In India, the undoubted need of the hour is to implement cost-effective healthcare solutions that can even reach the poorest in the most remote areas of the country. Researchers believe that one way to achieve this vision would be through the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Sensors that are now slowly taking strides towards adaption within the Indian Medical fraternity.
To understand more on the role of IoT in revolutionising healthcare in India and thereby making treatments affordable to the masses, Rahul R of Electronics For You spoke to Jagdish Harsh, CMD, Mobiloitte who offered deep insights not only on IoT in healthcare but also on a related concept called Smart Beds.
Q. First things first, how would IoT revolutionise healthcare in India according to you?
A. Healthcare is undergoing a major revolution with a larger ecosystem involving tech giants, smart device manufactures, analysts, and data scientists.
Healthcare is going to depend on the connected devices that connects all the elements and in turn creates a stronger healthcare pool. This concept is also called ‘System of Systems’ backing IoT.
Not only patients and doctors, but more and more people also getting connected to these devices by using smart wearables to indulge in activities such as keep track on their health, along with work.
Empowering the masses to keep track of their fitness level and health issues, along with smartly offering insights on how to take care of health results in enhancing longevity of life.
Q. Can you throw some light on the smart beds concept that have been introduced by some hospitals in certain countries of the world?
A. Nowadays, we can see a number of connected medical devices such as ultrasounds, thermometers, glucose monitors, electrocardiograms, and more; to backtrack patient’s health. Doctors, along with patients have been found to be benefiting from these IoT-driven connected devices.
This revolution has started in the healthcare sector and numerous hospitals have introduced smart beds and are efficiently utilizing them.
Smart beds are equipped with smart sensors that monitor medical conditions, time of check-ups, along with performing multiple tests to track the real time condition of patients.
This transforms not only patient’s life, but also reduces the burden on doctors by supplying them with essential information as and when required efficiently.
In lots of cases, smart beds upload info that can be accessed by doctors even at remote locations. This information can then be used by Doctors to monitor patients’ health. Medication required by patients can also be determined smartly.
Finally, behavioural changes in patients is also detected dynamically, and then passed on to Doctors.
Q. Can you illustrate the concept of Smart Beds with case studies?
A. Absolutely, in Ontario, Canada, at the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital there is an information, communication and automation technology (ICAT) strategy under which several innovations aimed at integrating innovative technology in patient care have been launched.
This led to the creation of a first-of-its-kind innovation unit in Canada in 2014 – a 34-bed ‘living laboratory’ where innovative medical ideas are tested and evaluated before being implemented across the hospital.
Living Laboratory, here, includes smart beds and other technology-enabled clinical tools, pervasive computing (utilising computers embedded in everyday objects to communicate information) and ambient intelligence (electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people).