When you use a wearable device, like a smartwatch, you receive several health notifications throughout the day – it motivates you to move, counts your steps, counts calories, monitors your heart rate, and monitors your blood oxygen level, among other things.

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has made the world around us a lot more smarter and responsive. Essentially, IoMT brings physical devices and digital technology together to communicate real-time data, which has huge implications in healthcare. Remote monitoring is an application of IoMT that is gaining popularity in the healthcare industry.

In recent years, the Internet of Medical Things has ushered in wearables and stand-alone devices that will allow devices to communicate with each other or with the cloud.

How does remote monitoring work?

Smartwatches and other wearable devices are embedded with sensors. It collects your health data, including height, weight, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, blood sugar, and ECG, and transmits the data to a secure server online. It is then possible for you to share this information with your health provider or medical professional. Medical professionals assess the real-time data and provide treatment and recommendations as necessary.

IoMT is increasingly being used in healthcare devices such as:

Remote Patient Monitoring Devices – These are usually home monitoring devices used in patients’ homes.

Personal Emergency Response System – wearable devices that allow patients to call for help in an emergency.

Consumer grade wearables – devices that monitor your health, such as smart watches and activity trackers.

Medical-grade wearables – devices used by medical professionals.
Point-of-Care devices – Equipment that collects and diagnoses data in hospitals and clinics.

In-hospital devices – used in a network of devices to monitor assets, inventory, patient flow, and resources.

Smart Pills – Pills embedded with sensors that transmit health information when swallowed, enabling doctors to monitor patient health.

Benefits of remote monitoring

Wearable sensors enable long-term disease management and enhance patient safety and wellness. Stand-alone devices such as MRI machines and ultrasound machines generate, collect, transmit, and connect health data to healthcare provider networks. Increased connectivity helps to improve patient care inside hospitals as well as in remote locations.

Accurate Diagnosis

Wearable technologies enable healthcare providers to access patient data in real-time. Doctors can monitor their patients on a daily basis and tweak treatment without having to physically see them. People with disabilities, chronic conditions, and aging populations could benefit from real- time information exchange.

Early Intervention

Remote monitoring devices can aid in the treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Smartphone wearables monitor and collect data on sleep, neural activity, cognition, fine motor skills, speech, and physical activity of patients and upload them to the cloud for analysis. Health providers can diagnose early dementia based on real-time data and recommend lifestyle changes to slow its progression.

Reduced healthcare costs

Accurate diagnosis, quick access, and lower healthcare costs are some of the advantages of IoMT. IoMT devices eliminate the need for patients to visit facilities in person, thereby reducing costs. Goldman Sachs estimates that IoMT could save the healthcare industry $300 billion annually. Globally, the IoMT market is expected to reach $252.2 billion in 2028, according to ATR.

There is a shift in the healthcare industry toward smarter and more responsive healthcare.A robust IoMT ecosystem is paving the way for improved patient care and efficiency of medical providers.