In some cases, patients don’t even have to visit an emergency room or hospital. One of the most obvious and popular applications of healthcare and the IoT is in remote health monitoring — sometimes known as telehealth. Not only does it minimize costs and eliminate the need for some visitations, but it helps improve the patient’s quality of living by sparing them the inconvenience of travel. If a patient has limited mobility or depends on public transportation, something as simple as this can make a world of difference.
ENSURING THE AVAILABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY OF CRITICAL HARDWARE
Modern hospitals require next-gen software and hardware to function — some are even used to save or sustain human life. Like all electronic devices, this equipment is prone to numerous risks — from power outages to system failures — that could be a matter of life or death. A new IoT-driven solution from Variantz aims to solve that problem. Instead of waiting for a device to fail, Variantz’s new system takes a proactive approach by virtually monitoring medical hardware and alerting hospital staff members if there’s a problem.
TRACKING STAFF, PATIENTS, AND INVENTORY
Safety is the utmost concern of any hospital or medical facility — or at least it should be. It’s hard to maintain the maximum amount of security without the ability to track assets — staff members, patients and hardware — throughout the building. It’s a task that’s easily achieved in smaller institutions, but what about larger facilities that feature multiple structures and campuses as well as thousands of patients and staff members? Many are turning to the IoT and real-time location systems to facilitate asset tracking. Not only is it an inexpensive method of monitoring day-to-day activities in a hospital setting, but it’s unobtrusive, effective and cutting-edge.
ENHANCED DRUG MANAGEMENT
One of the most exciting breakthroughs regarding healthcare and IoT comes in new forms of prescription medication. It seems like a work of science fiction — but pills containing microscopic sensors that are the size of a grain of rice can send a signal to an external device — usually a patch worn on the body, to ensure proper dosage and usage. Such information could be invaluable when it comes to ensuring patients remember to take their prescriptions and even when prescribing future medications. Patients also have access to the information, through a handy smartphone app, to track their personal performance and improve their habits.
REDUCING EMERGENCY ROOM WAIT TIMES
Most major metropolitan areas, as well some rural regions, have a shortage of healthcare professionals and hospitals. Because of this shortage, patients sometimes wait hours or even days to get medical assistance and a room (if they need one) when visiting the ER. IoT solutions make it possible that hospitals can measure their level of actual service time when patients are engaged in the care flow. Hospitals can monitor patient wait times in the waiting room, exam room, pharmacy, or any other department. Following a patient’s stay from intake to discharge reveals where delays in care occur and help staff comply with mandated turnover rates. Monitoring patients using disparate applications can obscure insights about wait times or other lapses in care that an IoT ecosystem reveals.