IoT in Healthcare: Market Overview, IoMT System Architecture, Use Cases
The global medical Internet of Things (IoMT) market is projected to grow from $72.5 billion in 2020 to $188.2 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 21%. IoMT is popular for remote patient monitoring, hospital asset tracking, medical staff location tracking, and more. It enables uninterrupted real-time monitoring and helps automate routine care delivery operations and administrative tasks and ensure secure patient stay at the hospital.
Already in 2019, Gartner revealed that 79% of surveyed healthcare organizations with $100+ million annual revenues were using the IoT technology in their processes. According to Deloitte, 87% of surveyed medtech companies believe that connected medical devices will be central to delivering value and efficiency for healthcare providers.
The key drivers of IoT adoption in healthcare:
- The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic like staff shortage, increased patient flow, etc.
- Need to reduce costs associated with healthcare services by optimizing routine tasks (e.g., patients’ health parameters monitoring) and overall operations efficiency.
- Focus on active patient engagement and patient-centric care, high demand for a personalized approach to care.
An IoMT application usually connects a set of devices (e.g., smart medical devices for remote patient monitoring, RFID tags and readers for IoT-based tracking) via gateways to a cloud server. The cloud server hosts data storage, processing, and analytics modules, solution business logic, and control applications. The user and admin apps enable patients, medical staff, and other employees involved to access the collected and analyzed data, send commands to control apps (e.g., to turn off ward air conditioning), and more.
Remote patient monitoring
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions enable continuous health data collection (e.g., body temperature, blood pressure), early symptom detection, alerting on abnormal health parameters, and more. RPM solutions provide patients with accessible care, improve care continuity, patient support and engagement.
How IoT-enabled patient monitoring works: Connected medical devices (e.g., ECG patches, EEG sensors, glucometers) or wearable biosensors collect health parameters and send them to a cloud server for storage and analysis. If the health parameters exceed or go below the pre-set thresholds, a doctor and a patient get notified.
- Monitoring patients with chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s disease), COPD, cancer.
- After-surgery monitoring of outpatients.
- Advanced analytics for diagnostic monitoring to detect the early symptoms of diseases (e.g., prediabetes, arrhythmia).
- Analytics to identify disease course patterns and potential complications.
- Monitoring of medication adherence (e.g., using smart medication dispensing devices for geriatric patients, smart pill bottles).
- Sports medicine.
Hospital asset tracking
Hospital asset tracking solutions help minimize asset loss and theft and deliver patient care more efficiently due to decreased search time of medical supplies, medications, etc.
How IoT-enabled hospital asset tracking works: RFID tags are attached to or embedded into hospital assets (e.g., medical devices, surgical tools). When an asset is moved, RFID readers located in the hospital rooms or halls (e.g., on the walls, by the doors) read the tag and send information on the asset location to the cloud server. The hospital asset tracking solution can display movable assets on an interactive hospital map or show the nearest assets upon a search request.
- Medication inventory tracking.
- Hospital equipment utilization monitoring (e.g., MRI scanners).
- Prevention of hospital items use by unauthorized people.
Patient and staff tracking
Monitoring the location of patients and medical staff in hospitals enhances security, helps identify and address inefficiencies in the staffing and scheduling processes of a healthcare organization (e.g., lack of on-duty nurses), and improves bed allocation.
How IoT-enabled patient and staff tracking works: Each patient and staff member gets a bracelet with an RFID tag containing relevant information (e.g., ID, name, position, electronic medical record, current health condition). When a patient or a staff member moves around the hospital, RFID readers on the hospital walls and ceilings receive the tag’s location and send it to the cloud server for further processing and analysis.
- Patient safety monitoring in hospitals.
- Prevention of infant abduction.
- Monitoring of flight-risk patients.
- Staff location monitoring in emergency rooms.
- Patient flow optimization in hospitals.
Smart hospital solutions
Smart hospital use cases are numerous – from room environment monitoring to the identification of security incidents (e.g., unsolicited access to a laboratory). Smart hospital solutions bring benefits like decreased power, water consumption and associated expenses, optimized ward conditions to support patients’ recovery, etc.
How IoT-enabled smart hospital solution works: Using sensors (e.g., motion sensors, temperature sensors), a smart hospital solution collects necessary information about a room condition to analyze and initiate a set of pre-defined actions. For example, when the motion is detected, the solution turns on the lights; when the ward temperature is above 77 degrees, the solution turns on air conditioning.
- Climate control (e.g., to maintain a lower temperature in empty wards, adapt ward humidity).
- Smart room lighting.
- Hospital energy efficiency monitoring.
- Hospital security monitoring.
Remote care delivery and self-management for patients
Used primarily for patients with chronic diseases, remote care delivery IoT solutions facilitate patient treatment in home settings, ensuring secure and efficient care decisions without the direct participation of the doctor.
How IoT-based self-management for patients with chronic diseases works: Via the connected medical devices or sensors, the IoMT solution gets data on patients’ health state, and, if necessary, triggers the treatment delivery (e.g., insulin injection using an insulin pump), calculates the necessary medication dose, etc.
- Diabetes management (e.g., using continuous glucose monitors, smart insulin pens, continuous glucose monitors, smart insulin pumps, or closed-loop artificial pancreas systems).
- IoT-based spirometer therapy for patients with COPD.
Use: to collect data (e.g., patients’ vitals, asset location) and transfer it to the cloud server via gateways.
Smart connected medical devices
RFID tags (active and passive)
Use: to ensure the connection between a smart device or a sensor and the cloud server.
Bluetooth Low Energy
Real-time data streaming
Use: to ensure the transition of input data from connected devices to a data lake.
Use: to store data generated by connected devices in the cloud in the initial format.
Having 17 years in healthcare IT consulting and development services, 11 years in IoT, and an ISO 13485 certified quality management system, ScienceSoft is ready to bring your medical IoT projects to life.
Consulting on IoMT adoption
What we do:
- Identify and analyze your medical IoT and related business needs.
- Outline the functionality of future IoMT software.
- Create a high-level APIs design to enable required integrations (with EHR, CRM, practice management software, etc.).
- Design tailored IoMT software with a flexible architecture to allow you to add new features when required.
- Estimate the cost, ROI, and software delivery timelines.
- Regulatory compliance roadmap (e.g., to comply with HIPAA, HITECH regulations).
Development of IoMT software products
What we do:
- Conceptualize IoMT software based on high-level or detailed requirements.
- Create a comprehensive feature list of healthcare IoT software.
- Plan IoMT software architecture with a focus on flexibility and scalability.
- Develop the MVP of the IoMT system with priority features in 3-6 months and roll out other functionality upon the agreed schedule.
- Ensure IoMT software compliance with required regulations (HIPAA, HITECH, etc.).
- Support and maintain software (if required).
Established in 1989, ScienceSoft is an international IT consulting and software development vendor headquartered in McKinney, Texas, US. Being ISO 13485 and ISO 27001 certified, we assist healthcare organizations and software product companies in designing and developing high-quality medical IoT software.