The Internet of Things can best be described as a group of network-enabled technologies which allow devices such as mobile phones, wearables and computers to communicate, interact with each other and act autonomously based on preconfigured parameters. IoT is profoundly changing the way we perceive and use information and it’s already beginning to play a role in different aspects of our lives.
Manufacturers, retailers, and now, Life Science companies are turning to these advanced solutions in order to get the most out of their business processes. With IoT devices, organizations can expect personalized recommendations on what actions to take to improve the efficiency of their operations, as well as monitor facilities and products in real time. Features such as predictive maintenance can reduce downtime to a minimum and eliminate the need for manual processes and check-ups, saving huge amounts of time.
While we’ve already touched upon the subject of IoT in the Life Science industry and the transformation of healthcare with IoT, this time we’ll take a look at how it could be used to implement another concept – Augmented Healthcare. Augmented Healthcare is a vision based on exploring a variety of data and medical knowledge, and combining it with technologies such as IoT, AI and Machine Learning in order to enhance the quality of medical services and, ultimately, contribute to prolonging our lifespan.
Augmented Healthcare involves continuous monitoring, engagement and health management during which the focus is transferred to patient-generated data. Thanks to patient-generated data, IoT-enabled devices can give personalized recommendations that prevent conditions from happening before serious treatment is needed.
Let’s take a look at the different aspects of Augmented Health IoT can help with:
Doctors’ assessments greatly depend on how patients report their symptoms – the problem with that is the fact that patients sometimes forget to mention or completely miss crucial information, complicating further diagnoses. With IoT-connected devices tracking factors such as surroundings, the patient’s diet and physical activity, it’s much easier to determine the correct treatment course of action. These devices could give doctors insights about trigger events that may have led to certain complications, as well as answer when and how it all happened.
Disease progression tracking
Tracking certain values in the human body in real-time could remove all doubts about what kind of treatment is the right one for the patient. For example, receiving notifications about spikes in blood sugar levels or blood pressure could play a key role in finding a solution. Augmented Healthcare is all about enabling a proactive approach to patient problems – imagine a barely noticeable, IoT-connected device letting you know how different values related to a disease are changing – it could give pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies previously unseen data.
A timely analysis of IoT data could provide insights about whether it’s a good time to change prescribed treatment plans and inform doctors about the possibility of an early intervention – preventing conditions from deteriorating before trigger-events begin to endanger patients’ lives. For example, catching deteriorating symptoms in asthma patients can let doctors know it would be a good idea to change the dosage of a certain medication or employ a different strategy.
With the rise of IoT powered technologies, Life Science companies can upgrade their products and services in unimaginable ways. We are beginning to realize just how different processes – such as medical treatment, monitoring and condition management – could become thanks to technology. Augmented Healthcare is an effort to personalize healthcare and provide people with more information about themselves than ever before – as IoT advances continue, we’ll learn how to transform Big Data into user-readable information.
Interconnected devices around us could be a gateway into the digital future – one in which our lives will be prolonged thanks to advanced parameter tracking and personalized recommendations.
One of the main goals at Merit Solutions is supporting Life Science companies by helping them implement and understand new technologies – learn more about how to leverage IoT in your organization by following this link.