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Combating COVID-19 with IoT Smart Systems – Smart Healthcare Systems

In Part 1 we learned about Contact Tracing. This is a second part of the series of blogs on Combating COVID-19 with IoT Smart systems and will primarily talk about how effective intelligent Health care systems with connected devices can go a long mile in treating patients and improve the overall eco-system of healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

The current pandemic has given rise to a grave concern in some countries where the entire healthcare system is on the verge of a collapse due to influx of infected patients and lack of trained medical personnel, PPE Kits and Ventilator equipment. While the situation is worsening, the Govt. and the Public authorities are under a pressure to ensure the general public are safeguarded from infection while the infected patients are provided with a reliable and safe treatment for their betterment. In this series, we shall look at how the healthcare eco-system can be improved upon by adopting connected devices, remote monitoring and general technological new norms to be followed by the general Public.

IoT Based Smart Health Care Management System

Smart Health Systems:

  • Specially designed wearables can gather anatomical data of the individual like Heart Rate, SPO2 (Blood Oxygen Level), Perspiration pH, Blood Pressure, Sleep Pattern after they are admitted to the hospital. This ensures that there is no contact between the infected patient and the Hospital personnel so they can remotely monitor the patient and only treat in case of emergencies.
  • IoT based Sanitizer dispenser and Infra-red cameras are used in many organizations & Hospitals where the sensors are triggered as soon as a person enters the Main Door. The dispenser waits for the hand and automatically dispenses the exact amount of sanitizer solution required. Then the user needs to stay in a designated location in front of the camera where body temperature is measured, and then next door opens if all checks are green. In some organizations, the Elevators have been updated to have a voice input command to take life to the desired floor. All such improvements ensure that there is no contact and we can seamlessly traverse within the organization thereby improving the workplace condition.
  • Connected devices, wearables, health applications are used to gather data on the patients and check vacant beds in Hospitals and inform the Public Authorities and Ambulance units to take the correct routes and visit the nearest hospital capable of treating the incoming patient. In densely populated areas many COVID-related deaths have happened due to mismanagement by hospitals and Public authorities. It becomes critical to ensure the health systems across the country are not burdened and there should be an even spread of patients across all hospitals.
  • Drones can be used to deliver medical supplies from Hospitals and pick up samples from COVID Hotspots. Terra Drone, a Japanese Drone Company demonstrated this in Wuhan, China and claimed to increase the speed of transport by more than 50% when compared to road transport. Law enforcement authorities have also used Drones to ensure Lockdown is strictly followed by the public and in some areas like France, Spain drones were used to spray disinfectant & sanitizing chemicals in public areas after the Corona Outburst.
  • Finally, Organizations across the world have slowly adapted to remote working. Many organizations operating fully on-prem have slowly started to migrate their infrastructure to the cloud so it can be accessed remotely from anywhere. Logic Monitor’s Cloud 2025 survey has found that 87% of the Global IT Decision Makers are in favor of moving infrastructure to the cloud and the majority have already started the migration. The survey also hints that by the year 2025, around 95% of the global workloads would be completely in Cloud. Cloud Application / Desktop Delivery, Citrix Workspaces have become the new norm in the post COVID era causing a major shift in Software development industries.

Challenges:

  • Implementing Smart Health care across all Hospitals and establishing connectivity and seamless operations between different involving entities require a considerable amount of time investment and cannot happen in a short duration of time.
  • Relying on technology is a good thing but can quickly become problematic if the network communication channels are not secured. This can cause middleman attacks or permanent damage to expensive healthcare infrastructure either to avoid competition, information theft, or disruption of business.
  • Connectivity holds the key when it comes to transmission of crucial information from remote places or when in transit like in ambulances. Many deaths have resulted because the Ambulance could not reach the place on time or take the patient back to the hospital on time. In such cases GPS and Network connectivity matters which can cause a life or death situation. Outdated hardware or software, unreliable personnel due to lack of experience or negligence increases the risk of fatality.

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