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How IoT in healthcare is inciting a paradigm shift in our approach

The leveraging of electronic medical records is appreciating on an everyday basis, which has consequently brought the subject of UX into focus for IoT within the healthcare industry. 

The healthcare domain has managed to reinvent itself in the manner that it functions, with the assistance of technological innovations. Rendering critical services, it was of paramount importance that healthcare heavyweights have raised the stakes and followed through on the main objective of saving lives, and further, even enhancing the quality of human life through technological innovations.  

Patients are requiring specialist emergency services or consultations presently no more have to schedule time-intensive clinical visitations. Owing to the proliferation of suavely-developed tech solutions, healthcare has now turned completely user-centric, or more accurately, patient-centric. 

The impact of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) has had a far-reaching influence on the quality of healthcare, internationally. Applications and devices such as remote monitoring and smart sensors have capably illustrated their potential to not only handle the patient’s overall health and safety but have radically revolutionized how healthcare professionals furnish their services. 

As is the scenario with all tech innovations, the healthcare domain is not immune to the intricacies that ride along. With the array of healthcare wearables and implants becoming the norm and current reality, these interlinked devices and the massive amount of data they contain can be a hassle for hospitals to securely manage. On top of that, these innovations require a great degree of personalization to function even at a fundamental level – which should provide you an inkling of the immense sensitivity of the information gathered. For designers, the primary challenge in developing interfaces that function for each of the differing medical sector functionaries, but simultaneously furnish a secure, and stable experience for the patient. And it definitely doesn’t conclude there. The ambiguity shrouding healthcare tech and the appreciating influence of IoT implies that designers must be alert regarding factors about the intricacy of the healthcare sector, the versatility of the interfaces required, and the cumulative data sensitivity – all of this in a domain that demands minimal margins for risks and errors. 

Influence of IoT in Healthcare 

Healthcare IoT has several obstacles. Handling the massive amount of data they gather can certainly be a challenge. Data security can be a major concern, particularly if it is being shared across several devices. Nonetheless, IoT is touching upon all business sectors and inciting impactful evolution. Going by output from P&S Market Research, healthcare IoT is set to take considerable strides ahead in the upcoming few years. It is forecasted to appreciate at a CAGR of 37.6% by 2020. 

IoT empowers patients to obtain personalized attention to their health requirements. We come across several such instances in our everyday lives, like a patient obtaining reminders of their appointments, calorie count, exercise check, blood pressure variation, and a lot more: 

A few of the application of IoT within the healthcare domain, are: 

  • Tracking the devices leveraged for treatment 
  • Tracking the activities of patients 
  • Surveying blood glucose levels 
  • Usage of digital medicines 
  • Inclusion of sensors to medication 

Currently, persons can monitor their glucose levels by merely punching their skin to the device which shows the blood glucose level. Devices of this kind are making patient’s life simple. Likewise, digital medicines facilitate doctors to monitor their patients in a streamlined manner. There are pills that dissolve in the stomach of the patient and generate a small signal which is channelled by a sensor worn on the patient’s person. This sensor syncs the data to mobile applications. Therefore, IoT devices are making lives easier, this can be validated from the practitioner’s and also the patient’s side. 

Role played by UX in Healthcare 

UX in healthcare is gaining in importance on a daily basis. A plethora of devices, systems, patients and treatments in device management are the reasons behind UX playing a critical role in IoT. Product design, hardware technology choices, customization decisions are the critical aspects that impact usability in healthcare. Enhancement of UX for healthcare practitioners is of utmost criticality owing to its impact on patient care. 

Currently, UX is a medium via which a human is interacting with tech. The leveraging of electronic medical records is appreciating on a daily basis which in turn has brought the subject of UX into the limelight for the healthcare domain. It would not be incorrect to state that this appreciation in the utilization of electronic medical records has functioned as the driving forces underlying the integration of user-centric principles into the healthcare domain processes, products, and workflows. 

The present technologies and digital advancements are providing value to medical records. The medical records have now come into the digital age. Continuous technological advancements will give rise to databases that are beneficial in searching for patient data and will play a dominant part in minimizing human error quotient.  

IoT-enabled devices have undergone programming to extract, share, and undertake analysis of data from an individual with the world which is drastically altering the fashion in which the healthcare domain functions. Experience design assists in trimming the excesses and building improved, leaner, and more human organizations. With IoT at a crucial juncture in its preliminary evolution. UX designers must come in to connect end-users with the promised value this technology can furnish. 

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