Connection and reliance on the internet of things have been on the rise over the recent past. Moving forward, there’s an expected growth of about 12 percent each year with the number of devices expected to go above 120 billion devices by 2030.
This new trend is attributed to the fact that Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the network itself can revolutionalize nearly all sectors in an economy.
IoT in the Health Sector
When all the industries have started leveraging IoT, Healthcare industry is counting on the potential of IoT to improve the quality of the services and the condition of the work environment. Let’s jump right in and look at some of the interesting ways in which the IoT has been used to improve the health sector.
Healthcare is becoming more and more expensive. The fact that the number of chronic ailments has been on the rise complicates the matter even more. If the situation is allowed to persist, good health care would be a preserve of a few people. Fortunately, the internet of things is a technology that makes everything easy and therefore salvaging this situation.
Improved technology may not do much to prevent anyone from falling sick, however, it can go a long way into making the healthcare that he/she is supposed to receive affordable and accessible. Medical checks are some of the activities that benefit hugely from the internet of things. Instead of going to the hospital in person to get checked, patients can now benefit from home-centric diagnosis which is much cheaper than hospital-based checks.
Benefits of IoT in Health Care
Secure Internet of things in medicine allows for real-time reporting and monitoring and ensures your data remains private and confidential as it should be. This is a technology that has proven benefits especially for people suffering from serious conditions and attacks such as asthma. These conditions can now be effectively monitored using a smart device that is interconnected to a smartphone using a mobile application. The doctor can access all the relevant information regarding the patient and use it to prescribe medication and or begin treatment.
Some of the patient data that can be collected and transferred using this technology include blood pressure, weight, sugar levels, and ECGs.
This technology expands the interaction that a doctor can have with the patient. There is a wider platform for the doctor to offer professional follow up and give recommendations where necessary.
Apart from benefiting the patient and the health service providers, internet of things also has benefits to the health facilities. Smart devices have attached sensors that can tell the precise location and condition of valuable hospital equipment such as oxygen pumps, wheelchairs. It is also used to check the performance of medical equipment such as infusion pumps, MRI machines, defibrillators etc.
Alarm Over Cyber Security
Like many other good discoveries, the use of IoT in the market has been faced by some challenges with the main one being vulnerability to cybercrimes. Many of the smart devices used in the health sector run on old operating systems that are highly susceptible to cyber-attacks. Some of these gadgets, if attacked, can be manipulated and this can result in death or severe injuries.
Hackers can track and hack the systems of many of these IoT technologies in health care and if this happens, or if they leave the command of wrong instructions, the consequences could be very dire. Fortunately, there are security measures that once put in place correctly, will allow you to use your medical device safely.
How to Make Use of the IoT in Healthcare Safely and Securely
Just like many other devices that rely on internet connectivity, you need to avoid using public Wi-Fi on your medical device. It might be free but unsafe for your medical data.
You also need to update the privacy settings by changing things such as the default password. It’s also important to keep the software of the device up to date. Some gadgets will update automatically but others require manual updates.
Keeping your medical gadgets safe and secure using a VPN
Using a VPN is the sure way of keeping all your data on the medical devices whether at home or the hospital safe and secure. Once a VPN is installed on your router, all the data you send or receive via the internet connection will be encrypted and inaccessible from preying third parties such as the cybercriminals.
VPN protection installed on the router will be limited to that specific connection and it is therefore important to make sure that you practice the other safety measures discussed above.
The IoT has immeasurable advantages to the health sector. That said, we cannot overlook the potential dangers that hang therein should the system be accessed by cybercriminals. Good health and ease of accessibility are paramount for healthy living, but so is proper security of the same. Else, all the efforts of IoT in health care will not be that beneficial.