COVID-19 Impact on Internet of Medical Things (IOMT) in Healthcare Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Internet of Medical Things (IOMT) in Healthcare Industry

  • Healthcare
  • Nov 30, 2020

COVID-19 Impact on Internet of Medical Things (IOMT) in Healthcare Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people obtain physician consultation. With the crucial need for social distancing, patients are avoiding face-to-face consultations and preferring the digital media. The healthcare landscape has changed. With countries across the world, attempting to combat COVID-19 at various degrees, the number of telehealth visits has bounced exponentially.

As the number of cases surged and the need for resources increased, healthcare providers started using internet of medical things (IoMT) for care provision. For instance, in Wuhan, IoT gadgets and robots were utilized to check temperatures of patients across clinics, in addition to screening sugar levels and pulse rates using arm bands. These devices also played an important role in cleaning and sanitizing, giving prescriptions and food to patients.

The focus of healthcare providers has changed with the spread of the pandemic. Although internet of medical things (IoMT) was already gaining momentum in healthcare applications, the outbreak of COVID-19 has augmented the market extensively. As it is not easy for the healthcare industry to make sudden modifications, the companies are offering solutions and services to make the process easier. Internet of medical things (IoMT) is playing an important role in management of gathering of patients in crisis divisions and making consultations for others easier. It is also helping in reducing the spread of the infection to uninfected patients who are looking for assessment.

Connection across clinical gadgets with varied sensors, mHealth applications and advanced technologies is demonstrating the advantages of internet of medical things (IoMT) in face of emergencies such as COVID-19. The outbreak has made it clear that internet of medical things (IoMT) should be utilized in healthcare industry for giving benefits distantly through connected devices and AI-based applications. Technologies including virtual healthcare, AI-based applications and telemedicine are demonstrating immense support during the pandemic. In these circumstances, internet of medical things (IoMT) is being used to reduce manual assignments for an overstretched staff by using remote patient monitoring and electronic data sharing. 

The pre-conceptions of healthcare providers regarding telemedicine have reduced during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus as it has become necessary. Several healthcare authorities and healthcare providers have demonstrated reactions in favor of internet of medical things (IoMT) for combating with the COVID-19 situations. However, among all the applications of internet of medical things (IoMT) are increasingly being for administrative management, repayment for new computerized administrations and assessment of clinical processes more frequently than other applications.

INCREASING NUMBER OF CONNECTED DEVICES

We are living in the era of increasing utilization of gadgets and applications in every walk of life including balancing the dearth of healthcare work force for areas other than COVID-19. Increased usage of devices has led to the demand for internet of things (IoT) leading to exponential increase in the number of connected devices. According to Cisco IBSG, 25 billion devices were connected to the internet by 2015 and prediction is for 50 billion devices by 2020. It is notable that these estimates do not take into account the rapid advancements in connectivity technology and are based on the status of technologies available at the time of the study. In case of any groundbreaking discovery in connectivity, the growth will be higher.

Increasing Number Of Internet Of Things (Iot) ConnectionsTo cater to the increasing demand of internet of medical things (IoMT), telecom networks are focusing on developing arrangements during COVID-19. For instance, RFID wristbands help in recognizing isolated patients, observing their developments and giving crisis care. Other real-time location system (RTLS) solutions help in patient following and tracking basic resources such as ventilators just as emergency vehicle network.

Telemedicine and patient monitoring using devices is assuming a major part in healthcare provision to patients. As individuals with comorbidities such as diabetics and heart patients are less resistant to the infection, gadgets to screen their conditions have demonstrated to be a lifeline.

The menu of new distant assistance choices states that health frameworks are quickly endeavoring to receive installment of suitable structures for optimum utilization. Wearable gadgets and chatbots have become pivotal during the pandemic. Internet of medical things (IoMT) is not only helping COVID-19 patients and also the patients requiring other routine clinical administrations. Governments are also favoring the same. For instance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could eliminate pre-requisites for in-person physical tests as a major aspect of E&M administrations, leaving judgments about the requirement for and method of such tests to the clinician’s discretion.

AMPLE AVAILABILITY OF PRODUCTS

The companies engaged in development of innovative internet of medical things (IoMT) solutions based on existing programming models are receiving necessary funding from both private and public sectors. In the meantime, the market is flooded with varied internet of medical things (IoMT) devices. These devices are developed to meet computation needs of the different medical scenarios. There requirements vary and are taken care of by the service providers and manufacturers for seamless operability.

TABLE 1: CLASSIFICATION OF INTERNET OF MEDICAL THINGS (IOMT) DEVICES BY MEDICAL SCENARIOS

Medical Scenarios

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) Devices

Requirements

Massive Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) Scenario

Fitbit Aria, iHealth Sense, Withings Pulse O2, iHealth Track, Mi Electric Toothbrush, iHealth View, Garmin Vivofit, Mi Body Composition Scale, Fitbit Alta HR, Withings Steel HR, iHealth Core, Garmin Forerunner 630, Misfit Vapor

High reliability, high availability, high scalability, low end-to-end delay, high bandwidth

Enhanced Mobile Broadband Scenario

Fitbit Flex, Withings BPM, iHealth Ease, iHealth Air, Withings Body Cardio, Garmin Vivomove HR Sport, iHealth Lite, iHealth Smart, Garmin Vivosport, Fitbit Charge 2, iHealth Wave, Withings Body+

High capacity, low cache, low end-to-end delay, high bandwidth

Mission-Critical Services Scenario

iHealth PT3, Garmin Vivosmart 4, Withings Steel, Fitbit Zip, Withings Thermo

Low latency, high reliability, low end-to-end delay, high bandwidth

The increasing applications of internet of medical things (IoMT) in the medical field calls for  imaginative utilizations of rising technological advances, for instance, voice-interface frameworks (Amazon Alexa, Google Voice, Apple Siri) or portable sensors such as smartwatches, oxygen screens or thermometers. Simultaneously, the government should create administrative frameworks for optimum applications of internet of medical things (IoMT) in healthcare in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

UTILIZATION OF INTERNET OF MEDICAL THINGS (IOMT) DURING COVID-19

Internet of medical things (IoMT) is playing a crucial role in taking care of patients who are intensely sick and hold the risk of spreading infection at the same time. Homecare models are greatly embraced by critical patients along with technological possibility and favorable reimbursement. Homecare will turn out as a significant alternative with the help of internet of medical things (IoMT) for in any case, stable patients recently analyzed with COVID-19 and for early release of patients admitted to emergency clinics.

For patients with suspected COVID-19 pneumonia, a lung ultrasound worked by utilizing AI and 4G/5G is a proficient diagnostic option. It lowers the utilization of chest x-beams and CT checks and hence reduces the risk of infection. Distant monitoring of constant lung ultrasound pictures with the help of internet of medical things (IoMT) devices offers several benefits in terms of reducing contact.  

Even after the number of cases decreases, testing outside of the treatment centers will be required in public places such as air terminals, penitentiaries or educational institutions. This will require a general vault of testing information. This will prompt another internet of medical things (IoMT) -empowered system from which information will be turned out to distinguish hotspots from safer areas.  

Internet of medical things (IoMT) will also help in scrutiny of people in home isolation. Healthcare providers and other relevant authorities may need to follow enormous populaces of patients consistently. Internet of medical things (IoMT) can aid in establishing systems that will aid in keeping check on people under scrutiny without invading their privacy. Updating the security and correspondence guideline would need to go with execution of such systems for new advanced administrations. Rigid and obsolete mechanical prerequisites under HIPAA combined with befuddling or ambiguous administrative direction have negatively impacted the growth of internet of medical things (IoMT) for a very long time should be amended as per need of the hour.

Additionally, an arrangement for assessing these crisis measures can help in understanding how internet of medical things (IoMT) has benefitted in these trying times. There has been considerable number of discussions regarding safety concerns of internet of medical things (IoMT) across every aspect of healthcare. The pandemic has provided a testing ground for the impact that internet of medical things (IoMT) can have on the industry that continuously grapples from lack of resources.  Simultaneously, there has been a continuous mission to receive computerized advancements to improve the quality and decrease the expense of health care administrations. It will likewise be essential to comprehend whether these new methodologies help to increment clinical efficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CONCLUSION

Internet of medical things (IoMT) in healthcare is tested because of lack of framework especially in developing countries. Additionally, the innovative ability of medical clinics, cost factors and issues of information bargain because of online protection are restricting its more extensive utilization. Coronavirus has uncovered this as never before. In any case, the advantages to financial plans, tasks and patient consideration make internet of medical things (IoMT) valuable despite security concerns.

Healthcare costs are shooting particularly during the pandemic and a slice in pointless visits to doctors, emergency clinic stays and re-affirmations and home treatment significantly diminishes healthcare costs. With appropriate security inclusions in place, internet of medical things (IoMT) can help in reducing significant share of costs that can be utilized for better purposes. Internet of medical things (IoMT) offers a possibility for the healthcare industry to move from cost-based to esteem based patient care by empowering the existing B2B processes and presenting new B2C approaches. In conclusion, internet of medical things (IoMT) is advantageous in varied degrees for individuals, healthcare providers, governments and other health organizations through improved healthcare provision indicating steady growth after the COVID-19 outbreak.

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