·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Health & Medicine

What You Need to Know Before Implementing IoT in Healthcare

— February 6, 2020

All patient information can be quickly measured and sent for physician advice, or to medical cloud platforms, allowing healthcare organizations to minimize errors.

Remote sensing medical devices have been in use for more than 20 years, telemedicine has been in use for some time, but has grown 100 times over the years as technology advances. 2G mobile access and doctors are no longer needed. Currently, we have a network of connected smart devices that make decisions, work in groups, and send information to the cloud (the Internet of Things). The Internet of Things, or IoT, not only helps the health of patients, but also improves the productivity of healthcare workers.

What is IoT exactly? Why is it essential in medical care? The health sector IoT is an excellent example of ubiquitous computing. For example, hundreds of smart electronic devices can be deployed in hospitals to monitor patient health 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, discuss and make decisions, and upload information to the medical cloud platform.

How useful is IoT for healthcare? Consider the following example.

In an emergency, the latest patient information is getting detected and uploaded to the cloud, even in the ambulance or at home.

Self-sustaining medical device

IoT medical devices use components to detect low thresholds and communicate with medical personnel and manufacturers.

It helps the Internet of Things and home patients or the elderly to communicate directly with medical facilities. In the example of health care, telemedicine can be considered the “raw” form of the Internet of Things.

How does the IoT work in healthcare?

To understand how the Internet of Things works for your health, let’s take a look at how the Internet of Things generally works. In medical care, these devices collect various patient data and receive feedback from healthcare professionals. An example of IoT healthcare is the continuous monitoring of glucose in insulin pens.

These devices can communicate with each other and, in some cases, they can receive timely help and even take essential steps that can save lives. For example, if an older adult is getting reversed, IoT medical devices can make informed decisions by calling a medical facility. After collecting the passive data, the IoT medical device can take steps okayed by the doctor to send this critical information to the cloud to check the general condition of the patient, whether it is necessary to call an ambulance, and what kind of support is essential, etc.

As a result, IoT healthcare can dramatically improve patient health and support emergencies, as well as the productivity of healthcare workers and hospital workflows.

How IoT contributes to the medical process?

Let’s look at an example of an IoT healthcare workflow.

The sensor collects data from the data entered by the patient or the doctor/nurse.

IoT devices use algorithms based on artificial intelligence, such as machine learning (ML), to analyse the collected data.

The device determines whether to take any action or send information to the cloud.

Based on the data provided by IoT devices, doctors, healthcare professionals, and even robots can make informed decisions.

IoT devices in medicine

Not all IoT devices require a sensor, but at least wireless and a specific TCP/IP address are required to communicate with the Internet. Some examples are skin cancer detection apps that use a camera and AI-based algorithms to draw moles on the skin.

However, smartphones are smart devices. Medical surveillance is not its primary objective. The dedicated medical IoT devices are more.


Smartwatch - sports watch - measures the pulse, steps, pace and quality of sleep. Also calculates calories burned. Image by Artur Łuczka, via
Smartwatch – sports watch – measures the pulse, steps, pace and quality of sleep. Also calculates calories burned. Image by Artur Łuczka, via

Portable devices sold in consumer electronics stores have sensors and an Internet connection. Some of these features (such as iWatch Series 4) can monitor heart rate, manage diabetes, support speech therapy, improve posture, and even detect seizures. People with diabetes can also use these devices to control blood sugar and submit this data to medical institutions.

Smart Sensor

Prescription drugs are swallowed and include a small digestible medical sensor that sends a low signal to a patient wearing a receiver, which the receiver communicates to a smartphone app only for data. The sensor helps the doctor to make sure the patient is still taking the medication.

Smart video pill

Smart pills can pass through the patient’s intestines and take pictures during the trip. The collected information is getting sent to the portable device, and the mobile device sends it to a dedicated smartphone application (or directly to the app). Smart pills help visualize the gastrointestinal tract and large intestine from a distance.

IoT Benefits in medical care

The Internet of Things delivers many advantages to healthcare. But more importantly, the data collected by IoT medical devices is so precise that you can make informed decisions, which will significantly improve or maximize the results of your treatment.

All patient information can be quickly measured and sent for physician advice, or to medical cloud platforms, allowing  healthcare organizations to minimize errors.

Another great benefit of the Internet of Things in healthcare is the reduction in costs. The use of the Internet of Things for healthcare allows non-critical home patients to reduce the length and duration of hospitalizations by allowing various IoT devices to monitor and send all critical information to medical facilities. Based on the information obtained from many IoT devices, medical institutions can improve disease management.

Challenges for IoT in medicine

There are many advantages to the Internet of Medical Things, but there are challenges to be resolved. You must recognize these issues before you can examine the use of IoT medical solutions in your implementation.

IoT generates many data entries. A single medical institution uses hundreds of thousands of devices to send more than 1,000 messages in real-time remotely, creating massive amounts of data. Data generated from the Internet of Medical Devices can increase the demand for storage from terabytes to petabytes. Correctly used, AI and cloud-based algorithms will help you understand and organize your data, but this method takes time to mature. As a result, it takes a lot of time and effort to create large-scale IoT health solutions.


The Internet of Things already uses most of these technologies to support the development of health care, and this development continues. Soon, healthcare and the Internet of Things will become inseparable, revolutionizing the way healthcare is managed.

Join the conversation!