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How IoT is Improving the Quality of Healthcare

How IOT Is Improving The Quality Of Healthcare

IoT is redefining Healthcare. Look around and you will find people with smart devices that track their every move, calculate their intake, and give them trends on this data.

Primitively caregivers and hospitals were using telemetry to remotely gather data for improving patient care. The primary aim of preventive healthcare was to deliver personalized care, improve patient care without spending a huge amount of money.

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is driving the future of the healthcare industry. It can bring better outcomes; improve efficiency and make healthcare more affordable, as caretakers are increasingly resorting to more self-care due to increased awareness. To achieve this, healthcare providers must make use of the latest technology in a more systematic way.

The Scope of IoT is Getting Bigger and Better in:

  • Preventive healthcare: by use of wearables.
  • Patient tracking: in monitoring patient movement and health analysis.
  • Geriatric care: in tracking senior citizens which is a large market for IoT and medical devices.
  • Real-time location tracking: in tracking medical devices, people, and asset movement.

It is predicted that the revenue from smart wearables will increase to around $22.9 billion by the end of 2020. Experts from P&S Market research expect that the Internet of Things industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.6% between 2015 and 2020.

Wearables for Preventive Health Analysis 

Imagine a wearable is used for preventive health analysis. The term wearable in health parlance should not be restricted to just fitness tracking devices worn in the wrist that is used to monitor personal health.

The term wearables should go beyond the tracking of physical activities. It could be used as a communication device or it could even be a device that interacts with other devices like an Apple watch. It could be a device in the body, on the body or near the body like a medical app that helps track personal health;

Some of the leading medical apps that are already disrupting the healthcare market are:

  • Philips’ Medication Dispensing Service
  • Boiron Medicine Finder App
  • Future Path Medical’s Urosens

Digital Hospitals Making a Headway

The Healthcare industry is increasingly leveraging modern technology and digital hospitals are making headway such as the Humber River Hospital in Toronto Canada and the Medical Center at Mission Bay San Francisco. Innovative approaches towards engaging robots in the radiology and other departments are also disrupting the way healthcare is delivered.

Deakin University Australia, in partnership with Telstra Australia, has developed haptics-enabled robots that can perform ultrasound diagnostics remotely. This means the patient need not be in the same place as the sonographer conducting the ultrasound.

IoMT for Improved Healthcare

There are over 97,000 mobile healthcare apps as of 2019 and the mHealth app marketplace is expected to grow 15 times faster, according to a survey. Another survey indicates that users prefer digital services to communicate with doctors, monitor health, and collaborate with caregivers with ease.

Final Thoughts

IoT is clearly here to stay. With the cost of Hardware coming down, there’s no dearth in demand for wearables as this space is just short of an explosion, especially, in the mature markets.

IoT devices and apps are helping healthcare professionals in providing better care for their patients. There is definitely much scope for advancement for IoT in the healthcare sector.

Looking to leverage IoT technology for a healthcare solution? Kindly Contact Us here.

Securing patient data with Blockchain for an EDI provider

Securing-patient-data-with-Blockchain-for-an-EDI-provider

Within the Healthcare ecosystem, there are several touch points between patients’ and healthcare systems (Hospitals, Clinics, Labs, Doctors and more) where Blockchain can be implemented.

Our team was exploring blockchain for a healthcare technology provider who is innovating in the patient’s data storage space. Our client was more than happy to explore Blockchain to see how it can help, differentiate and build capabilities.

Foundation of a new healthcare IT system lies in the creation of a platform that allows interoperability, safe storage of patient data, and efficient exchange of information securely between stakeholders. Privacy of data and user-based access control is critical, this can be achieved using blockchain.

Medical data generated from a doctor’s examination note or patients wearable device or when the patient uploads his existing medical records, a digital signature is created for verification. This data is then encrypted and sent to the cloud (encrypted) storage, with a unique pointer being created in the blockchain along with the user’s unique ID.

When a patient’s data is requested, the unique pointer on the blockchain is used to retrieve the data from the encrypted storage. It is decrypted and displays on the relevant devices. The patient will be notified every time data is added (to the blockchain), or when a request to access data is received. Users can manage access on multiple levels of their data using their web or mobile apps. Private keys can be stored on patient’s behalf or it can be put on offline storage at the patient’s convenience.

The data of a patient is further split as private and public data to enable a wider visibility to other parties in the consortium like governments and Insurers. The public data in Client’s Datasets can be used by the government and other insurance providers to analyze and gain insights from the market.

Our client is a decentralized platform that enables secure, fast and transparent exchange and usage of medical data. We introduced utilization of blockchain technology to store patient health records and maintain a single version of the patient’s true data. It will enable different healthcare agents such as doctors, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacists, insurers, and government to request permission to access and interact with medical records. Each interaction is auditable, transparent, and secure and will be recorded as a transaction on client’s distributed ledger. Moreover, no privacy is lost in this process as every data transfer happens only with the consensus of the patient; It is built on the permission-based Hyperledger Fabric architecture which allows varying access levels; patients control who can view their records, how much they see and for what length of time.

Why did we build it on blockchain?

The healthcare industry has more data breaches than any other sector and 95% of medical institutions polled said they had been victims of a cyber attack. Medical records are being stolen and sold on darknet markets where they are 10 times more expensive than credit card data.

Sometimes the threat to your privacy isn’t outside the healthcare system, but from within it. Over a million patients’ health records attending London hospitals run by the NHS Royal Free Trust are being analyzed and mined by Google with little transparency and no option for withdrawal.

Whether the threat is from the inside or the outside, it is clear that in increasingly digitized and widespread healthcare systems there are more opportunities than ever for your records to be accessed without your permission. The patient has little autonomy to defend themselves against this and legacy healthcare systems are not properly prepared to protect patients’ data.

Advantages:

  • Data can only be accessed by the patient’s private key, even if the database is hacked, the data will be unreadable.
  • A patient will have full control over accessing their healthcare data. The patient will control who sees their data and what they see (Public data is visible to everyone; private data is a restricted data)
  • Instantaneous transfer of medical data. Every member in the distributed network of the healthcare blockchain would have the same data of the patient’s record.

Learning curve involves:

  • Patients will have to learn how to use their private key properly. They may wrongly assume these can be easily changed.
  • Stakeholders will need to learn how to use blockchain technology.
  • Legacy systems will either have to be tweaked or remade

As our journey with Blockchain begins exploring various use cases that can create more security and transparency for businesses, we look forward to empowering our clients with Blockchain in other industries.