The Internet Of Things
The goal of the Internet of Things is to connect everything from medication, medical devices, home emergency sensors, smart packaging, mobile apps, health trackers and even clinical procedures that can be performed in the home via managed wireless LAN so that clinical professionals can better connect with their patients, allowing parents to receive the best medical care while remaining at home and also reducing the strain on healthcare services.
Sensors are already changing the way healthcare works for many people. Sensors can be placed all around the home, including on windows and doors, within appliances and even on the patient themselves. These sensors can send alerts to family members or caregivers if a patient falls, fails to get out of bed or misses a meal. Many patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s are being allowed to remain in their homes because of programs that use smartphone apps and sensors to monitor their behavior and alerts nearby caregivers in the event they forget to eat, leave the water running for too long or leave the house.
GPS tracking technology allows patients, particularly the elderly, to be monitored by healthcare workers and their families when they are out of the home. Such technology can even detect falls and make automatic calls for help in the event that a patient becomes incapacitated while away from home.
Printable electronics means that sensors can be embedded within devices, resulting in technology that is actually wearable and able to assist physicians to create treatments specifically tailored to their patients by measuring their individual lifestyle. These devices will make it easier for patients to carry on with their daily routines while always being able to check on things such as their heart rate or blood pressure. Doctors can also be alerted in the event of any problems or issue notifications about the need for altered medication. This kind of wearable technology, which can include items such as smart watches and wristbands, could also cut down on one of the health care system’s biggest problems, waiting times, by cutting down trips to local GPs or emergency departments except when absolutely necessary, thus freeing up appointment times and rooms and allowing for quicker treatment and diagnosis of patients that really need it.