Something that has had a huge impact on the digital world and the business world in recent years has been the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things can be thought of as an IT design philosophy in which objects, machines, devices and, in some cases, animals that have not been traditionally thought of as computers are given the ability to communicate with computers, the internet and other things on the internet of things through the use of wireless connections.
One subsection of the Internet of Things that perhaps has the most promise is the Internet of Medical Things. As this amazing technology is applied to medical treatment and diagnosis, patients all over the world are sure to benefit. Below are some examples of the Internet of Medical Things that will have a big impact in 2018.
One of the biggest examples of how the Internet of Medical Things is having an impact in 2018 is through the development and proliferation of medical wearables. The industry for medical wearables has grown to become a $4 billion industry. Some of these devices, while being somewhat useful in different ways, still seem a little gimmicky. While your wristwatch telling you what your heart rate is during your morning jog is good information to have, it isn’t quite a game changer.
However, that will soon change thanks to advanced wearables that will have the ability to track a person’s vital signs in deal and forward that information automatically to medical professionals. This may allow more people to move out of hospitals and nursing homes so they can live much more independent lifestyles. Physical monitoring will no longer be needed. If something goes wrong with a person’s health, their doctor and, if necessary, EMTs will be alerted immediately.
Another huge emerging component of the Internet of Medical Things is telehealth. Traditionally, attending a doctor’s appointment required obtaining transportation and traveling to a physical doctor’s office. This setup provides certain challenges for the healthcare system in regards to resources and cost.
However, this may soon change. Soon, seeing a doctor may be done completely electronically. Medical readings will be provided by devices on the patient’s end with wireless connectivity, and the doctor will perform the examination via a screen. The use of virtual reality may even be integrated into future telehealth set-ups. Overall, the goal of telehealth is to replicate everything regarding a regular doctor’s visit through the Internet of Things.
In 2018, 7 million patients will receive health care in this fashion. Telehealth is exciting because it will slash the cost of healthcare by an enormous amount. It will also make specialists available to far more people that live in remote areas and do not have the ability to travel to see a doctor. If made widely available, it could absolutely transform the healthcare system.
The Internet of Medical Things will also have a big impact on how people fill their prescriptions with pharmacies. Much like telehealth, pharmacies may soon mostly become a digital endeavor without a patient having to visit an actual brick and mortar building. This will likely be accomplished through the use of drones.
Amazon recently launched its Prime Air service that uses drones to deliver packages to customers. Much like Amazon, the pharmacies of the future will deliver a patient’s prescription to his or her doorstep through the use of drones. It will arrive only minutes after a patient contacts the pharmacist through a smartphone app. Over the counter medications like Tylenol or lean muscle protein will be delivered in the same way. It will increase convenience and decrease pollution since drones do not use fossil fuels.
Overall, the future of healthcare is bright thanks in part to the Internet of Medical Things. Healthcare costs will be slashed significantly. More people than ever before will have access to the doctor they need to see. Many people who were forced to live in nursing homes may be able to live independently. There are many possibilities, and we’re beginning to see them come to fruition in 2018.
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