The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) refers to the collection of medical devices and applications that communicate to healthcare IT systems through networking technologies. This is part of the wider movement happening in manufacturing, smart homes, energy management and smart cities also known as IoT (Internet of Things). Digital health is rising as consumers are taking more responsibility for their health and are demanding better access to their medical data, with technology organizations and startups finding easier ways to extracting this data and turn it into meaningful insights.
IoMT has already been adopted by about 60% of healthcare organizations and they are realizing cost savings, increased profitability and improved customer experience and visibility.
From pacemakers that have the ability to communicate data to an app (to be shared with physicians), sensors embedded in orthopedic implants communicating post-surgery performance to ingestible sensors with the purpose to monitor adherence with antipsychotic and hypertension pills. These are just a few smart implants that are helping patients both young and old.
2. An app that is fighting depression
An app that can be used on the Apple Watch is already helping patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). It is designed to monitor and evaluate cognitive functions, with the 30-patient trial examining how the app compares with traditional testing and self-assessment when reporting mood and cognition.
3. Wearable vital tracking
Heart monitors can be used for cardiac patients to monitor conditions like arrhythmia and alert doctors when there is a worsening condition in real-time to prevent further complications. There are also “smart” glucometers that communicate measured blood glucose readings to an app which helps track and manage chronic diseases like diabetes.
4. Personal Emergency Response Systems
There are already a number of well-established products that senior citizens are using like fall detection, navigation guidance back to home (for dementia patients), medication reminders and emergency assistance. A unique concept is ActiveProtective’s smart belt, which detects falls and deploys air bags to prevent fall-related injuries and even uses Bluetooth to alert the designated emergency contacts.
5. Parkinson’s disease (Project Blue Sky )
A first of its kind research collaboration between IBM and Pfizer to develop remote monitoring solutions that are transforming how clinicians deliver care to patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It relies on a system of sensors, mobile devices and machine learning providing real-time information to clinicians and researchers.
These are only a few of the innovative IoMT devices that are addressing medical challenges. As the number of connected devices grows, technology organizations need to determine how to handle the data load securely. The world is moving in a direction where our bodies can be continuously monitored, cheaply analyze our DNA while AI can suggest ways for healthier living. The momentum of this transformation is increasing but the collaboration between hospitals, manufacturers, and vendors are required to drive true healthcare change.