily collected and transmitted to other systems within a defined healthcare network. Health data is communicated to internal servers through sensors, allowing administrators to quickly access medical information obtained from various sources – like remote heart monitors and on-site medical ultrasounds. 

Providers can quickly access health reports, track chronic conditions, and predict adverse health outcomes when connected to servers, systems, and software that integrate patient monitoring information. Patients who use smartphone applications to send health data can receive better medical advice and fewer diagnostic mistakes due to data speed and integrity. Health assessments become more accurate when symptoms are monitored in real-time, allowing providers to make better care treatment plans that align with patients' exact needs.

IoMT impacts are improving drug management, with smart pills emerging as a new and effective way of measuring the effects of medicine on a patient's overall health status. These smart pills have tiny sensors that activate once in a person's body and can send data gleamed from inside the body to a designated device. A mobile application creates reports on the effects of medication to read health information - such as activity level, temperature, GI information, and pill dosage time. This application can help reduce the occurrence of ineffective medicines, medicine avoidance, and emergency hospital visits.

With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), IoMT can positively impact and further advance remote healthcare and data management of vital health indicators. Remote patient monitoring devices integrated into an IoMT network can be used to provide advanced healthcare to patients who do not have physical access to routine specialists. Additionally, advances in machine learning can help process the vast amount of data from connected devices, helping to qualify and organize data to appropriate channels that allow providers to make quick medical judgments. 

IoMT benefits healthcare organizations in the following ways:

  • Improved diagnosis: IoMT devices provide real-time metrics on patients' health status, decreasing the time between diagnosing a medical condition and implementing a treatment plan. It empowers patients to understand their medical vitals and provide feedback to healthcare providers to make treatment more manageable and beneficial. 
  • Improved care management: IoMT devices create an integrated network that utilizes advanced data analytics that organizes large data streams into readable health measurements. Providers can quickly detect when a patient's health shows signs of problems and engage the patient to start therapeutics and/or medications immediately. Patients who have chronic care needs or have been discharged from the hospital can benefit from timely testing and data capture to help improve overall health. 
  • Decreased costs: Patients who use remote care devices or medical equipment connected to an IoMT system can reduce the amount of testing and scans to monitor existing conditions and symptoms. Patients who need constant heart, blood, and pain monitoring will be able to stay updated on vital metrics and avoid extreme medical emergencies. At-home care management is possible with connected devices, reducing the cost of in-patient treatment. Patients are proactive in therapeutic and care programs that measure real-time health outcomes. 
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