The Challenges Associated With IoT Healthcare Implementation

IoT in healthcare can be incredibly helpful, but there are many challenges associated with IoT healthcare implementation. Here's what to know

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August 13, 2019
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Healthcare facilities and app developers are currently coming together to learn more about the Internet of Things. What does the future hold? Is the Internet of Things applicable in the world of healthcare? How can app developers assist clients that are looking to get the most out of this nascent technology? These are all understandable questions, for sure.

While the Internet of Things is already being utilized in a number of medical contexts, there are certain steps that must be taken first. App developers will always recommend taking the time to engage in performance testing. Before a new technological ecosystem can be created, the facility must take the time to ensure proper management.

That’s why the challenges that are associated with implementation must be discussed in an open forum. App developers can offer some much needed background but in a world where even the slightest amount of pressure can cause serious issues, it behooves medical facilities to learn as much as possible.

These are the main challenges facing healthcare professionals when it comes to the regular usage of IoT devices. Before meeting with app developers, take a moment to learn more about these obstacles. The facilities that are able to overcome these hurdles are the facilities that will be able to offer the best medical care over the long haul.

What About Disruptions With Internet Service?

This is one of the common questions asked by prospective patients in these scenarios. What happens if the facility happens to experience some sort of Internet outrage at an inopportune moment? While there is no such thing as an “opportune moment” in these instances, it is easy to see why there is such a strong level of fear in this regard.

Crashes in the world of healthcare are simply not acceptable and must be avoided at all costs. For example, there are a plethora of medical emergencies that take place in rural areas where the Internet is not always reliable. How can these patients rely on devices that are powered by the Internet of Things? However, there are solutions that can mitigate these sorts of calamities and keep them from negatively affecting a patient’s prognosis.

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The top facilities must make sure that they are taking the time to back up all of their most crucial information. Otherwise, they are placing the patients at risk. Taking the time to seamlessly integrate all patches and upgrades will also play a key role. There is no way to avoid downtime entirely but by taking the proper precautions, these issues can be mitigated with relative ease.

More Specialized Tools

Of course, no two medical emergencies are going to be exactly alike. This leads to some skepticism when it comes to the amount of specialized tools that are available. Connected medical devices are no longer considered to be futuristic. They are now the norm. So how can medical facilities avoid the pitfalls that are associated with non specialized tools?

Performance engineers are now experiencing the strain associated with this conundrum. In order to manage communication with these servers, the aforementioned engineers must be sure to locate all of the newest protocols. Managing communication with these servers is one of the most crucial tasks when it comes to implementation. Protocols that can handle low bandwidth networks are needed.

These are not the only protocols that should be used but they are often the most helpful. Low memory devices must be catered to in these instances. Many medical facilities that are currently utilizing the Internet of Things will rely on the MQTT protocol. The top facilities will also take the time to analyze other protocols to see if there are any changes that can be made.

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Lack of Proper Load Testing Tools

If a connected device is not properly tested beforehand, a medical facility that is looking to implement IoT principles will struggle. Choosing the right instruments is not always easy and the IoT can add to the difficulties if the facility is not careful. Every healthcare architecture is different and there are a number of decisions to be made.

The amount of data that these devices generate also has to be considered. Patient data must also be kept secure. Performance engineers that are looking to create a safe environment for these patients will need to take a closer look at every aspect of the facility’s infrastructure. Let’s say that the data shows that multiple devices are going to be needed.

Any toolkit that is used should place a high priority on continuous sharing of data. Quality assurance teams that have the proper level of experience when it comes to this testing need to be chosen. A medical facility that does not obtain the correct tools and personnel for a task of this nature is placing themselves in a very dangerous position.

Conclusion

These are all challenges that app developers can assist their clients with but what happens when a facility places too emphasis on outside help? No one should ever be trying to handle these hurdles on their own but there is something to be said for the value of preparation.

Atypical use cases need to be studied. Load testing products should be chosen carefully. Find the best pairings when it comes to software and devices. The forward thinking medical facilities that take these responsibilities with the utmost seriousness will always experience a greater level of success.