IoT is making significant strides in healthcare through medical devices that help manage chronic conditions.
Smarter, Connected Chronic Illness Management
Manufacturers are still working on connected insulin devices. But for now the diabetic community has developed ways to connect insulin pumps and glucose monitors to smart phones, giving them more control over their own care. Phone apps keep a record of treatment, which is an invaluable tool for diabetic individuals when updating doctors about their health.
Apps to detect depression or anxiety may be available on your smartphone or smartwatch soon. These apps monitor heart rate or sleeping patterns and alert users when their usual rhythms have changed, indicating a potential episode. This creates awareness for individuals and gives them data to track their illness.
Smart inhalers help those with asthma better manage their symptoms. The inhaler tracks how often it’s used, sends owners reminders to use it, and collects data on possible symptom triggers. In addition to helping asthma sufferers better understand their condition, data can also be shared with doctors to help improve treatment plans.
Bluetooth connected coagulation systems allow people who take blood thinners or are at risk of clots to test their blood at home and automatically transmit results to their doctor. This helps ensure regular monitoring of a patient’s condition and improves their safety.
Wearables for Chronic Illness
Wearable ECG patches monitor heart rate and alert wearers of heart attack or atrial fibrillation (AFib) which aids faster diagnosis and treatment. The device is also helpful in detecting heart problems when the wearer has no apparent symptoms.
Wearables for Parkinson’s disease are starting to emerge. These devices track patient movement and other factors such as sleep and nutrition. Decreased movement could be a sign of progressing symptoms and having a record to share with doctors can improve treatment.
For people affected by gastrointestinal disorders, a patch is in development that will measure how the GI tract functions – something that current tests can’t detect. Data from these measurements could help doctors develop more effective and personalized treatment.
With IoT, the future looks more manageable for sufferers of chronic conditions.