With mobile phones flooding the market boasting of computing powers comparable to the bulky PCs, they are fast replacing the latter, not only because of their small and convenient sizes,but also because they introduce a brand new channel of information. Apps now available, are fulfilling the entire spectrum of use cases, ranging from educational, economics, to healthcare apps.
A healthcare application mainly focuses on monitoring the body vitals and throwing this data onto some processing unit that turns it into a readable format. Tracking and monitoring are the key functions of these applications. When we peek into the area of diagnostics using IoT, we stumble upon a dark area where there is little to no ready product in the market.
The human race wants everything fast, accessible and efficient. Then why should health be left behind? The answer is a smart and intelligent healthcare app coupled with the power of IoT.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has a myriad of uses which benefit patients, families and physicians alike.
Gone are the days when watches and bracelets were the only things you could wear on your wrist. This is the age of sleek smart bands which come with real time monitoring of heart rate, calories burnt, total number of steps and more. They have built in trackers that monitor body vitals and then send this data to the users’ smart phones via the internet. These wearables bring hospital grade horsepower on your wrist, which is easily accessible via a healthcare app.
Healthcare App to Predict Early Symptoms
Early diagnosis leads to prompt treatment which translates into a better prognosis. Many lives are lost simply due to delay in delivery of adequate diagnostic and treatment facilities. According to epidemiologists, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity are the ‘modern epidemics’ of our world. Cardiovascular diseases are the no. one cause of death globally, representing 31% of all global deaths.
These diseases can also be called the iceberg diseases since a lot of people suffering from elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels are simply unaware of the condition and the fatal risks associated with it. Ultimately when they do consult a medic it is often too late.
In the view of the above facts, smart healthcare apps and devices are a boon to the society, especially the aged.
Numerous studies have found that even a small reduction in risk factors like high BMI, increased cholesterol levels, and blood pressure cause a huge reduction in the disabilities and deaths due to coronary heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
We are an society which is made up primarily of type A personalities, for most of us life is a race, we are too busy, too fast paced and in all this chaos our health takes a backseat. The idea of taking a doctor’s appointment, waiting in long hospital queues, getting pricked for blood samples and again waiting for the results doesn’t seem alluring. This is where IoT can benefit us enormously. For example wearable contact lens embedded with a non invasive chip can continuously measure glucose levels by analysing tear secretions, removing the hassle of daily pricks for monitoring glucose levels. Certainly a gift for the diabetic population. IoT enables interoperability, machine to machine exchange and data movement that makes healthcare service delivery effective.
Missing link to be filled by Modern Healthcare Apps
“Medicine is an art whose magic and creative ability have long been recognized as residing in the interpersonal aspects of patient-physician relationship. Effective doctor-patient communication is a central clinical function in building a therapeutic doctor-patient relationship, which is the heart and art of medicine. This is important in the delivery of high-quality health care. Much patient dissatisfaction and many complaints are due to breakdown in the doctor-patient relationship.” – The Ocshner Journal
The widening gap between the medic and the patient is a major cause of concern and IoT helps to bridge this gap.
Now it is possible for the physician to receive real time updates of symptoms and vital signs through a healthcare app. This can revolutionize the method and speed at which treatment is delivered. The doctor can accurately diagnose and prescribe medications. Real time monitoring of vitals also makes follow up much easier since the physician can be promptly informed about the side effects and prognosis.
The senior citizens, our grandparents often suffer from multiple diseases requiring complex treatments. We see them take multiple tablets daily. Imagine a technology that can make delivery of medications much easier. Reminders which keep the patient informed. Doctors can also keep a check of whether their patient is adhering to the treatment regimen. Overall, IoT in the healthcare field makes the life of people suffering from comorbidity more peaceful and relaxed.
The benefits of this healthcare app for consumers are not just limited to the senior citizens or to just the patient. Sedentary office lifestyles, instant availability of junk foods and other mental stressors have made us humans increasing unhealthy. Obesity is on the rise, especially central obesity i.e. an increased waist to hip ratio, has been positively correlated with high blood pressure in several populations. People in the early 30s are suffering from heart attacks. Devices like the smart band coupled with such healthcare apps for patients can motivate us to adopt healthier lifestyles and better sleeping patterns by keeping a track on the calories consumed, activity levels, total no. of steps in a day and hours of sleep. These health apps for consumers can significantly reduce the incidence of mental health problems too.
Health is a human right. Everyone has a right to better, more effective and faster healthcare services and IoT is helping us achieve all those goals. In cities like Bangalore and New Delhi, startups and full fledged companies are taking huge steps ahead. SiCureMi in New Delhi is one such attempt which is capable of creating headlines in the coming years. SiCureMi provides a unified portal for patients and doctors where the latter can track and monitor the health of the former using these IoT wearables. It is one of the first mobile health and medical care app in India offering such services, opening a gate to more innovative ideas in the field of healthcare and IoT.