How the Internet of Medical Things Is Creating New Opportunities for Life Sciences

Apr 07 2023

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IoMT | A New Buzzword in Life Sciences

The interest in the Internet of Medical Things and Big Data for smart healthcare has been increasing significantly because of its substantial impact on our economy's advancement. The digital revolution has led to a rapid improvement in the design and development of many prediction systems and mobile health apps.

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and Big Data play an important role in prediction systems enabled in medical applications, especially for solving issues related to disease biology at multiple scales. Integrating Medical Big Data with IoT can allow for reliable prediction processes to generate automatic recommendations of diagnosis and treatment.

Approaches in Healthcare Using Internet of Medical Things and Big Data

Healthcare is an essential service delivering protection and improvement for everyone. However, due to the increasing complexity of healthcare, high-quality and affordable healthcare services have become a difficult task to retain for all individuals. Therefore, Healthcare researchers are consistently trying to bring innovative approaches for companies and healthcare professionals to execute new technological ideas to improve the system.

Big Data Takes Off: A Spotlight on Life Sciences

Big Data contains an enormous volume of structured and unstructured data, which is analyzed computationally. However, there are several other definitions of big data available. For instance, IBM says that big data is continuously generated by everything worldwide at an unsettling velocity, volume, and variety. But in theories, three V's are most important in big data: variety, velocity, and volume.

Big data in Life Sciences is used in storage, analysis, and many more things. As we know, electronic health data is heavy in size and complicated in nature. It is difficult to handle with existing data management methods, software, and hardware, wherein Wearable devices can produce data in lesser time than traditional ways.

With the introduction of big data in the healthcare industry, complicated business processes were optimized, and productivity was also improved. By 2030, Pharmaceutical industry is projected to spend $4.5 Billion on Digital Transformation.

Big data offers great potential in operating on vast chunks of data and can solve hidden problems that are discovered. This distinctive approach can be implemented to reduce the costs of processing time for massive amounts of data.

For instance, our client, The Advisory Board Company (ABC), is known for their enterprise hospital administration software, named Crimson. It helps in tracking, evaluating, and generating insights from patient and doctor interactions. However, the Advisory Board Company wanted to scale it up even more by making it easier for health care providers to access the critical and relevant data from anywhere.

They were looking for a solution that could deliver a holistic 360-degree view of doctor's performance on essential factors such as critical skills, utilization measures, order sets, and patient satisfaction rates. Icreon helped ABC build a solution that enabled them to receive significant insights into physician performance and cost of care outcomes.

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) - Enabling Next-gen Healthcare Solutions

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a term that refers to any device that connects to a network and communicates with other devices. IoT-enabled devices can work alone or with other devices, offering flexibility in how services and devices can be deployed. In some scenarios, the devices can use the information to carry out particular actions. In this case, artificial intelligence and machine learning can be leveraged to improve IoT's impact.

Particularly for the healthcare industry, connecting devices to one another opens a wide range of opportunities for how healthcare stakeholders can engage. The strain of the pandemic has been pushing the healthcare sectors to the brink of capacity. Hospitals are rushing to meet the massive patient demand and look for better ways to source the essential supplies. This is paving the way for technologies like IoT to bring profound change in the sector.

Below we have listed some of the potential use cases applicable for medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

Pharmaceutical Use Cases

The entire pharma value chain is present with several operational challenges. IoT-enabled devices can provide a solution to address some of these issues. For example -

Clinical Trials: These require complicated designs, precise and accurate data collection, and clinical staffing for assessing and monitoring. IoT for clinical trials can offer higher data quality and integrity, flexible trial design, real-time data capture, faster patient enrollment and retention, and reduced operational expenses.

Drug Discovery and Development: IoT can help in offering more accurate clinical research and testing than the traditional trial and error approach. IoT analytics is known for helping to increase efficiency, reduce human errors, and wastage. It also delivers accessibility of data and Improves the real-time visibility of drug development.

Engaging with Healthcare Professionals - Several tech offerings are worth taking a risk to boost healthcare professional (HCP) engagement. Here's how - for patients to receive full benefits from the new medicines, HCPs need to have access to and know the latest information and clinical use of the products. Pharma companies often help HCPs provide new data or clarification that can improve patient care. Better data and insight give HCPs the kind of information they seek.

Medical Device Use Cases

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has opened up a brand-new world of possibilities for medical devices. It has the ultimate potential to take healthcare delivery to a new level.

Inventory Tracking: IoT in healthcare can be used to reduce the time spent seeking or tracking medications and equipment. This makes more time for providers to focus on patient care. These devices can be leveraged to make better supply chain management decisions. Adding blockchain technology to IoT will make the security robust, and its ledger system can do tracking.

Remote Patient Monitoring: This allows the HCPs to collect real-time glimpses into patient behavior. IoT-enabled devices can collect and automate many patient vital signs and behavioral data remotely, thus guiding better patient care management.

Drug Medication Adherence: Poor medication adherence is recognized as a critical source of waste in the health care system. One-third of all patients in the U.S. don't take their medications as prescribed by their physician.

Annually, medication errors have been estimated to result in a staggering cost of $42 billion USD worldwide.

This results in having about $300 billion in healthcare costs. In addition, almost 33 - 60% of medication-related issues are due to a lack of adherence. It consists of personal expenses beyond the financial ones and includes poor health outcomes, leading to decreased efficiencies and impeded quality of life.

IoT-enabled tools have a crucial role in drug adherence through medication notification to patients and providers. Also, remote medication adherence monitoring can be done as well. Some examples of IoT use cases are -

Pillbox, which is a simple medication tracking device, can allow the evaluation of medication adherence daily. This tool enhances the existing system by delivering frequent and automatic data collection and more information about medication errors.

Another use case is smart pill bottles to improve implementation and patient satisfaction. Research says that 60% of the patients find the smart pill bottle program to be effective. This pill bottle technology works by giving the reminder to the patience in case of missing a dose.

If a patient needs extra support, then it ensures the patient can receive the care they need. Inside every pill bottle, there is a cellular chip installed to measure the usage and contents 24/7. This system tracks the patient's behavior to provide insights on what they should be doing.

Adapt to Today's Demand and Tomorrow's Dynamic Environment

The global healthcare crisis has propelled digital data and analytics to the helm of the industry, minimizing the time it takes to develop new treatments. Next-generation technologies like the Internet of Medical Things and Big Data drive more rapid and effective patient care. They're also facilitating the rapid redevelopment of networks, patient interaction ventures, and the ambition for new meaningful opportunities.

To know more about how to accelerate all of these changes into your organization, connect with us here for a discussion.