Why Telemedicine IoMT Technology is Trending
May 06, 2022
The Covid-19 pandemic quickly made it apparent that healthcare businesses benefit significantly from technology to expand their services and develop their professional capabilities.
In a growing market, telemedicine will rise to over $397 billion by 2027. Creating benefits for both patients and doctors lowers healthcare costs, makes patient access to healthcare easy and quick, and enables the ability to help patients from anywhere and in real-time.
Within telemedicine is the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), a subcategory of IoT; it comprises inter-networked devices and healthcare technology applications.
IoMT is an innovative technology that connects patients to doctors and medical devices such as hospital equipment, diagnostic gear, and wearable technology. It does all of this effortlessly through a secure network/internet connection.
This blog will explore just why this is and the role developers play.
IoMT and its Wearables Trend
Internet of Medical Things (IoTM) solutions and wearables are one of the most popular trends in telemedicine services. Enabling clinicians to monitor patients anywhere, IoMT can be used for modern smart beds, inhalers, ECG, and EKG monitors that exchange information with telemedicine apps through an internet connection.
These possibilities increase the patients’ mobility, reduce offline healthcare facilities loads, and allow clinicians to monitor their patients efficiently. IoMTs and wearables can also remind patients of their medications, vitals, and other pre-set alerts/reminders.
With all these opportunities for progressive solutions, it is no wonder the global IoMT market is expected to grow to nearly $300 billion by 2029.
Wearable IoMTs has proven tremendously helpful for doctors and patients; for instance, wearable IoMT biosensing lifestyle devices collect critical biometrics in real-time, even outside medical facilities. These are networked with smartphones and cloud-based apps, allowing for continuous measurement and recording of essential metrics and contextual information.
Both users and medical professionals benefit from this technology and the freedom it offers to collect crucial data and the ability to access it easily.
There is a wide range of categories that IoMT devices cover; here are 8 trending examples:
- Consumer Grade Wearables: IoMT devices include fitness monitors such as Fitbit and activity trackers like Apple watches.
- Medical Grade Wearables: A regulated, clinical-level product, these are used under the guidance of a clinician and include devices designed to manage pain, improve physical performance, and other related health issues.
- RPM (Remote Patient Monitoring) devices: This is specific to systems that help manage chronic diseases and is usually placed in patients' homes undergoing long-term care.
- PERS (Personal Emergency Response Systems: These are wearable devices that allow patients, often seniors, to make a quick emergency calls to care providers.
- Smart pills: An exciting and newly emerging category of devices, these are edible pills that can wirelessly transmit data about a patient’s internals directly to medical providers.
- Point-of-care devices and kiosks: Specific to mobile devices being able to obtain diagnostic healthcare data, such as ultrasound machines to blood glucose meters, this removes the need for a complete laboratory. This information can be received in the field or a doctor’s office.
- In-clinic monitors: Similar to point-of-care devices, these can be managed remotely, meaning an expert care provider on-site is made unnecessary.
- In-hospital devices: This includes MRI machines, among other large segmented devices, and is used to track hospital assets, track inventory (like pharmaceuticals), manage hospital resources and patient flow.
Bioelectronic and Physiological Wearables
An exciting development, bioelectric wearables can be used with EEG to enable real-time observation of how a patient’s brain reacts to certain stimuli. The human body is, after all, a biocircuit, so neuromodulation via electrical impulses can be used to produce clinical outcomes and results. This can be used to enhance therapy when paired with a ‘closed-loop’ system that automatically adapts to the patient.
EEG and other biosensing techs like EKGs can also be used with wearable physiological sensors. Using these non-evasive measuring devices, a patient’s physiological parameters and vital signs can be continuously recorded. This, like biosensory devices, can be utilized in disease monitoring, prevention, and treatment.
And the best part? Biosensory and physiological technology can be combined to form a robust and in-depth dataset that offers a comprehensive overview of a patient’s condition. This is a groundbreaking technology that will change the very fabric of healthcare and its ability to diagnose patients.
Many developers and businesses have seen this potential and are already capitalizing on it. Creating IoMT wearables is complex and challenging. Succeeding in the ambition to develop products requires an experienced developer with a technical understanding of these devices, their intended uses, and the processes needed to make them safe and beneficial.
The Developer Step
Now you may wonder, ‘Well, where does a developer come into this?’ The answer is simple - IoMT is not without its challenges.
Hiring custom developers is vital as IoMTs have some levels of risk, primarily due to the large amounts of additional data that flow between patients and providers. Healthcare businesses need to take proposed steps towards implementing an effective data security solution against hacks and breaches.
Developers can also resolve the issue of updating and maintaining IoMT technology, which is crucial as patients are bound to be upgrading and changing their wearable devices constantly. Because of this, healthcare providers need to ensure they are providing up-to-date services with these trends.
EHR integration is vital in securing message and encrypted file transfer protocols to transmit EHRs and EMRs and other biometric data, test results, and teleradiology images. This can be shaped into a cutting-edge software solution with logistical networking for multicasting, caching to intermediary switching centers, and real-time communication with a custom touch.
Telemedicine software solutions also require developments such as apps with cloud-based features for medical practices, hospitals, and any other healthcare networks. This includes video-conferencing medical consultations and the ability to share clinical & administrative data, transmit images, remotely monitor patients, manage e-prescriptions, and interfacing with telesurgery equipment.
IoMT is the Future of Telemedicine
The pandemic transitioned healthcare into a remote-centric environment and the demand for seamless at-home healthcare is at the forefront of healthcare concerns. Telemedicine and telediagnosis have accrued significant investments, especially in IoMT technology and its endless opportunities.
This blog has explored many IoMT tech ideas that need developers to refine their capabilities.
Although nearly 90% of healthcare businesses are starting integrate a telemedicine program, Healthcare IoT equipment is still a ways off from healthcare needs.
For instance, having a custom developer program in-home, crisis telepsychiatry, forensic programs through a patient portal is crucial for creating a customer-centric business strategy. Or universal interoperability, where custom tweaking is necessary - not only for meeting individual business needs but also HIPAA standards.
John Bailey is an industry expert within the healthcare landscape. He works at Chetu Inc., Plantation, Fla., a custom software development provider and thought-leader within the IT community. He offers commentary on changing tides within the healthcare industry including EHRs, telehealth and veterinary software