Back to Banyan Hills Insights

IoT for Healthcare: A Huge Opportunity

With a new generation of wearable devices coming, doctors will be able to regularly check the progress of patients by accessing data in the cloud.

December 10, 2018 - America’s population is aging. In 2014, people 65 years or older numbered about 46 million, or 14.5 percent of the population. According to statistics from the Administration on Aging, the ratio is going to balloon to almost 22 percent by 2040. And that’s just one of many factors placing an ever-growing strain on our healthcare system. Healthcare providers need ammunition to deliver better care at lower costs – and it’s no surprise that an array of connected devices – the Health Internet of Things, if you will – is leading that charge.

One common problem of many patients: managing their medication. And this is one way – nearly the low-hanging fruit of the H-IOT world – that connected devices can help. Connected medication dispensers can let patients know when it’s time to take medicine and to monitor that it has, in fact, been taken. All automatically. Imagine a carousel that spins to present the right medication – even stored in its original pill bottle – at the right time. A wireless network could text caregivers if the patient doesn’t take the medication as prescribed.

Technology is also increasingly important for ensuring that patients – particularly older ones and those suffering from dementia – remain safe both from physical injury and from, in some cases, wandering away from their center of care. H-IOT solutions can offer an array of tools for doing that remotely and without 24/7 supervision.

Using a combination of networked devices, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, wearable GPS tracking devices can be configured with virtual “geofences” to alert caregivers if things go awry.

In similar fashion, the H-IOT could offer a modern update to the traditional Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), which consists of a wearable pendant that users can trigger to signal for help. But rather than waiting for a patient to press a panic button, contemporary technology could use machine learning and artificial intelligence to learn patterns and respond to unusual behavior, such as proactive fall detection. If the software knows what a fall looks like mathematically, false positives (like dropping the sensor, for example) won’t trigger an alert.

And that’s just scratching the surface. H-IOT applications go beyond monitoring and adherence. In fact, some companies are exploring the possibility of bringing medical devices – both externally worn and fully implanted – into the H-IOT.

For one compelling example, consider pain measurement and physical therapy applications – the right solution can more objectively score pain and recovery, something that today is all too subjective. As you may know if you’ve ever visited a doctor’s office with any sort of physical pain, doctors and therapists use a completely subjective 10-point rating scale to assess your condition and recovery. “Rate your pain on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most pain.” As a modern alterative, imagine a wearable motion sensor device that automatically collects information like range of motion, strength, and smoothness of motion. The device wirelessly transmits the data the cloud for processing and analysis. Such a system would allow physical therapists, doctors, and insurers to regularly check the progress of patients, adding scientific rigor to what is today a subjective self-assessment.

Finally, there’s no technical reason that even implanted devices cannot be networked and connected, allowing diagnostic information to be transmitted in real time for logging and evaluation by medical professionals. Indeed, the next decade should be an exhilarating time for the growth of medical applications that leverage smart, networked devices to lower costs, improve efficacy, and help patients lead better lives.

Find out how an IoT platform like Canopy can provide help with healthcare operations in addition to other features such as patient communications and incident management.

Learn More ››

Resources For Learning About the Internet of Things

Stay up-to-date in this fast moving industry

Machine learning robot hand
Machine Learning: Why Your Enterprise Should Care

Machine learning is having a heyday right now, acting as a fundamental part of many products and services that define 21st century life ranging from the audacious to the mundane.

Read more
Woman tracking GPS in a smart city.
How IoT Will Enable the Smart Cities of the Future

IoT technology can improve the quality of life of citizens, save public money, and help governments do more with fewer resources.

Read more
How Small Businesses Can Benefit from IoT Technology

There’s a myth that big technology initiatives need to be championed by big enterprises. Don’t buy into that narrative.

Read more
How RFID is Making the IoT More Agile and Aware

RFID – short for Radio Frequency Identification – is a technology that allows information that’s been encoded in small, often completely unpowered tags to be read by scanning devices using radio waves.

Read more
How Does Blockchain Fit into the IoT?

You might know blockchain from its (much maligned) association with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and various ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). But blockchain is really much more than that.

Read more
What is IoT Device Management?

Whether they’re moving past data warehouses to building data lakes, adding edge computing to their existing cloud computing architecture, or just asking your more detailed data to help create more targeted, customer-centric ad campaigns, the IoT is disruption-in-a-box.

Read more

Awards and Recognition

A few of the places where Banyan has received recognition

Inc. 500 logo
IoT Innovations logo
Industry Today logo
Business Radio X logo
RFID Journal logo
VxChange logo