01 Mar How the Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Healthcare
The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic completely upended the way healthcare is administered in the United States and around the world. Experts believe one silver lining to the pandemic is the acceleration of revolutionary advances in medicine and medical care. If there’s anything to expect from a post-pandemic world, it’s a significant change to many forms of providing care. At the heart of the transition are a slew of new technologies that are fueled by new 5G networks and smarter hardware than ever seen before. Here are just a few ways the Internet of Things is going to play a vital role in revolutionizing healthcare in 2021 and beyond.
Virtual Care and Expanding the Reach of Modern Medicine
Virtual tools and platforms are expanding access to quality care across locations. Patients living in rural areas who previously may have driven over an hour to the nearest in-person appointment can now access care from the comfort of their homes. And while some in the healthcare industry previously worried that slow adoption may stall industry-wide digital transformation, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread use among providers and patients.
New advances in healthcare software development focus heavily on virtual visits and online appointments. With 71% of American patients open to virtual visits and nearly 50% saying they’ve already had an online appointment with their doctor, this could open up a world of possibilities for medical practitioners and the people for whom they care. Virtual platforms are also paving the way for patient engagement and activation through asynchronous communication with providers, extensive education resources, and in many cases communities of users who share similar experiences.
Enhancements in Elderly Care Thanks to IoT
Internet of Things advancements are proving extremely useful for one of the country’s most at-risk populations. Elderly care can be tricky when it comes to staying in contact with patients who live independently. Many elderly people who fall, which is one of the highest medical risks to individuals over 65 in the U.S., don’t even tell their doctor when these events occur.
Wearable pendants with enhanced communication methods are becoming more and more common among independent elderly adults. These remote patient monitoring devices can monitor everything from pulse and temperature to keeping track of activity habits. These insights don’t just help doctors decide how to best care for these patients, but offer valuable paths of treatment should a fall or emergency occur.
Tech-Infused Inhalers Prove Life-Saving for Asthma Patients
With the coronavirus posing a large respiratory risk to those who become infected, doctors quickly wondered what sort of challenges asthma patients might endure should they come in contact with COVID-19. While asthma treatment has always come with challenges, new advances in inhalers led by the internet of things have helped patients manage their conditions more reliably.
More than 25 million Americans have asthma and an inhaler is a life-saving tool that can go under-utilized if patients aren’t on top of their regimen. New tech-enabled inhalers can remind patients to take their doses as well as provide data to medical professionals on what changes might need to occur in treatment. For a large population of the U.S., these advances could prove life-changing.
The Future of Healthcare in 2021 and Beyond
IoT advancements will continue to revolutionize the way medical care is administered in the U.S. and around the world. The latest advancements are progressing at rapid speed led by novel healthcare software that extends the reach of providers and creates an engaging experience for patients. The progress seen in the past 12 months is astounding, and the momentum will undoubtedly carry through 2021 and beyond. Investing in this technology now will lay a foundation for the future of digitally-enabled healthcare.