The Internet of Things is a term which means, at its core, nothing more than the connectedness of different devices and objects. The technology is simple, but it’s also incredibly transformative.
The Internet of Things has the potential to revolutionize all sorts of industries, but perhaps the most exciting prospects lie in the healthcare industry. Let’s take a look at how the Internet of Things is transforming healthcare as we know it.
The Internet of Medical Things
When used in a healthcare setting, the Internet of Things technology is referred to as the Internet of Medical Things, or IoMT for short.
IoMT has already provided a huge number of benefits in the industry, such as:
- Enabled medical practitioners to sense vital patient data in real time
- Provided real-time intervention solutions
- Improved the affordability of healthcare and cut hospital costs
- Enabled doctors and medical practices to provide higher levels of personalized care
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. As technology in the space develops further, we’ll see ever-more radical improvements and transformations of the way we deliver healthcare.
3 Notable Examples of the Internet of Things in Healthcare
To provide a more concrete illustration of how the Internet of Things is changing healthcare, let’s take a closer look at 3 revolutionary connected medical devices that are already being used.
1. Smart CGM Systems
One area of healthcare in which the Internet of Things technology is being used to great effect is in the treatment of diabetes. Diabetes requires patients and doctors to continually monitor blood glucose levels in order to properly administer treatment and medication.
New smart CGM systems have been developed which can automatically monitor and send data regarding blood glucose levels to the user’s smartphone and other devices. These devices are so beneficial that even healthcare providers like the NHS are now considering giving them out on prescription for diabetic patients.
2. Smart Insulin Pens
Another Internet of Things device being used to help with the treatment of diabetes is the smart insulin pen. These pens, which are used to inject insulin, automatically record data such as the amount/type of insulin and time. They can also transmit this data to a smartphone so that patients can better track it.
3. Connected Contact Lenses
We already have smart glasses. Now, smart contact lenses are just around the corner. This technology has been under development for use in the healthcare industry for a number of years.
Initially conceived of as a way to monitor glucose levels via tears, the imagined use cases for smart contact lenses have moved on in other ambitious projects. Tech company Verily are working on developing smart lenses that can treat presbyopia and aid in cataract surgery recovery.
Another tech company, Sensimed, has already developed their own connected contact lens that can automatically measure and record changes in eye dimensions as an early warning system for glaucoma. It’s even been FDA-approved, showing that these kinds of devices are officially out of the realms of science fiction and have real, legitimate uses.
4. Smart Vaporizers
The Internet of Things technology has even lead to improvements in alternative medicines such as herbal products.
Smart vaporizers, for example, are high-tech devices which can more precisely control the temperature of herbal products as you heat them up, giving the user a greater level of control.
This also helps the person using the vaporizer avoid any toxic by-products that come with other smoking devices and materials.