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iomt

Technological advances have had a significant impact across various sectors, and medicine is no exception. In this digital era, one of the most promising innovations is the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), an interconnection of medical devices and information systems through the internet.

The primary goal of IoMT is to enhance healthcare by enabling real-time and remote data collection and exchange. This capability allows for timely and informed decision-making and more efficient patient care.

What is IoMT?

IoMT involves implementing Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the healthcare sector. It relies on the integration of medical devices, sensors, software, and communication networks to create a connected ecosystem in the field of healthcare. These devices range from portable health monitors, activity tracking devices, to smart medical implants, all designed to capture relevant medical data such as vital signs, glucose levels, physical activity, and sleep patterns, among others. This data is transmitted via the Internet to healthcare professionals, enabling them to monitor and make real-time decisions based on information.

Additionally, thanks to IoMT, it’s possible to record and store each patient’s medical history in the cloud to provide remote healthcare and continuous monitoring.

The main purpose of this device connection is to enhance patient care and reduce error margins during surgeries. It also aims to improve treatment effectiveness, optimize operations, and increase the efficiency of both public and private healthcare facilities.

Primary Types of IoMT Devices

Based on the above, various IoMT devices are in use and continue to develop across a wide range of categories, including:

  • Consumer Wearable Devices: These include smart wearables like blood pressure and glucose monitors, as well as ECG monitoring features in devices like Apple Watch to detect abnormal heart rhythms and provide ECG-like readings. The same goes for Google’s Fitbit, which includes an optical heart rate sensor using photoplethysmography (PPG) to record heart rate readings, detect irregularities, and automatically notify the user.
  • Medical Wearable Devices: These are clinically regulated products used under medical supervision, designed for pain management, physical performance improvement, and other healthcare applications.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Systems: These systems support the management of chronic diseases, often placed in the homes of patients on long-term treatment.
  • Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS): Portable devices used by individuals, primarily seniors, to alert family or caregivers in case of emergencies. This enables specialized assistance to be dispatched to the location of the incident.
  • Smart Pills: An emerging category of devices that patients can ingest, transmitting internal data wirelessly to attending physicians.
  • Point-of-Care Devices and Kiosks: Mobile devices like ultrasounds and blood glucose monitors that provide diagnostic information in a medical setting without requiring a full laboratory.

Other devices:

  • Clinical Monitors: Similar to point-of-care devices, these can be managed remotely without requiring an on-site expert.
  • In-Hospital Devices: These include MRI machines used for asset tracking, patient flow monitoring, and pharmaceutical inventory management.

Notable Examples of IoMT in Medicine

Here are some notable examples of IoMT applications in the medical field:

Respiratory Disease Treatment:

IoMT is driving the development of specialized devices for therapies in patients with lung conditions like asthma. Smart inhalers, such as “Respiro” by Amiko, use IoT and AI sensors to capture clinical information for individual patients.

Nursing:

IoT Medical solutions are designed to support basic nursing care, such as “Push&Protect” by myDevices, a panic button placed in clinical and hospital beds that immediately alerts nurses when pressed by a patient.

Surgical Interventions:

In February 2019, a significant milestone in the development of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) occurred: the first tele-assisted surgery using IoMT and 5G connectivity technology in an operating room. This procedure took place at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, within the context of the Mobile World Congress. It was led by a medical team headed by Dr. Antonio de Lacy, who directed the surgery from the MWC headquarters. Visual information from the operating room was streamed through the Telestration solution by AIS Channel, a leading global online platform in medical education and a pioneer in surgeon teletraining.

Current Importance of the Internet of Medical Things

Today, the importance of the internet in medicine lies in its ability to improve healthcare in several ways. IoMT allows remote patient monitoring, which is especially beneficial for those with chronic illnesses or requiring continuous monitoring. Physicians can receive real-time data on patients’ conditions and adjust treatments accordingly, improving their quality of life and preventing complications.

IoMT also facilitates the secure and rapid exchange of medical information among different healthcare professionals, enhancing collaboration and joint decision-making. Electronic health records and real-time data availability allow for more accurate diagnosis and personalized care.

Moreover, IoMT enhances the operational efficiency of healthcare facilities, making it easier for providers and administrators to control their facilities. Devices with this technology provide greater visibility and offer new technologies to healthcare professionals, such as robotic surgical aids and high-resolution digital imaging.

Future Perspectives of IoMT

IoMT is a rapidly evolving set of technologies, already significantly changing healthcare paradigms. In the future, individuals may have portable devices to monitor their vital signs and alert specialists to any anomalies. These units could evolve into predictive instruments, using AI and machine learning to identify changes in biological signals and predict potential issues.

As IoMT technologies advance further, healthcare providers will transition from a prescriptive to a preventive approach. Patients may lead healthier lives and experience fewer visits to doctors and hospitals. Insurers may reduce premiums for members who choose real-time monitoring, decreasing the frequency of medical appointments and hospital stays.

These benefits will depend on several factors, including advances in computing power, the expansion of telecommunication technologies like 5G and 6G, and the miniaturization of various devices.

Inrobics’ Contribution to IoMT

At Inrobics, we make a significant contribution to the development of the Internet of Medical Things with our AI and social robotics-based rehabilitation model. This model helps people with functional or neurological limitations improve their quality of life. Our app allows for robot programming and objective monitoring of joint movement. Our platform is an example of IoMT advancement.