The Benefits and Drawbacks of IoT in Healthcare

It is not only the age of Smartphones that we are living in rather the times have progressed into smart homes, smart cities, and smart businesses. All these smart devices that can be operated automatically come under the category of IoT. IoT or the Internet of things is a network of physical objects that are connected to the internet and can process data. It includes all the devices, sensors, and other such connected objects that can be controlled remotely in the Healthcare sector.

“The internet of things has the potential to change the world, just as the internet did. Maybe even more so.” Kevin Ashton

From taking the “Do My Homework Services” to communicating with someone through a Smartphone; are all different types of IoT networks. Basically; IoT networks can be divided into four different types. These types are as follows;

  • Cellular networks.
  • Local and personal area networks.
  • Low power wide area networks.
  • Mesh networks.

There are different factors on which these networks are dependent but the main factor is the connection of the network.  If the connection is not reliable then these projects won’t be of any use. If a student has placed an order for Assignment Writing Services without any connectivity then there will be no order placement. With a proper network connection, IoT has benefited many industries. However; in this post; the benefits, as well as, the drawbacks of IoT in the healthcare center are going to be analyzed.

IoT and Healthcare sector:

The healthcare sector plays a vital role in keeping people healthy and ensuring that the people receive the proper treatments. Basically; a healthcare sector comprises all such businesses that provide medical services, create medical types of equipment, provide medical insurance, and facilitate the patients in need of medical care. Healthcare is developing with each passing day with the invention of new discoveries.

Among many other technologies being sued in the healthcare sector, IoT is also playing an important part. The Internet of Things (IoT) rises as a powerful domain where embedded devices and sensors can connect and exchange information over the Internet (Abdullah Azzawi et al, 2016).  As it is said; IoT applications can improve patient care and extend independence for elderly patients with sensors that alert emergency services of unanticipated falls and medical emergencies.

Benefits of IoT in Healthcare:

The following are some of the main benefits IoT uses in the Healthcare sector;

1.     Health monitoring on regular basis:

Such IoT devices have been invented that allow patients to keep a check on them regularly. In this way; if a patient sees any abnormality in his regular measurements, then he can instantly visit a doctor for further checkup. These devices remind the patient to keep a check on their glucose consumption, their blood pressure, and more. The following are some examples of healthcare monitoring gadgets:

  • Blood pressure measuring bands.
  • Glucometer.
  • Heartbeat measuring watches.

2.     Smart healthcare centers:

The introduction of IoT has made the healthcare centers like hospitals, clinics, etc smart healthcare centers. This enables the integration of assets and resources across the environment for real-time data access and analysis.  Not only the assets like wheelchairs, oxygen pumps, nebulizers, and defibrillators can be tracked down through this technology but also the medical staff member can be located.

3.     Contributes to medical research:

The IoT proves to be a great time saver for medical research works. It brings precision and accuracy to the research. IoT can be used in both qualitative and quantitative methods of research. This not only saves time but also saves money. In addition to that; it proves to be helpful for future researchers.

To find a solution to a research problem, there are several questions that you have to consider (thedissertationhelp.co.uk, 2021) and the answer to these questions can be found with the help of IoT.

4.     Keeps a track of patients:

The latest IoT discovery has also enabled medical staff members to keep a track of the patient’s health through various pieces of monitoring equipment.  These types of equipment are incorporated with such sensors that allow physicians to track the patient’s medical diagnostic status effectively. This allows the medical staff members to take care of the patient’s treatment schedule and stay alert about those patients who require immediate medical treatments.

5.     Used in specialized gadgets:

Many such wearable gadgets have been invented that improve the living standard of patients. These gadgets include:

  • Healthcare charting.
  • Hearing devices.
  • Visual improvement gadgets.
  • Ingestible sensors.
  • Moodables.

6.     Faster access to patient’s records:

EHRs or electronic health records have been invented that allow physicians to instantly look at the medical record of the patient. This medical record is not only provided instantly. But also gives accurate information even of the minutest details.

7.     Easily accessible:

Such systems have been introduced through which patients who are not in the need of emergency care can get checked through telehealth or other networks. This not only saves the cost and time of the patient but also frees up the space for the patients who need urgent care in the hospitals.

Setbacks of IoT in Healthcare:

Everything comes with its positive share of positive as well as negative aspects. A similar case applies to the use of IoT in the healthcare sector.

The following are some of the possible setbacks of IoT usage in the healthcare sector:

1.     Privacy and security issues:

IoT is completely dependent upon connections and networking. This allows the data attackers to get into the system quite easily. Even though; many cyber-security campaigns have been introduced still there is a long way to go to have control over such forceful invasions. Some of the basic privacy and security issues that a healthcare center might face are;

  • Physical tampering.
  • Internet-based software attacks.
  • Network attacks.
  • Hardware attacks.

2.     The complexity of technology:

It always takes time to understand new things and new technology. However; the complex IoT gadgets and devices make sit quite difficult for people to understand the whole process. This situation becomes more complicated for adults and elderly people. Because they are not as familiar with technology as the youth.  This might cause confusion and lead to catastrophic situations.

3.     Highly expensive:

The entire IoT devices come with high price tags. A lot of healthcare funding might go into buying only a few of these gadgets and devices. This is why hospitals and other healthcare departments need to make a budgeting plan before buying IoT devices according to the need for the equipment.

4.     Connectivity and power dependence:

Most IoT gadgets are dependent upon power and connectivity. So; if either of these two things goes down, the functioning of the whole system might have to be stopped. It is the main problem for under-developing countries where power and connectivity go off quite often.

 

Conclusion:

IoT devices are used in various industries and healthcare is one of them. Healthcare center requires such innovative techniques as it is what maintains the living standards. IoT has played a vital role in improving the healthcare department but still, there are some drawbacks to the use of IoT devices. Now, it is up to the readers to decide whether IoT has proved to be more beneficial or disadvantageous.

 

Bibliography

Mustafa Abdullah Azzawi, R. H. (2016, Nov 20th). A Review on Internet of Things (IoT) in Healthcare. International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, 10216-10221.

thedissertationhelp.co.uk. (2021, Aug 13th). What Is A Theoretical Framework? The Study Material For Researcher Literature Review.

https://thedissertationhelp.co.uk/what-is-a-theoretical-framework-the-study-material-for-researcher-literature-review/.

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