Internet Of Things and Healthcare
Internet of Things has become all pervasive, exactly as it was meant to be. From smart homes, to smart cars, to smart trash cans, the IOT has added the smart edge to everything. According to Cisco around 50 billion things will be connected to the internet by 2020, Intel estimates the figure to touch the 200 billion mark.
There are 1.5 trillion things in the world currently. Of those 200 billion will be connected to the internet buy 2020.
It’s unlikely that with such a powerful invasion into the things around us, any aspect of our lives would remain untouched by this revolution. Healthcare, one of the first industries to benefit from this surge and is touted to be a $117 Billion industry (The whole IOT market is going to be $ 8.04 – 14.4 Trillion as estimated by IDC and Cisco). Connected life support and monitoring systems remain debatable still, owing to the room left for machine error and communication lag.
As an app development firm we are in an ideal position to spot early trends arising in the field of mobility. Clients often come up with apps where the concept pivotal to their ideas is blending the virtual and the physical worlds. The ideas are as exciting as they are challenging. In the last year we have worked on a number of apps that revolve around the healthcare, wearable and Internet Of Things.
We have gathered an interesting list of healthcare and fitness trends that you should watch out for in the years to come. Not just that, here’s a sneak peek into our own repository and the technology that we are experimenting with, in our labs.
Diagnostics is the field of detection of disease. The word derives from ancient Greek – diagnostikos which means ‘able to distinguish’. It has its roots in archaic times and now this field of medicine is getting a futuristic touch.
The Google Glass
We laughed away the Google glass prototype that looked comically ugly. However, with the product being launched again, Google is redefining the device to position it as an aid to medical professionals.
Coupled with Big Data, Google Glass can work as a mobile repository to store and retrieve a patient’s information. Thanks to the information overlayed by Google Glass on the real world, the doctor will be aware of all your allergies, your medical history and possible drug interactions while visiting his patient, therefore making the diagnosis easier.
Imagine a pair of Google Glass strapped to a microscope and then think of the possibility of detection in mobile pathological labs.
Monitoring and Tracking
Once you step out of the hospital your physician has no insight into your lifestyle. Health is consequent of the lives we lead, it needs constant tracking. For most diseases consequent of unhealthy routines, doctors advise diets and lifestyle changes. Some life threatening diseases need close monitoring to avoid mishaps as well .
Various tracking devices and monitors have sprung up for that purpose. Senior citizens, chronically ill patients and patients suffering from diseases that need immediate medical attention can be monitored round the clock to check for aggravating symptoms. All this without disrupting their routine lives.
The Body Guardian
The Body Guardian is a device that connects the patients and doctors round the clock for a better understanding of their medical condition and lifestyles. Patients suffering from lifestyle disease (diabetes and excessive cholesterol, cardiac health problems) are at advantage. Also in case patients with critical illness, if an emergency arises, an automated alarm will set off, thus alerting the nearest medical facility and near and dear ones.
Infant Care and Paediatrics
Infant care has always posed its set of challenges. It takes seasoned doctors to figure out the problem with children who can barely speak, and communicate with coos and cries. But with IOT adding a layer of data acquisition and analysis unheard of before,we could soon cover the basics.
The issue in today’s baby monitoring devices, and the potential for IOT baby monitoring devices, is expressed here by Dan Tynan of Yahoo Tech.
This kind of data-driven monitor makes more sense than using a crippled walkie-talkie for someone who can neither walk nor talk, or a fuzzy video feed you have to watch constantly. Dan Tynan, Yahoo Tech
From tracking chips for moisture levels in diapers to body patches that measure the baby’s temperature and send a message on any unusual activity, there are a number of devices available for infant care. This little anklet from sproutling seems to be a compact solution for everything. Though wearing it could make a child irritable simply because it’s design is a little hindering when strapped on to the little one’s leg.
A visit to their site would tell you they have sold out all their ankle bands. What all do these bands do?
They track the baby’s sleep, body temperature, activity, breathing and cardiac rhythm and send out alerts when anything untowardly is noticed. Sproutling helps parents and doctors be on guard for anything out of the usual thus making infant care spontaneous and intuitive.
Medication and Internet Of Things
No, we are not saying that the internet will write you prescriptions. In fact self medication is a strict no no, even if it comes packaged as a device from a tech startup in the Silicon Valley.
We all need an assisting nurse sometimes, as missing daily doses is counter-productive when it comes to medication.
Picture now, a bottle that reminds you when to take your meds. That is what a company called Vitality is starting to offer; Glowcaps.
An intelligent $10 bottle that keeps tracking your medicine intake and dosage for you. A connected bottle that starts to glow, to remind you of your missed doses or sends you a reminder text if you haven’t taken your medicine on time. This is a real solution to the everyday problem most individuals deal with.
With this cheap, easy way to gather the data in your medicine cabinet, Vitality can track how many times a person has taken the medicine in a day, a week or month, and map that against the schedule a doctor has prescribed.
Here’s Internet of Things solving a genuine problem in healthcare, with this bottle you will find it hard to miss doses, inadvertently at least!
Internet Of Things and Fitness
Wearable devices like Fitbits changed the way we measure fitness activity. Random, unplanned workouts are already a thing of the past. Every step and every elevation is counted and registered and the measure of calories spent is available at a tap. Even in our own labs we have come up with multiple devices that have opened gates of possibilities for our developers and experts to build on. Here are some of our own contributions to the world of fitness trackers . Not just the usual activity tracking but devices that can track and guide your exercise regimes and devices that even plan dietary intakes and remind you of the same.
Here’s an example of an indigenously developed tracking application-
Tupelo life app connects to your mymo fitness tracker, and allows you to track your progress as you walk, run, dance and bike your way to your pre-set goals. It helps you set your own goals or use the targets set for you according to an expert trainer’s advice. You can also view your entire activity through detailed graphs and analytics. A little wearable tracker attached to your body would help you track everyday activity and help you analyze the peak hours and the most rigorous activities that help you shed calories.
A world of possibilities has emerged with IOT spreading to all things that are remotely connected to technology. A score of projects in the pipeline and the one’s that have been realized, have changed healthcare forever.