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IoT is driving a home healthcare industry

The types of technologies emerging include artificial intelligence, big data, and sensor technologies. These are driving both smart hospitals and assisting with the home healthcare sector. This is according to a report from analysts Frost & Sullivan.

The report is titled “Internet of Medical Things Enabling Hospitals of the Future.” Frost & Sullivan is an organization that assists investors, corporate leaders and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies.

The report charts a trend occurring within healthcare, which is from so-called ‘reactive healthcare’ (where a person visits a healthcare official in response to a problem) and towards what is termed ‘proactive patient care’ (where the individual takes a degree of responsibility of their own health through the use of health monitoring systems).

Artificial intelligence, for example, can collect the large quantities of data, including information produced by IoT systems in order to make inferences and predict medical diagnostics based on complex analysis algorithms. The driver towards this has been partly driven by technological advances in relation to sensor technologies together with a sub-division of the Internet of Things, termed the ‘Internet of Medical Things’.

The Frost & Sullivan analysis indicates that smart sensors are assisting with the creation of a connected ecosystem which is enabling possibilities for remote or home healthcare advances. There is discussion in the review about this form of monitoring and treatment one day becoming the dominant model, ahead of the hospital.

The types of technology being developed includes wearables and e-skin sensors intended to assist the wearer with chronic disease management. In recent years there have been improvements with the size (smaller), sensitivity, selectivity, and communications capability of such sensors. Improved communications in particular assist with real-time remote monitoring.

As well as specialist devices there have also been advances with apps for smartphones and fitness devices. According to Varun Babu, Senior Research Analyst, TechVision, who was involved with the report: “Sensors, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data analytics, and blockchain are vital technologies for IoMT as they provide multiple benefits to patients and facilities alike.”

He adds: “For instance, they help with the delivery of targeted and personalized medicine while simultaneously ensuring seamless communication and high productivity within smart hospitals.”

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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