Embracing IoT for Healthcare Medical Device Maintenance October 23th, 2019
The healthcare landscape is continuing to change dramatically. While technology advances rapidly, the industry itself has been described as ‘increasingly fractured’, with various disciplines and departments across Europe operating in isolation. This means it’s more important than ever to adopt technology that puts efficient processes workflows at the forefront and sets a replicable standard.
The segregated nature of the industry presents difficulties in the supply chain, which in turn creates a well-publicised detriment to end-user service. Reports show lengthy delays in diagnoses and an overall decline in the quality of patient care as existing processes struggle to keep pace with the growing population.
The challenges are real, but it’s not all bad news. In response, the sector has made numerous functional gains in leveraging technology to ease the burden, predominantly regarding the computer processing and measurement of data.
The IT infrastructure in healthcare has revolutionised not only the complex logistical challenge of patient booking, but the maintenance of equipment and tracking of components and pharmaceuticals. Traceability and accountability have become core to the entire process, which has in turn spurred on great advances in the technology that supports this.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
One of the most important developments in healthcare IT infrastructure has been the widespread growth of IoT technology. Institutions are investing to take advantage of the enhanced connectivity and data management that comes with IoT adoption. For example, the UK’s National Health Service has committed £10m to develop IoT-led initiatives centred around wearable measurement technology with discreet sensors designed to improve quality of care.
How does the IoT benefit Healthcare providers?
Digitalisation is chiefly responsible for the growing IoT technology that permeates modern living. As an industry that relies so heavily on the production, collation, and analysis of data, the IoT has completely revolutionised healthcare processes, bringing a wealth of efficiency savings. Patients, components and pharmaceuticals upon entering the healthcare system immediately become a single data point in a wider network, with computing technology able to measure progress at every touchpoint. To put this in context, it is estimated that 161 million IoT devices will be installed within a healthcare context by the close of 2020.
Where healthcare previously struggled to keep up with large volumes of data, IoT technology has automated the process. Amongst a myriad of applications, IoT can now be found in numerous applications, including:
Weight scale and blood pressure cuffs used in pioneering cancer treatments
Smart-measuring devices that connect to smartphone applications including glucose and insulin monitors
Logistical management of pharmaceuticals
Healthcare staff and facilities management
‘Smart-beds’ - IoT-enabled beds that measure patient progress and optimise location to ensure smooth turnaround of inpatients and outpatients
The SATO Solution
The healthcare sector has embraced IoT technology to improve accuracy and ultimately the quality of care afforded to patients. SATO has been actively involved in the development of accurate fail-safe patient identification systems for many years, working with individual hospitals to produce complete solutions that work in the medical environment to increase safety, improve efficiency and drive down costs, while also providing peace of mind to healthcare professionals and patients alike. Contact your BlueStar Europe representative to find out more about the SATO WS2 series printer, which has been honed for the demanding healthcare environment.
Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation.
Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.