Healthcare is an essential part of life, and technology is disrupting this space day in and day out. The current technology in healthcare and general practice of medicine can get enhanced with the use of IOT systems. Let’s understand how these IoT systems and smart devices can enhance the health care services and create a positive impact on our health.
IoT health devices have the potential to collect real time information of the patient and report this to the physician remotely. The IoT devices can collect information like blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose level etc of a patient and store it on the cloud and then this information can be shared with the authorized physician.
This technology can save unnecessary clinical visits, can allow healthcare providers to provide better care to their patients and can even facilitate remote consultation. Essentially these devices can improve access to healthcare resources while reducing strain on healthcare systems, and can give people better control over their own health at all times.
Another important advantage of IOT devices is that emergency situations like heart attack, asthma can be analyzed by healthcare professionals remotely. The healthcare providers can even get access to the patients’ profiles way before their arrival because of which they can deliver essential care to the patients on time. In this way, associated losses are reduced, and emergency health care is improved. But there are certain challenges that IoT devices face and we will now see how blockchain can help in overcoming these challenges.
IOT smart devices capture data in real time and store this data on the cloud. The biggest challenge of storing data on a centralized and cloud system is its security and privacy. Patient’s data in such a scenario is susceptible to hacking, which can compromise his personal health information. The patient’s data can then be used to create fake IDs to buy drugs and can even be used to file fraudulent claims. Blockchain can provide the required solution to solve security issues faced by IoT devices as the data stored on blockchain will be resistant to hacking and tampering. In case multiple IOT devices have to be integrated it becomes a challenge because different devices have different data communication protocols and different processing power which slows down the whole process thus reducing the scope of IOT in healthcare.
Blockchain offers a solution for this but because of the limited processing power of IoT devices, these cannot be directly connected to the blockchain as high computing power is required for communicating with blockchain. There needs to be an intermediary which can connect these IoT smart devices to blockchain. This intermediate system can be a cloud system which has high computational power and can collect the data from sensors and transfer it to the blockchain.
In this Blockchain powered system, a person will get a unique ID mapped to the blockchain. He can specify who can see his information collected from smart devices. In case of multiple IoT devices, he can also choose the IoT devices whose data should be shared with the healthcare provider. IoT smart health wearables like fitbits, health bands, watches, blood glucose monitor record the daily data and activities of a user like calories, step counts, miles, heart rate, quality of sleep, blood pressure, blood glucose level etc. With Blockchain technology all this daily data from a user’s smart health devices can be clubbed with user’s Electronic Health Records.
These devices collect the real time data of a user and because of which doctor can see patient’s condition in real-time. As data is acquired continuously, there is no need to conduct all the tests when patient visits the
hospital. This will reduce the costs of conducting basic tests and will save valuable time for both doctor and the patient. This could really be a boon for emergency cases where providing timely treatment is the biggest challenge.