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Embedded IoT in medical devices

Hastening digital transformation in the healthcare industry

November 29, 2019

Embedded IoT in medical devices
From fitness bands to glucose monitors and ingestible sensors (“intelligent” pills that can be consumed for disease diagnostics and monitoring), IoT technology is now a driving force in medical devices and having a far-reaching impact on the healthcare industry.
 
By continuously tracking and monitoring data—about patients’ vital signs, the condition of medical equipment and much more—IoT is giving patients and healthcare professionals alike better insights. And it’s improving efficiencies and quality of care in an industry that continues to reinvent itself.
 
The benefits
With up-to-the-minute data at their fingertips, doctors and nurses can now continuously monitor patients’ chronic diseases. Specialists can confer with colleagues in another state or across the globe, and researchers can gain richer insights to develop new treatments.
 
Better data delivered in real time results allows patients and medical professionals alike to be more focused on preventative care, resulting in fewer visits to the doctor and the ER and fewer costly medical procedures.
 
IoT sensors give medical personnel the ability to monitor the health of the devices themselves so they can be proactive in addressing any technical problems with the potential to delay medical treatment. Pharmaceutical and medical supply inventories can also be tracked so hospitals don’t find themselves short of supplies that are critical to patient care.
 
The challenges
With more patient data come more risks. The availability of mountains of medical information will require healthcare organizations to invest in more advanced data storage capabilities—complicated by the need for patient data to be handled extremely carefully to ensure confidentiality and HIPAA compliance. The more IoT devices that are used in a hospital or clinic, the more ways there are for hackers to infiltrate the healthcare facility’s entire network.
 
Outdated IT infrastructure is another challenge the healthcare industry must address to make way for IoT innovation. With healthcare costs already sky high, retrofitting is the path of least resistance, but it only prolongs the inevitable need to upgrade when newer technology is released.  Another factor to consider is that obsolete infrastructure puts an added strain on IT personnel, which are in high demand (and expensive) these days.
 
At a time when IoT innovation is hastening digital transformation in healthcare institutions everywhere, providers must continually update their IT infrastructures for optimal operations, safer cyber security practices and better patient outcomes.
 
Your healthcare customers don’t want to be left behind.
If you want to explore the potential of IoT for the healthcare organizations you sell to, check out the IoT healthcare solutions Ingram Micro has to offer. When you’re ready to talk over specific scenarios and recommendations, reach out to the IoT experts at Ingram Micro.