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Strategies for improving healthcare IoT

The so-called Internet of Medical Things is designed to transform the way medical equipment operates. This has been enabled through most hospitals having both wired and Wi-Fi enabled equipment, from intravenous-pumps to X-ray machines; and from telemetry monitors to hand wash detectors.

By exploiting the Internet of Medical Things, healthcare professionals can segment and monitor devices in real-time. This allows for systems to be checked that they are secure; to assess if they are working properly; and to collect data relating to patient health and treatments.

According to analysts Hit Consult, the big challenge for healthcare arises because most “organizations are learning the hard way is it’s difficult to stitch together cloud-based solutions with hard-wired legacy devices and systems.”

The analysts offer five strategies to make the development of the Internet of Medical Things easier. These are:

Focus on Network Infrastructure First

Many healthcare organizations make the mistake of seeking to establish an Internet of Things ecosystem at the wrong place, which is often with application-related initiatives. Instead IT departments need to understand the ins and outs of the network and how each device will operate within it.

Use Device Visibility and Data Analytics

All too often organizations do not have the visibility necessary to know where the connected medical devices are in the network and how they are functioning. A review the basics is necessary, such as knowing whether a new device is operating properly and what data is it transmitting. Therefore, visibility and intuitive data analytics are critical.

Secure Your Network via Segmentation

The security of healthcare Internet of Things is a very important requirement to preserve the privacy and safety of patients. To protect systems from an external attack it critical to structure your network to prevent security breaches. This is best achieved by segmentation or partitioning of the network.

Make Monitoring a Top Priority

Routine observation and tracking of devices connected to the network is important and this means monitoring all the devices and applications on the network continuously.

Unify Your Onboarding Approach

A core strategy for Internet of Things success is to avoid disjointed approaches, especially those arising from multi-departmental initiatives.

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Written By

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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