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Internet of Things and Chronic Disease Management: Advancements and Opportunities

The rapid development of connected and smart devices has shifted our focus from the basics to the intelligent expansion of an IoT-enabled ecosystem. One area that has also caught people’s attention is the transformative impact of IoT in healthcare based on connected devices, sensors and networks. We know how IoT integration enables a massive healthcare experience that connects processes, personalized care and data-driven decisions. Among other things, a constant concern for healthcare providers is patient monitoring, which today is also a seamless process with the help of IoT-based devices. Isn’t it amazing?
Yes, with IoT remote patient monitoring, this has become a reality. IoT plays an incredible role in managing chronic diseases everywhere.

Understanding Chronic Diseases and Their Effects

Chronic diseases are diseases that last a year or more and require ongoing medical care or limitations in daily activities, or both. These diseases, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are also leading causes of death and disability. In addition, they account for a significant portion of the country’s annual health care costs. Therefore, treating chronic diseases is crucial to improving the health and economic well-being of the country.

Why IoT in Healthcare Effectively treat chronic diseases?

As chronic disease is a long-term illness that requires constant doctor-patient communication and ongoing medical care and concern. Although each time visiting mode may take some time and the process may not be completed. That is why patients delay the appointment on purpose or for some reason, skip them. In this case, IoT-based remote monitoring of patients with chronic diseases has become quite important. Let’s see how the Internet of Things in the healthcare industry is helping to treat chronic diseases.

Reporting and Monitoring

Remote monitoring of patients with chronic diseases using IoT devices allows healthcare providers to collect important information about patient health in real time. This data can be collected from any IoT-enabled device, such as a wearable device, including fitness trackers. When a person is diagnosed with a chronic disease, it takes longer to overcome it, but in the stages regular check-ups are necessary to avoid serious complications. Thus, the transfer of patient health information allows doctors to monitor the health status of patients infected with chronic diseases to implement the necessary preventive measures. In addition, IoT devices refine easier ways to manage reports. Monitoring and alerting critical conditions in healthcare is an innovative approach to monitoring critical conditions of patients with chronic diseases and sending alerts. This allows healthcare providers to improve patients’ life cycle through personal care ownership. IoT devices allow doctors to monitor vital signs of patients with chronic diseases, such as blood pressure, blood sugar and heart rate, and medication adherence. By continuously monitoring these parameters, the system can detect any deviations from normal levels and alert the healthcare provider or nurse in the event of a critical condition. This allows timely intervention, which can be lifesaving in some chronic diseases.

Telemedicine In chronic disease care

IoT-based telemedicine is a game changer and has the potential to deliver an exceptional patient experience. In addition to tracking and monitoring the health of patients suffering from chronic diseases, IoT in healthcare allows providers to provide real-time care from remote locations without having to be present. IoT applications in healthcare can also be used in the chronic disease management process to automate medication delivery and remind patients to take their medications on time, improving adherence and reducing the risk of complications.

1.Creating a list of patients who can benefit from remote monitoring and assistance
2  Select an IoT Device Once the patient is identified
3: Data Collection and Analysis IoT medical devices
4: Create a treatment plan Based on data analysis
5: Remote Monitoring through IoT devices
6: Patient Education and Engagement
7: Continuous Improvement

We saw why IoT in healthcare is effective ,Now let’s see how and what makes it effective.

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Glucose monitoring

Glucose monitoring devices include wearable sensors or embedded, that automatically monitor a patient’s glucose level, keeping a record data, and even alert medical professionals. Some devices which can be embedded even have the functionality of automatically supplying insulin when needed.

such monitoring is challenging as manual glucose monitoring provides data for the current glucose level only. But if these levels constantly fluctuate, this type is inadequate.

Moreover, the advantages of using these IoT sensors are the device’s capability of constant monitoring, reduced time on paperwork and data entry, and risk of human errors when doing the paperwork.

Glucose monitoring
Glucose monitoring

These devices help patients observe their sugar levels, and some can automatically regulate insulin levels, which help in increased quality of life

Two main challenges in this field faced by IoT Product engineering services are Firstly, developing devices are small enough that they do not disrupt a patient’s life. Secondly, companies must create IoT devices that do not require much electricity and do not need frequent re-charging.

Recent advancement by IoT product engineering services and companies have already taken up this task and we shall hope t see the challenge resolved soon.

Heart-rate monitoring

Unlike glucose monitoring, heart rate monitoring of a patient is already portable. devices like smartwatches or IoT sensors provide effortless monitoring of a person’s heart rate and data can be collected 24*7.

Monitoring the changes in heart rate is tricky when compared to glucose monitoring as it is affected by various activities during the day.

Heart-rate monitoring
Heart-rate monitoring

IoT devices provide a cost effective and long-lasting alternative that does not require patients to stay in a hospital. All of this has a positive effect on the patient’s quality of life and mental wellbeing.

Accuracy of the heart rate monitoring is a concern, medical devices in hospitals provide more accurate information than IoT devices.

IoT product engineering service providers have managed to provide up to 90 percent accuracy in the heart rate monitoring which has significantly improved the well-being costs and working on the precision further.

Hand hygiene monitoring

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are using hygiene monitoring IoT devices to ensure proper standards of cleanliness. These devices remind the staff and patients to regularly keep their hands sanitized.

It is especially used around critically ill patients. Different pathogens complicate the conditions of these patients. These IoT devices remind and instruct on how to keep the hands and surroundings sanitized.

Depression or mood monitoring

Ideally the constant tracking of a person’s mental health is tedious. Professionals must always keep a record of a patient’s feelings and diagnose them.
Bt mood swings are unpredictable by professionals too. Severely ill patients may not explain their feelings potently, which could lead to misguided diagnosis.

Depression or mood monitoring

IoT Health indicators are a great way to keep a tab on a person’s mental health.
Even though the IoT devices are a smarter way to diagnose and care, predicting depression or other symptoms with 100% accuracy is still a challenge IoT product engineering services and companies are working to bring the accuracy but meanwhile these diagnosis and data are equally helpful and cost effective as personal care.

Parkinson’s disease monitoring

These IoT healthcare devices can track the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and the fluctuation in the intensity of these symptoms throughout the day.
IoT devices automatically collect patient data and make this process a lot easier. The issue with these IoT devices detecting the symptoms is how sensitive a device is to possible symptoms. The intensity of the sensitivity of the device shows how the symptoms will be diagnosed and processed. If the device is too sensitive, it might falsely flag something as a symptom. On the other hand, a device that is not sensitive enough might miss some symptoms.

However, there are IoT product engineering services and companies that are trying to give solutions to the limitations of detecting Parkinson’s disease. Given the possibility of an independent life, some inaccuracies do not raise concerns.

Connected contact lenses

The main thing is that the eyes naturally deteriorate or develop certain diseases over time. Sometimes these diseases can last for a long time without the patient consulting a doctor. Some eye diseases can develop quickly, leaving the patient little time to react.

Combination contact lenses can look for early signs of certain eye diseases. However, some common diseases can also be detected with IoT lenses, such as early signs of diabetes through tear glucose levels.

Finally, having cameras in the lenses allows patients to take pictures with the lenses, so companies outside of healthcare are also developing the technology.

Many companies are already finding many uses for this technology. However, if a hacker can break the security of these connected devices, people using the lens could be spied on without their knowledge. Accessing what can be seen is a daunting prospect.

For these reasons, information security should be a top priority for healthcare companies. Clients should look for reliable companies that have a consistent portfolio of projects and are up to date with the latest security standards.

Connected inhalers

These IoT devices are a boon for asthma and COPD patients. These devices give regular reminders to patients to take up inhalers. Statistics show that 2 out of 3 deaths of asthmatic patients occur due to irregular monitoring of inhalers which is solved by these devices.

Connected inhalers provide many benefits for patients:

  • Track their medication use
  • Insight into causes of symptoms by giving allergen forecasts
  • Instruct patients on their technique when using the inhalers
  • Alert for potential seasonal triggers and pollen counts
Connected inhalers - IoT
Connected inhalers – IoT

IoT devices facilitate the work of medical professionals as well by:

  • Providing usage reports showing the medicine intake of the patients
  • Provide information helping to adjust the patient care
  • Alert for unexpected or erratic usage of medication
  • Enable remote supervision when physical visits are not possible

Issues faced here are that patients may miss carrying their inhalers everywhere which doesn’t help the purpose. Also, constant reminders put them at risk of over consumption of medicines. IoT mobile applications have advanced here and can be a good reminder for forgetting the inhalers and tracking the medicine consumption too.
Iot product engineering services and companies have managed to build up an eco-system where doctors get alerts on the consumption and frequency data of the patients and can be controlled easily.

Ingestible sensors

These IoT devices are small sensors that are ingested and designed to either pass through or dissolve in the digestive tract. A lot of these devices resemble the shape of a pill that a person must swallow. It helps collect biometric data, such as determining the PH level of the stomach or identifying the presence of internal bleeding or percentage of bile juices present in food consumed.

ingestible pill IoT
ingestible pill IoT

The insertion of these devices is not only less intrusive but all convenient and not messy. Yet, this technology is still new. Ingestible sensors must be small enough to easily be ingested and able to dissolve or pass through a patient’s digestive tract.
This IoT technology is still impractical. But may soon start serving the requirements and Many IoT product engineering services and companies are working hard and trying to meet industry standards.

Robotic surgery

A new way to perform surgeries is IoT medical devices. Surgeons can insert small devices such as internet robots into the human body to perform operations. Professionals use them to reduce human error when operations require precision.
The main issue is that the incisions required for manual surgery are larger compared to their robotic counterparts. Human hands need more space when performing complex operations. Using these robotic IoT devices, surgeons can perform more precise and efficient operations. Incisions are smaller because IoT devices are easier to install. All this results in a less invasive procedure and a shorter recovery for the patient. The main requirement for such devices is that they must be small and reliable enough to perform complex procedures. They should also be able to accurately analyze the conditions of the human body and formulate an appropriate decision for surgery.

Robotic surgery - IoT
Robotic surgery – IoT

These requirements do not seem to be an insurmountable problem because surgeons already use these devices in many operations. They are already invaluable tools for medical professionals.
The use of IoT robots in surgery is likely to increase as technology advances. However, the common element of the mentioned devices is their connection to the Internet. People value data security when working online and working with IoT medical devices is no different

Conclusion:

Looking at the increasing use of IoT technologies it is inevitably clear that IoT is the future. IoT product engineering services provided by a Product Engineering Company -Azilen technologies have a great scope to grow and bring in change. Companies having a good reach and technology exposure can reach new heights by implementing future-friendly updates in their existing work of development.

Harshvardhan Mishra

Hi, I'm Harshvardhan Mishra. Tech enthusiast and IT professional with a B.Tech in IT, PG Diploma in IoT from CDAC, and 6 years of industry experience. Founder of HVM Smart Solutions, blending technology for real-world solutions. As a passionate technical author, I simplify complex concepts for diverse audiences. Let's connect and explore the tech world together! If you want to help support me on my journey, consider sharing my articles, or Buy me a Coffee! Thank you for reading my blog! Happy learning! Linkedin

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