Internet of Medical Things

  • Dec 31st, 2018
  • Guy Paterson

The Internet of Medical Things: Better Care and Managment.

In a Dec 27, 2018 article in Healthcare Informatics, Mark Wolff discusses the potential of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).  Smart sensors in patient wearables and medical devices can detect issues in real time, now coupled with Artificial Intelligence Software, caregivers can be notified of impending issues in clinical and home based care settings.

Potential uses include:

  • Optimizing staffing and workflow - Resource tracking including patients, staff, supplies, skills, and equipment can identified and located leading to dramatics reductions real-time care delivery.  Even a basic IoMT solution can collect and bring together such data as staff location and expertise, patient acuity and location, and availability and location of critical diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.
  • Analytics - With analytics, this data can help managers improve workflow and make better staffing and scheduling decisions. The data can also be used to understand the movement of people and assets, and to predict where staffing and equipment will be most needed the next day, or in the weeks ahead. Ideally, healthcare facilities will be able to move to appropriate dynamic, on-demand scheduling and resource allocation schemes. This ensures that the right people are assigned to the right places to efficiently deliver quality care while improving staff morale and patient satisfaction.
  • Fewer False Alarms - This occurs when care providers receive too many clinical alerts and become desensitized over time. With up to 99 percent of alerts being false alarms, alert fatigue is a life-threatening epidemic in healthcare settings, directly responsible for growing numbers of patient injuries and deaths.  These smart devices collect data, which is integrated with other medical device and system data and then analyzed to determine whether to trigger a silent alarm for a noncritical event or an audible alarm for a life-critical event.  In this way, IoMT will increase confidence in alarms, reduce work load and drive timely action—keeping patients safer.
  • Better Diagnosis, Better Outcomes - Remote health monitoring can reduce the length of hospital stays allowing constant monitoring using patient wearables.  Collecting granular patient data at frequencies previously unimaginable is within reach—not just when people are sick or in a hospital, but where people live and work. Think of the potential in clinical trials, as well. This data can be combined with behavioral, physiological, biochemical, genetic, genomic and epigenetic data and more.  Analytics will be able to detect new, previously hidden or unknown patterns and relationships between data, diagnoses, treatments and patient outcomes. The result will be next-generation expert systems that will eventually develop a level of autonomy in diagnosis and treatment. We’ll soon see them routinely assisting physicians and nurse practitioners, helping them provide high-quality care and achieve better patient outcomes at a lower cost.

Author: Mark Wolff, Ph.D., Chief Health Analytics Strategist, SAS Global IoT Division


Guy Paterson Guy Paterson is Co-Chair of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce - Health Innovation Initiatives Group and represent solely his opinion.

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