Blood pressure measurement
IoT-powered wearables can monitor heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and how high or low a patient’s blood pressure is throughout the day. Coupled with AI and big data capabilities, this tech can help doctors correctly assemble the clinical picture of blood pressure and heart disorders using historical data.
Glucose level measurement and diabetes condition control
With type 2 diabetes on the rise, helping diabetic patients monitor glucose levels round the clock is essential. Traditionally done through finger-prick blood samples, this usually laborious procedure can now be completed through the use of wearable glucose monitoring patches. This is much less invasive and benefits people who may have difficulty with finger-prick blood tests or struggle with low blood pressure. It also allows for more accurate monitoring throughout the day, so patients can carry on their daily lives uninterrupted. In case of an emergency, the monitor can send notifications to both the wearer and their doctor.
Oxygen saturation and lung function monitoring
For patients with chronic lung conditions, such as asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, and lung cancer, there are spirometers that they can blow into, and the data recorded from their breath can be used to calculate their lung function and capacity. This gives an indication of how patients are responding to treatment and whether they require any additional support, such as antibiotics, oxygen, or inhalers. These devices can not only collect data via a digital read-out, but can also be linked to apps on smart devices for long-term monitoring and analysis.
Stomach bacteria monitoring
In one of the newer advances in healthcare IoT, research scientists have started to develop tiny ingestible devices that help measure the effectiveness of medication taken and levels of enzymes in the digestive system. When they interact with stomach acid or certain enzymes, they are activated and can transmit data signals to a linked device. While not fully rolled out yet, the application of these devices could potentially result in a reduction in invasive procedures such as endoscopies and colonoscopies for patients with gastrointestinal issues, and provide doctors with a better view of what happens in the stomachs of patients and how best to treat their conditions.
Fertility and conception monitoring
Many women are familiar with apps that track their periods and ovulation cycles, but there are a range of fertility monitoring devices that can help improve the chances of conceiving. Monitors measure body temperature, that correlates with ovulation, and provide an accurate window of when conception would be more likely. Throughout pregnancy, women who are at risk of issues such as gestational diabetes can also benefit from IoT devices to monitor their vitals and those of their baby.
Weight loss management
The weight loss industry has caught onto the IoT market, and the range of apps and devices available to help on a weight management journey is astounding. Often, keeping a diary of food and drink consumed, as well as how much exercise is done, can be a good motivator for patients continuing towards better health. These tools also offer insights to keep patients accountable when recording diet and exercise. Collected from wearables and compiled into charts in fitness apps, this data can be invaluable to nutritionists and researchers.
Mental health treatment
IoT successfully enables the monitoring of mood changes and various triggers and symptoms throughout the day, enabling patients to alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, as well as recognize signs of acute states such as panic attacks. There are apps with functions such as meditation and mindfulness, and some even have live counseling options with therapists to help those who struggle at the start of their journies to better mental wellbeing.
Sleep quality monitoring
Lack of proper sleep can be a contributing factor in poor mental health, weight loss or gain, and various heart disorders. IoT systems track and analyze the patient’s sleep patterns and stages and monitor their biological clocks. Patients suffering from conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea can greatly benefit from IoT applications that evaluate the quality of their sleep and identify optimal sleeping environments.
AI-powered IoT systems can help by tracking early signs of cancer — like suspiciously dense tissue in internal organs — if patients have a family history or genetic predisposition to cancers. IoT is also useful for monitoring cancer in remission, helping catch any re-emergence of cancer quickly.
Parkinson’s Disease treatment
Assessment, diagnostics and treatment of chronic neurological disorders is now possible with the help of artificial chips that help to collect and transmit patients’ data, like foot pressure and tremor intensity, and keep a diary of any symptoms they experience that may be early indicators of the disease.