Challenges of IoT in Healthcare
The challenges of IoT in healthcare are evident in the ways that physicians interact with their patients. The devices may not always be easily available for the physicians or the hospitals, and so in many cases, it’s the patients themselves who have to get in contact with the doctors to get their healthcare questions answered. This may make it hard to get medical advice when there are so many technical difficulties.
Even in areas outside of the field of computer science, healthcare is seeing technological issues cropping up time and again. One of the biggest challenges facing doctors is how to keep abreast of new, often very complicated, technologies that make up a global healthcare landscape that’s increasingly more digitalized. It’s also a landscape that have many gray areas, including those between traditional hospitals and other kinds of care givers, and the relationships between different kinds of devices and providers, such as primary care physicians and specialists. These gaps can cause many problems for patients.
One of the most common ways that doctors and other experts have sought answers to the challenges of IoT in healthcare is to use big data and artificial intelligence to help them figure out how to best keep track of their patients. This could be done by using teletherapy equipment that’s hooked up to a digital system or a PLC or remotely controlled system. One challenge is to get this kind of system to work on a smaller scale in an environment without many electronic obstacles. The way that doctors are learning to deal with this issue is by training their own staff to use the digital equipment that’s available to them, and to communicate with the devices over a wireless connection instead of using voice protocols.
Another challenge is gathering enough information from the devices to allow doctors to make informed decisions about patients. There are challenges here too, but the real crux is whether or not it-based solutions will be able to pull all of that information together in a meaningful way. Many professionals believe that medical devices won’t be able to pull that off because of the way they have to interpret data. Doctors will still need to be able to access patient records, but they will be doing so on an iPhone or some other mobile device that doesn’t have the same limitations as a traditional PLC based equipment.
In some cases, the biggest challenges of IoT in healthcare might come from the companies that sell medical devices and software to healthcare providers. These companies aren’t going to be as open about the potential problems as those within the healthcare industry. What most don’t realize is that even regular people can be involved in making healthcare better. They may be able to help train healthcare providers to make the best use of digital devices and software and also get regular updates about new technology. That means that regular people can help consumers manage their health more effectively.
The companies that sell medical devices can also be held accountable if they provide consumers with information about how their devices are used. For example, some sell software that monitors a patient’s glucose level remotely. If the patient forgets to pay attention to a test or doesn’t bring in a doctor’s note right away, the system will record the lapse. The company that sold the software could then be held liable for providing the data to the patient’s physician. This might mean that the provider could be fined or even sued by the patient for providing inappropriate healthcare solutions.
Another of the challenges of IoT in healthcare occurs when devices stop working or start malfunctioning. In many cases, these issues will have been discovered by trained professionals who act as testers for healthcare facilities. However, the biggest issue will come from ordinary consumers who are installing and using these devices. When devices stop working, they often have to call in IT support technicians from the facility to troubleshoot the issue.
Some of these technicians might not know anything about how healthcare works. In order to prevent this kind of mishap from happening, organizations need to train their staff in the use of medical devices. Additionally, they should train their employees to perform basic maintenance and repairs on the devices themselves. This will help to ensure that the problem does not escalate into something more severe. By addressing some of the challenges of IoT in healthcare, organizations can ensure that their devices are able to provide superior care to their patients.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.