What is IoMT and how is it related to IoT? The Internet of Things (IoT) is basically a network of interconnected smart devices. The network enables users to control devices remotely through software applications, while at the same time data is collected through strategic touchpoints. The data collected, once processed with computing power, can be used for various purposes, including healthcare.
In this article we explain what IoMT is and discuss how apps play an important role in its implementation and future developments throughout health care systems.
What is IoMT
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a practical application of IoT devices, combined with MedTech tools, that are used in health care. Thanks to the possibility of connected medical devices through network technologies, healthcare professionals can monitor patients’ key biometrics in real-time. This brings a series of benefits, some of which are not obvious at plain sight.
Internet of Things in Healthcare Industry
This technology enables doctors to access health data in remote locations, and keep track of any potential issues that might occur, thus helping prevent any future complications.
Suppose a patient is told not to exceed a given weight, otherwise, health problems might occur. With an IoMT scale and other devices, a patient can keep track of this key metric easily with the help of an app. The app can additionally share information on healthy diets, be used as a glucose monitor and activity tracker, given the patient’s data and condition, clinical grade, and help trigger motivation by using push notifications. It can also share relevant information with medical staff so that they know, before hospital visits, how the patient has evolved.
In short, IoMT software applications can make processes more efficient. They can be used for remote patient monitoring, as it allows real-time data exchange between a point of care and all the connected medical devices.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) can also help trigger emergency responses and keep chronic diseases under control. Imagine smart devices that help monitor glucose levels and heart rate. Being in faraway locations, you can use wearable devices to share activity tracker information with a remote medical service provider and get a clinical-grade diagnosis.
Let’s consider patient A for this example. Patient A, a middle-aged woman with a family history of diabetes, wakes up one day feeling ill. Fortunately, her doctor had given her a smart glucometer. Unlike a regular glucometer, this one is able to connect to the internet. With it, patient A can keep track of her glucose levels with a twist. Because the device is an IoMT enabled glucometer, the doctor can remotely check her glucose monitor stats in detail. After looking at the data, care providers can conclude that patient A is experiencing a dangerous glucose level, and since they know her medical history, a personalized solution can be recommended.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Scenarios like the ones above are only a fraction of what is possible thanks to IoMT technologies. Beyond improving processes, generating efficiencies, and reducing costs, the Internet of Medical Things also offers many opportunities to deliver a better overall patient experience through great design practices.
Considering a patient’s journey through a specific medical procedure is very relevant. Throughout the years, health care systems have become saturated, and this has affected service quality. This is more harmful to some populations, particularly to elders and those with mobility issues.
The combination of IoT medical devices, MedTech, mobility services, and apps help solve many of these problems and allows effective remote monitoring and more accurate patient outcomes. At Koombea, for example, our obsessive focus on User Experience helps guarantee positive outcomes beyond apps. Considering small details like how easy it is for a patient to access a service, to other bigger details like how the treatment will evolve, ensures that nothing is left loose. Expertise in user-centered design becomes extremely helpful in the healthcare sector. Bridging the gap between software and the physical world is a must in MedTech.
For IoMT technologies to work properly, it is necessary to collect relevant data. As a matter of fact, as for IoT technologies in general, IoMT does not work properly without the correct data. This is not surprising if one considers that one of the main benefits of this technology is to help improve decision-making. It is necessary that IoMT medical devices allow data to be collected, processed, and used. This requires not only setting up a beacon to collect data. It is also necessary to transform it into useful information that medical personnel can use to make decisions. Thanks to MedTech apps and IT systems, this can easily be done.
Apps are playing a major role in how IoMT technologies are being deployed. It is not good to have powerful devices if the software that moves them is deficient. MedTech apps designed to work with IoT devices should guarantee users adequate levels of reliability. In this sense, quality assurance is a necessity that these types of apps cannot leave aside. Quality is a must-have when it comes to guaranteeing patient safety and health.
A critical success factor for any IoMT technology is security. This refers not only to patient security, which is extremely important. Guaranteeing it should be a top priority. Nonetheless, it should also be a top priority to look out for cybersecurity, especially in what relates to data privacy. Medical information is very sensible, so users must be guaranteed that their data is in safe hands. Doing so creates trust, an important element that IoMT devices need to help guarantee.
Healthcare IT Opportunities
From our experience, we’ve observed two important ways in which IoMT devices can impact patients in a positive way.
Personalized Patient Care
Medicine often feels to lack empathy with patients. This is because, in order to reduce costs and maintain efficiency, health systems need to standardize procedures. This ends up affecting a wide range of aspects from treatments to results. However, this need not be.
IoMT data allows a more friendly, gentler form of personalized medicine that considers patients’ actual requirements. Rather than using a one size fits all approach, with IoMT, healthcare professionals can now take into account individual needs.
Digital Therapeutics: A Digital Transformation
Digital Therapeutics (DTx) is one of the most attractive opportunities for IoMT devices. It is a form of medicine that has been gaining strength in recent years, relying on evidence-based therapeutic interventions to achieve changes in patient behavior. To do so, DTx uses software to prevent, manage or treat a particular illness.
Thanks to the power of IoMT devices, DTx techniques can develop better remote connections with patients. As this form of therapy and IoMT devices become more popular, we expect their respective apps to do the same.
Apps are at the core of IoMT technologies in the healthcare industry. I’ve already mentioned how even the most powerful medical devices end up being useless if they don’t have a powerful app backing them. The best way to guarantee that this does not become a problem is to look out for an experienced medical app development partner.
IoMT app development is not something to leave in the hands of anyone. People’s lives are at stake, and the future of healthcare systems needs developers and designers who can understand its intricacies.