The Internet of Things has widespread use nowadays and by connecting various devices, it has impacted many industries and areas of life. One of those areas is definitely medicine and therefore, we also have the Internet of Medical Things – connecting medical devices and applications to the healthcare system. There are many benefits that the IoMT provides us with, from faster and more affordable care through easier communication between patients and physicians all the way to collecting valuable data and insights. Keep on reading to learn more about the great things that telemedicine has brought into our lives.
A Variety of mHealth Apps
Mobile health or mHealth refers to apps used on mobile devices that allow individuals to monitor and take care of their health. There is a wide variety of apps on the market currently and they are made for smartphones and tablets as well as for smartwatches and other wearable devices. For instance, there are some that remind people to take their medicine, others that provide first-aid advice and those that measure blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Plus, there are many apps that help prevent certain conditions like bad posture, for instance. While there are some concerns about the accuracy of certain health apps, checking their rating and whether they are recommended by some experts is the best course of action.
The Option of Virtual Hospitals
Another benefit of telehealth is the option of having online access to healthcare services right from the comfort of one’s home. That means that hospital waiting times are minimized and the risk of catching some other airborne disease while in the waiting room is reduced. In addition to being treated in their own home, virtual hospitals also allow individuals access to specialists that can easily diagnose their medical issues. Furthermore, patients also get to save money as they will not be traveling to the hospital nor paying for accommodation if they’re from out of town.
The Convenience of Teledentistry
Teledentistry is a branch of telemedicine that uses IT and telecommunications to provide patients with dental care, consultations and education. For teledentistry to work, a computer or tablet with the appropriate software and a stable internet connection are needed as well as intraoral cameras and portable X-ray devices that can capture images. Seeing how the need for equipment is reduced, this method is a great way to help people from rural areas get quality dental care; plus, the overall cost of dentistry can be lowered.
The Ability of In-Home Monitoring
In addition to not having to go to the hospital for a check-up, telehealth also includes remote patient monitoring technology which can benefit plenty of patients. For example, RTM devices can be used to monitor a patient’s glucose levels or heart activity and alert their doctor in case a problem occurs. Moreover, these intelligent devices can be remotely accessed by the patient’s physicians and family.
The Ease of Communication
Not having to make an appointment in the hospital to get some valuable advice makes communication between patients and physicians much easier. This works great for people from rural areas who cannot travel to the city or people with disabilities that simply do not have a way to visit a healthcare institution. Video and photo sharing apps and services make it much easier for doctors to see the condition of the patient without them having to come in. Additionally, test results can easily be sent to the physician’s phone and they’ll have them immediately. Finally, communication is much better among doctors as well. Having an expert available in a certain field, who might live overseas, can make solving health problems much more efficient.
More Accurate Diagnoses
With the help of various apps that allow tracking certain bodily metrics, the accuracy of diagnosis can also be increased. For example, there are devices that could indicate conditions such as atrial fibrillation and diabetes, plus some key parameters like blood pressure and brain activity can be collected regularly. What is more, diagnosing a medical issue is made much easier thanks to the real-time communication that smartphones allow. Being able to contact a specialist who studies and deals with certain conditions in depth can allow physicians to come to a conclusion when it comes to what is ailing their patients. Also, access to previous similar cases and various medical books through the internet and their mobile devices means that doctors can save a lot of valuable time.
More Accessible Education
Just like researching and diagnosing certain conditions is made much easier thanks to the IoMT, so is education. Nowadays, many medical books, studies, research, and unique medical cases can be found online. This means that any physician or aspiring healthcare worker can educate themselves further. Moreover, an increasing number of schools are relying on the e-learning approach to provide education to a wider pool of people and implementing cloud-based technologies that allow their students to share knowledge and various insights much faster. Finally, taking into account the potential of streaming various events all over the world, important surgeries could be broadcast even to countries that don’t usually have access to such advanced medical procedures and educate the medical experts in those places as well.
Seeing as how telemedicine is becoming more widespread with each passing day, the examples listed above are definitely not the only uses where the IoMT can be found. However, it’s good to know that everything from diagnosing to treating certain issues will soon be improved and expanded upon thanks to the seemingly never-ending advances in computing and technology.