Healthcare IoT can dramatically optimize workflow and staffing. Even a basic one IoT solution can collect and collect data such as staff location and expertise, patient acuity and location, and availability and location of critical diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. Once modeled, this data can help staff leaders improve workflows and make better staffing and planning decisions. The data can also be used to understand the movement of people and assets and to predict where personnel and equipment are most needed the next day or in the coming weeks. Ideally, healthcare facilities will be able to move to appropriate dynamic on-demand scheduling and resource allocation schemes. This would ensure that the right people are assigned to the right places to effectively deliver quality care while improving staff morale and patient satisfaction.
With the help of IoT in health care, we can finally begin to address the critical problem of alert fatigue in the delivery of clinical care. This happens when care providers receive too many clinical alarms – with up to 99 percent of them being false alarms. Alert fatigue is directly responsible for increasing numbers of patient injuries and deaths.1
With IoT in health care, there are many ways to do it improve patient care and safety. For example, hospitals can use smart, connected monitoring devices linked to patient records, pharmacy systems, room location, nurses’ schedules, and more. The sensors in these smart devices collect data that is integrated with other medical devices and system data and then analyzed to determine whether to sound a silent alarm for a non-critical event or an audible alarm for a life-critical event. In this way, IoT boosts confidence in alarms, reduces workload, and drives timely action – keeping patients safer.
The greatest opportunities for IoT in health care might lie in helping clinicians make faster, more accurate diagnoses and more accurate, personalized treatment plans. These opportunities can improve results, reduce costs and ultimately provide greater access to high quality care to more people across the globe. Healthcare technology IoT can integrate and analyze different types of diagnostically relevant data and move them to clinical decision support systems. Healthcare providers using these systems will have a more complete picture of each patient’s health, as well as tools to make faster and more accurate treatment recommendations. Such opportunities are already being realized in the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, where speed and accuracy are crucial to saving patients’ lives.
Healthcare IoT: Better patient outcomes, lower costs
These are all examples of how IoT i health care allows us to collect granular patient data at frequencies previously unimaginable – not only when people are sick or in a hospital, but where people live and work. These data can be combined with behavioral, physiological, biochemical, genetic, genomic and epigenetic data and more. The amount and scope of the data enables the development of powerful learning and adaptive diagnostic and therapeutic models. Over time, these algorithms will be able to detect new, previously hidden or unknown patterns and relationships between data, diagnoses, treatments, and patient outcomes. The result will be the next generation of expert systems that will eventually develop an autonomy level in diagnosis and treatment. Soon, we see them routinely helping doctors and nurses, helping them provide high-quality care and achieving better patient outcomes at a lower cost.