Osram Illustrates How IoT Solves Healthcare Problems

The applications of IoT have been under the spotlight in many parts of the industry. Osram, as a high-tech company, has presented eight approaches in healthcare where IoT can be applied to solve problems.

In large medical facilities, IoT can provide assistance for visitors to navigate the area. By using the mobile app of the facility via smartphones, visitors can be guided to the best route to get to their destinations. A smart lighting system with integrated sensors in luminaires creates the enabling infrastructure for these digital wayfinding applications.

Also, smart lighting applications can help hospitals and medical facilities to create the right light at the right time following the circadian rhythms for patients. Via LED technology and intelligent lighting control systems, lighting in medical facilities can be customized according to the needs of patients. A light prescription tailored to increase circadian stimulation during the day can be used to enhance the quality of life in those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias (ADRD) patients.

(Image: Osram)

People working at hospitals or medical centers can also benefit from IoT applications. As staffs caring for patients require different light levels for different tasks, flexible lighting solution can meet the demands for specific tasks such as inserting a catheter, taking an X-ray and reviewing test results on a laptop. With suitable lighting, working productivity can be improved.

Moreover, IoT is being utilized to keep better track of assets including equipment, machines and beds in hospitals. By tagging IoT sensors on these devises, they can be located and managed easily. For example, by tagging hospital beds in the emergency room with IoT sensors, hospitals are able to identify when beds are free, enabling a decrease in emergency room wait times.

Aside from people, hospitals also need to monitor temperature and lighting for specimens in medical laboratories. With the application of IoT, samples can be tagged with sensors that monitor temperature and light exposure alerting staff if test samples are compromised.

Home health monitoring is another critical application that uses IoT. In this application, a patient’s vital health data is monitored via wearable technology with embedded sensors that track their conditions. Wearables such as blood pressure monitors, glucometers, pulse detectors, and personal emergency response systems automatically detect and report emergencies allowing patients to stay at home longer and reducing the possibility of re-admissions.

Furthermore, IoT can help to enhance medication adherence as well. According to studies, many patients do not take medication as prescribed once they leave hospitals. IoT-enabled “smart pill boxes” and packaging were designed to enable health professionals and families to keep track of a patient’s medicine schedule and intake. These systems can include a prescription vial cap that connects to a mobile cloud-based application that reminds patients to take their medication.

In addition, the development of smart bandages can actively monitor conditions such as the temperature and PH level of chronic wounds and deliver appropriate drug treatments. A microprocessor is connected to interpret sensor input that triggers drug delivery to promote healing and a drug carrier. If it detects changes in the wound’s status, the system can diagnose the problem and dispense the treatment that has been pre-programmed by a doctor.

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