Low-power, low-latency devices, and the future of remote health care

The health-care industry has rapidly evolved by embracing internet-of-things solutions. Low-power, low-latency devices are pivotal in revolutionizing the medical sector through innovative, patient-focused, and cost-effective digital solutions. Many patients and practitioners incorporate wearable and imaging sensors for treatment and prevention. This advancement has led to positive breakthroughs in individual cases and has left the industry hopeful about increasing the effectiveness of day-to-day health care.

This article highlights the importance of low-power, low-latency technologies that enable optimized health-care applications for patients. It also discusses the evolution of wearables as they move from being fitness trackers to an essential part of home-based and personalized treatment plans. We’ll also discuss how rural communities can use wearables to track vital signs without walking long distances to visit clinics and relay crucial information to health-care specialists in remote settings.

A new generation of wearables takes center stage

Recent statistics from Statista reveal that more than a billion people around the globe use wearables for health and fitness purposes. The devices might have begun as a fitness trend that tracked steps, calories, and workout routines, but they are now facilitating health-care solutions that are above and beyond anyone’s expectations.

Modern devices include smartwatches, smart rings, bracelets, and wearable ECG sensors. For example, a sensor review published by MDPI showed that cardiologists could use wearable ECG sensors to monitor blood pressure, circulation, heart rate, oxygen saturation points, and fluctuating body temperature. The devices record the data in a cloud system that designated cardiologists can access on their end. Then specialists can use patient data to develop personalized treatment plans according to this real-time information. The quick data exchange obtained in this type of modern system can increase the accuracy and reliability of treatments for cardiovascular care and other health-care sectors.

Moreover, wearables support telehealth services by storing important medical data on synchronized cloud services and sharing it with primary health-care providers. Consequently, this allows patients and doctors to access a central database that holds each patient’s medical history, current symptoms, and vitals. Organizing the essential data in one place minimizes the risk of negligence and human error in maintaining medical records.

Other advantages include cost-effectiveness as well as time savings for health-care providers to record, maintain, and manage data versus if it is entered manually.

Low-power, low-latency devices are reshaping the health-care industry

Low-power, low-latency devices are not dependent on power supplies. They operate on long-lasting batteries that can recharge while not in use. These low-power devices conserve energy and efficiently share data with connected devices in real time. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health states that such features improve the performance levels and productivity of the health-care sector as they leverage advanced technologies to “improve the patient experience and health-care service quality.”

It includes automated radiotherapy through image guidance for effective planning and treatment. Additionally, robot-assisted surgery can use low latency to improve response time and accuracy during surgery. Similarly, remote surgery has turned into reality by integrating these IoT devices.

Higher accessibility for remote health care

Home-care providers and hospitals are developing remote health-care systems to make medical services available to rural communities. Low-power, low-latency devices prove beneficial for these setups. That’s because these IoT devices do not require a large amount of electricity to function for prolonged periods. They reduce the time required to convey messages from patient to physician and vice versa. Additionally, this lowers the clinical time and overhead costs while improving patient care and support.

Such a setup is comprised of a user interface for monitoring the recorded data, a data collector (or biosensor) of some kind, and a communication network. These components allow patients and health-care providers to stay connected despite their distance.

According to a recent research paper published in IEEE Xplore titled “Enabling Technologies for the Internet of Health Things,” these devices can be helpful for medical data analysis of “patients in remote locations and request emergency assistance” in time of need.

Building a better, more connected future

Overall, IoT devices with low power and low latency are revolutionizing the health-care sector as we know it. Remote health care has benefited from them significantly due to faster data transfers and the reduced need to stay plugged in to keep devices charged.

As a result, intelligent wearables track progress in real time without changing batteries or recharging. These specifications bridge the gap between urban and rural health-care accessibility. With advanced technology, health-care advisers can monitor patients’ vital signs and treatment remotely without any disruption. The quick exchange of medical data and always-on monitoring systems ensure that patients receive quality medical services regardless of their ZIP code or location.

Therefore, we will observe a significant uptick in these trends in the coming years as we fill gaps and disparities found within the health-care system.

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