IoT (Internet of Things) technology is winning over the medical vertical with quality patient care and improved business ROI. 

IoT Technology in healthcare, doctor using technology

There are not many modern healthcare technologies or modalities that create a landscape for quality-centered patient care. How about one that also provides an operational structure, affords total asset and inventory visibility, and delivers real-time location of everything a health system needs to track?

Apptricity provides a solution-based application that solves a health system’s problems around a lack of asset tracking, asset availability, transparency, or real-time location services.

IoT in healthcare has now achieved enough attention, implementation, and validation to receive a standalone IoT acronym. Welcome to IoMT, the Internet of Medical Things. The medical vertical is historically cautious with adopting new technology, but extra vetting is to be expected when treating human life.

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How does equipment location and supply inventory tracking translate to a higher quality patient experience? It is well-chronicled and has been for many years. An average of about one hour per shift is spent searching for medical equipment by over one-third of nurses interviewed. Users quickly identify a measurable correlation in the efficiency of time and quality of the patient interaction. Providers no longer become bogged down with menial tasks or actions and can provide the best care for their patients.

An IoT-organized system of inventory and storage provides more time treating patients and less time searching for appropriate supplies and equipment. Apptricity’s IoT devices and software are designed to support healthcare operations by providing real-time answers to questions such as:

·  “What do I have in stock and available for use?

·  “Where is my mobile diagnostic equipment?”

·  “Where are my ventilators? My PPE?”

·  “How many MRI units are down for maintenance? Who is servicing them?”

·  “Who is responsible for, custodian of, or current user of an asset?”

Apptricity IoT network devices, sensors, and applications support asset and inventory identification, patient security, and supply chain control across multiple locations for hospital systems.

More c-suite decision-makers are becoming aware of the 19.8%CAGR of IoT in the healthcare market. They are looking for a system providing real-time location services to identify inventory and assets on a specific floor, in a storage room, in the sterile supply, inside the operating room, off-site for maintenance, out-of-service, or in the warehouse awaiting distribution.

Mitigating risk is paramount for hospital systems. It is difficult to identify, track, and allocate supplies for one location, let alone a dozen or even more. Supply-chain shortages have added to the difficulties. There are more medical device categories in short supply than ever before. The pandemic brought shortages of PPE and ventilators to the forefront of everyone’s attention. Now, supply chain shortages will affect the availability of a wider-reaching collective of medical products soon.

Security is another usage of the utmost importance in IoT for healthcare. Physical security is not only limited to security forces and camera systems. A hospital can control exactly which employee, visitor, vendor, and patient has access to appropriate areas of the hospital. RFID tags are commonly found in personnel badges and are increasingly found in patient identification wristbands. These are identified by sensors and limit or grant access to high-security or off-limits areas.

The next security issue of equal importance is the security and protection of personal health information and data. Blockchain technology is one method of coded security with healthcare in mind. Other security focuses on edge and cloud access permissions. Digging deeper, the market for built-in IoT device security(think device firewall) is another area of fast growth. There are growing protocols and security settings that afford IoT-connected devices access to the highest level of security encryption. 

The Apptricity corporation is an IoT solutions expert for clients and partners, including the US Army, US Air Force, Verizon, Travis County Emergency Medical Services, Lockheed, AT&T, Brinks, and many more.

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