Connecting IoMT smart devices within hospital settings will be the foundation for telemedicine services, but the solutions also change the dynamics of operational technology (OT).
Unlike IT, which focuses on the management of data, OT controls physical equipment, such as hospital machinery used by medical personnel. Much like in more traditional IoT environments, connecting OT to the internet could provide greater predictability around the lifespan of equipment and issue warnings before parts break down.
The increased visibility hospital staff gain from IoMT technology could also ease the introduction of robotic surgical aids, reduce wait times for patients, and track assets such as wheelchairs, pharmaceuticals and other supplies. Even the heating and air conditioning of wards and storage facilities could be controlled more easily.
Of course, the Internet of Medical Things is not without its challenges to overcome. The increased collection, management and storage of patient data across the network makes it more important than ever to have the strongest IT security controls in place.
The sheer range of connected devices and use cases in healthcare also means all the hardware and software involved must be highly interoperable. And of course, keeping devices updated will be vital for healthcare organizations to achieve any of the objectives they've set.
Success with the Internet of Medical Things will depend on taking an approach not unlike those aimed at improving customer experiences in other sectors. By keeping the patient experience at the heart of everything they do, healthcare providers stand the best chance of improving outcomes—and even saving lives.
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