IoT has become an integral part of our lives. There are many examples of the successful use of IoT innovations in the medical and healthcare industries. Using connected devices, healthcare specialists can control the lives and treatment of their patients in real-time. We have chosen five excellent examples of the IoT used in the healthcare niche. Let’s see what medicine is capable of thanks to the innovative IoT technology.
Smart Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Using the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), people with diabetes can monitor their blood glucose levels for several days at a time, due to the readings taken at regular intervals. The first GCM system was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1999. Today, there is a growing number of smart CGMs being used in the industry.
Eversense and Freestyle are two of the most popular CGM examples. They record and send the data on blood glucose levels to iPhone and Android apps and iWatch. The wearer can keep an eye on the current stat and watch the trends. When it comes to remote health monitoring, apps like FreeStyle LiberLink keep caregivers updated on the current glucose levels of diabetic children or elderly parents.
Asthma impacts the lives of millions of people worldwide. Like patients with diabetes, smart technologies provide them with increased insights and control over the current symptoms and the right treatment.
Propeller Health is one of the leading producers of sensors that attach to inhalers or Bluetooth spirometers. The sensor comes with a mobile application that helps people with asthma understand the symptoms, track the medication use, and get a forecast. The Propeller sensor generates reports on inhaler use and keeps the patient’s doctor updated with this information. The company was founded in 2010. In 2014, they started to work with inhalers from GlaxoSmithKline’s Diskus inhaler and the Respimat. Today, the company collaborates with many major producers of inhalers in the world.
Connected Contact Lenses
The concept of using connected contact lenses to track patients’ health in real-time has a great deal of potential. During the last decade, companies like Google Life Sciences were among the first who announced their plan to develop smart contact lenses that could measure the tear glucose and provide early warning for people with diabetes when their blood glucose drops below the allowed threshold. However, many researchers reacted to the project with a great deal of skepticism, claiming that measuring the blood glucose level with tears is scientifically incorrect. As a result, the project was shelved.
There are more successful examples of companies developing smart contact lenses. Verily partnered with Alcon to treat presbyopia and manage cataract surgery recovery.
Apple Watch App to Monitor Depression
Wearable technologies can be used for monitoring cognitive health. In 2017, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. partnered with Cognition Kit Limited to monitor and assess patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The study showed a high level of people’s compliance with the app. Patients used the Apple Watch app daily to monitor their mood and cognition. The study demonstrated the high potential for wearable technologies to be used to assess the effects of depression in real-time.
Apple’s ResearchKit and Parkison’s Disease
In 2018, Apple’s open-source Research Kit API was updated with the “Movement Disorder API” that allows iWatches to monitor the Parkison’s disease symptoms. The API aims to make the process of tracking the disease symptoms and keeping a diary remotely. Using the app on the connected iPhone, you can find a dedicated graph featuring daily and hourly breakdowns and minute-by-minute symptom fluctuation.
Apple aims to keep developing the potential for its applications to be used in medical and research purposes. In 2017, the company developed the CareKit open-source framework. Unlike the HealthKit that is intended to be used for fitness and sports-related cases, CareKit suits for medical-related purposes.
These are 5 of the highlighted examples of IoT use in the healthcare industry. More innovations are hitting the market regularly. The automated and distance healthcare tracking opens the road for a new stage of more medical and healthcare developments that let us take better control of our health.