The many uses of IoT are changing the face of multiple industries, especially across health sectors. Healthcare IoT sees the positive connection of medical and aged care facilities, delivering interconnected services, integration, and patient-centric strategies to provide both practitioners and your patients with the most dynamic, engaged care available. This is best seen in the development of in-home sensors for aged care, an advancement in technology that allows seniors to pursue healthier, more independent lives whilst still remaining connected to their caregivers and health care providers.
IoT, or The Internet of Things, refers to the concept of connecting any device with access to the internet and to each other. It can connect your alarm to your coffee maker, beginning your morning brew five minutes before you’re set to wake up. It can link your calendar to your GPS and provide you with the best route before you’ve even settled into your car. One of the most recent advances in patient-centric IoT is the development of in-home sensors for healthcare. These devices allow users to live an independent life whilst also giving them the opportunity to provide their caregivers and health care professionals with insight into their day-to-day routine. Insights such these allow for appropriate intervention in the case of an emergency, as well as strategies that could be developed in order to improve an individual’s daily care. These sensors rely on interconnectivity, as well as an open avenue between devices and individuals.
Researchers at Monash Univerisity have been developing a system that uses sensors to monitor elderly patients within their own homes. This device houses an array of technologies, including passive infrared motion sensors, light sensors, and vibration sensors. There is also Bluetooth activity, tv monitoring, and sensors that detect door and window movement, bed pressure, and even keyring sensors to monitor home departures and arrivals.
While this may seem a bit “Big Brother” to the untrained eye, these features actually offer advanced care options based heavily upon individual requirements rather than generalised insights. If an elderly patient breaks from a routine and displays abnormal patterns of behaviour, the system sends an alert to the aged care resident or their caregiver, thus getting well ahead of any emergency situations and providing patients with personalised care.
These systems are run by IoT technology, seeing an entire home connected to the lifestyle and wellbeing of an individual. Everything in the home is connected to itself, as well as to the appropriate medical, family, and emergency contacts. By having this interconnectivity, the patient is able to tailor their safety and extend their time living independently instead of retiring to an aged care facility. They are also able to generate data about their life that can be analysed.
Read more about IoT technology and resources for Integrated Care Planning link below.