IoT (Internet of Things) Healthcare applications have such measurably great life-saving effect that it could be said there is no cause more worthy. We were veering dangerously towards a world where basic healthcare would be out of most people’s reach, leaving large segments of the population prone to chronic disease. Enter IoT, or more accurately, it’s side-kick IoHT (Internet of HealthTech) to save the day.
Interestingly, several IoHT healthcare innovations have emerged from SA, which is very much in the game and in need of remote connectivity solutions for vast rural populations.
“IoT is rapidly transforming healthcare both in South Africa and internationally,” says Mustapha Zaouini of Fliptin, global provider of ready-made, scalable and easy-to-integrate backend solutions. “Exciting new HealthTech applications are developing at breakneck speed and the scope is endless. Greater connectivity and easily accessible data from multiple sources lead to better healthcare and the saving of lives — one of the many reasons we are excited to partner with companies wanting to offer innovative HealthTech solutions around the globe.”
Thanks to IoHT, a computer was able to spot 52% of breast cancers based on mammography scans up to one year before the women were officially diagnosed. And that pretty much rests the case for IoT’s HealthTech arm in the healthcare arena.
SA is Up With the Best of Them in IoHT Healthcare Applications
Back in 2016, SA launched the pilot of an innovative Electronic Bed Management System (eBMS). The system reduces waiting time for beds by some two hours. That’s not all. Instead of waiting for real-time information to be collected and passed on to the relevant department, casualty patients are taken directly to an available bed. Better still, the Gauteng emergency medical services tap into the system to find out which hospitals have the capacity for new patients.
IDC research predicted that global spending on IoT technologies is forecast to reach nearly $1.4 trillion by 2021. Now we know just how powerful the IoT healthcare link was, is and will be in the future.
“The scope of IoT solutions is evolving to fuel this demand,” notes Ronald Ravel, Director B2B South Africa, Toshiba South Africa. “Whereas stationary IoT solutions, such as sensors, kick-started the connected device market and remain popular, mobile IoT solutions provide vast opportunities across the healthcare sector – enhancing interactions with patients, enabling real-time monitoring, and allowing faster access to data for more efficient diagnosis and timely treatment.”
Having real-time mobile-based platforms where medical record management and dispensary medicine availability and sharing treatment plans with colleagues and diagnostic tools is happening. With the twin advantage of improving both medical facility efficiency as well as treatment and healthcare efficacy for patients, IoT & IoHT emerge as heroes.
Hospital bills weigh in heavily for medical diagnostics and it’s precisely in this area that technological advancements can and have considerably lightened the load. Not a little of that is due to moving routine medical checks from hospitals to homes – hospital-centric to home-centric, the jargon goes.
Today’s Wearables Champion IoT in Healthcare
A natural and organic evolution of wearable devices catapulted the hype and now play key roles in monitoring health matters in a very up-close-and-personal way. Daily measurement of one’s health stats forms a significant part of preventative disease practice.
“The use of information technology- (IT-) driven innovations and Internet of Things (IoT) systems will help to combat and treat non-communicable and communicable diseases,” says digital security multinational Gemalto Commonwealth of Independent States, Middle East and Africa IoT solutions senior VP Sherry Zameer on the matter of IoT healthcare advancements. He calls the technology “mHealth”.
“It is a technological development that complements widespread cellular coverage and developments in healthcare technology, which have made it possible to assist patients who require constant care, such as Alzheimer’s, autism and other special needs patients,” and he adds. “they also provide medical professionals with data necessary to identify certain lifestyle disorders such as vitamin deficiencies, obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome [as well as] cardiovascular health.”
Chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease are steeply on the rise in South Africa. Having IoT & IoHT healthcare within our grasp, improved ways of combating and controlling noncommunicable diseases is becoming more than just a ‘nice-to-have’.
‘Artificial intelligence increasingly built into personal digital assistants, smartwatches or fitness trackers help monitor wellbeing. The feedback they provide engages users, encouraging them to live better and become instrumental in preventive healthcare. These miniature (IoT) data acquisition systems use sensors to detect personal characteristics, analysing and presenting information in a useful way and encouraging individuals to initiate healthier lifestyles,” Schalk Burger reported on Zameer’s input.
What marvels are yet to develop in the IoT/IoHT healthcare field, one thing is for sure; today’s Millennials and tomorrow’s Centennials are staying ahead of the connectivity curve. What their lives will be like in the future will be very different from ours in every good way.
If connectivity solutions are on your mind, chat with Huge Connect.
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