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IoT in healthcare: What are the possibilities and challenges?

When it comes to looking at the technological advancement of healthcare, many argue that the internet of things(IoT) is the future of patient treatment. However, what is IoT, and what are the various issues and problems facing its integration into our Healthcare system?

In general terms, the IoT is an amalgamation of applications that can collect and store data, as well as track information. Doctors could use the IoT to treat patients better, and in some cases can provide medical suggestions without the need for a visit to a doctor's office. With the largest amount of internet-connected devices in history in the world today, the IoT is far from science fiction. Some examples of suitable devices in the IoT system for healthcare would be fitness trackers, life-saving alert devices, and prescription updates that could help streamline the medical process. The IoT can put a large amount of information about a patient into the hands of a medical professional with just the push of a button, for good or for bad. That is where many of the concerns about the IoT in healthcare come to bear.

Potential challenges

The main concern that comes with the IoT is the transference of personal data, specifically the likelihood of that data being misused or accessed by someone outside of the medical world. While having this data on hand could be useful for a doctor or a nurse, a list of classified medical conversations, activities, and blood work could be dangerous if they fell into the wrong hands. The largest concern that creates the potential for a privacy breach is the various connected devices that make up the IOC. While it can be somewhat easy to track access on one or two computers, or even into a single server, the IOC requires communication between dozens, if not hundreds of different locations depending on the patient. This gives potential hackers a wider range of applications to access, increasing the potential for misuse.

 whiznets IoT in Healthcare ai What are the Possibilities and Challenges

Another issue that comes from the IoT is the huge amount of data that face doctors and other care providers. If not filtered correctly, it could be next to impossible to figure out the useful information from the overwhelming slog of data. That is why monitoring this data carefully becomes doubly important, both for information safety and health concerns.

Potential gains

The IoT would allow healthcare providers to have more of a window into the lives of their patients and would put most medical services a button away. Instead of relying on once a year visits from their patients to figure out their lifestyle choices, doctors would be able to monitor any changes in vital signs or activity remotely, as well as to notice any potentially dangerous symptoms the minute they happened. For patients who require more intensive monitoring, the IoT could give them the safety of medical observation without being restrained to a hospital or their home. When it comes to implementing the IoT into our current healthcare structure, privacy concerns remain at the forefront of its integration. However, with the right attention to security, IoT could improve the lives of millions of patients around the world.

Source(s):

https://healthitanalytics.com/features/explaining-the-basics-of-the-internet-of-things-for-healthcare

https://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/essentialguide/A-guide-to-healthcare-IoT-possibilities-and-obstacles 

https://hitconsultant.net/2017/11/03/internet-things-digital-future-value-based-care/

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