Smart healthcare is primarily a technology that involves personalized diagnostic applications and services for the user to improve life quality. Moreover, smart healthcare involves the record-keeping and exchange of information among users and healthcare personnel. Smart healthcare is proven to be vital during the testing times of COVID-19.
Today, smart healthcare that encapsulates the Internet of Things (IoT) is improving access to quality healthcare due to a reduction in costs of this proactive technology. The healthcare system has acknowledged the importance of using smart technology to enhance healthcare quality.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is of great benefit during the COVID crisis, along with other technologies such as Cloud and AI. Epidemiologists are using IoT mobile data with the help of geographic information systems to search for patient zero in a specific location that can help identify people who have come in contact with the infected people. The technology can also be useful in tracking high-risk patients and can also be a source of knowledge for healthcare employees’ adequate intervention.
Let’s discuss some of the ways in COVID-19 is aiding the smart healthcare technology:
Contribution of Smart Watches towards Smart Healthcare applications.
Various technology firms have invested in creating innovative wearable solutions to gain effective access to the smart healthcare market. Wearable devices such as smartwatch and fitness trackers were among the early adopters in the smart healthcare industry for general consumers. In a short time, with the advent of sophisticated biosensors and wireless data transmission, the wearable technology has evolved, enabling the user to access and transmit information to caregivers.
Since these smartwatches continue to evolve in the clinical field, the technology is competent to provide health-care professionals with the data they require to enhance health care quality, alter and promote clinical workflows, remotely monitor and treat patients, obtain better health data and provide patients with more efficient health-care.
Scripps Research Translational Institute recently launched an app-based study “DETECT” to examine wearable data exchanged by users to be able to identify rapidly spreading viral diseases, such as flu and coronavirus, more easily. With the app’s aid, the research will monitor the user’s smartwatch heart rate data to assess well before a user has fever and symptoms or whether there is a cluster of irregularities occurring within the body.
Fighting COVID-19 with the Power of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the ability to identify major diseases through big data and machine learning. It has various applications in the landscape of smart health, including disease prevention, chronic disease management, health care delivery, and drug discovery.
In the healthcare system, the aim of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with machine learning (ML) is to reinvent the industry and build what was once considered unfeasible reality. Its primary aim is to evaluate and classify patterns faster and more accurately than was previously possible in large and complex datasets.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has halted the growth of many countries around the globe. Chinese tech firm Kuang-Chi Technologies has developed an AI-enabled smart helmet for some police officers in the country. The helmet emits audio and visual alerts to the user once it identifies a person suffering from fever come within a 5-meter radius of the helmet. It provides a temperature detection and vehicle plate identification feature via an integrated monitor to measure passerby’s body temperature in real-time. A passenger’s body temperature level can be seen on the helmet’s display screen via a viewing portal.
Telemedicine in Assisting Doctors and Patients during COVID-19 Crisis
Telemedicine helps patients to access healthcare services without leaving their homes or office. With technological innovation, telemedicine services have evolved in several ways, including physician-run online platforms, video software that facilitates remote appointments, and applications controlled by telemedicine services companies.
Telemedicine enables you to interact with a healthcare professional in real-time about symptoms and medical problems. It allows you to get diagnosed, understand the medical treatment required, and get a prescription. Under necessary circumstances, to check on the patient’s health, healthcare providers can easily track readings from medical devices remotely.
Telemedicine has revolutionized the mental health field, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since mental well-being is a complex process involving behavioral health and getting beyond the stigma so that patients are comfortable with treatment, it has become essential to have a middle road during these difficult times with all the precautions. Thanks to Telemedicine. Psychiatrists and therapists can now treat patients irrespective of their geographical location.
With the aid of technology, telepsychiatry has evolved exponentially, allowing mental health providers to video chat with patients online to deliver virtual care. Smart healthcare services, including telemedicine, make mental health services more accessible and convenient to patients in need. One of its biggest benefits is available to all, as long as a patient has a way to connect to the internet.
Role of Internet of Things (IoT) in Restraining COVID-19
With the help of the Internet of Things (IoT), the outbreak’s source can be located with the help of data obtained from mobile devices. The obtained data is sent for review and decision making to the central cloud server. The IoT technology can help officials ensure patients comply with quarantine, and the department of public health can control who stays quarantined and who breaks the rules.
IoT can play a vital role in managing patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows patients to take their body temperatures and upload it to the required repository via a mobile application. This helps healthcare workers collect large data in less time with minimal risk of cross-infection.
Artificial Intelligence Contribution in Finding COVID-19 Vaccine
A scientist in the past would spend years studying the data to produce a single drug. The emergence of AI and Smart Healthcare is immensely helpful in creating a drug due to the sheer ability to manage large amounts of data and measure meaningful data faster.
Pharmaceutical firms are seeking to repurpose drugs in the case of COVID-19, which needs an urgent vaccine. This suggests that a medication designed to treat a specific disease may be useful in treating another one. Some established AI tools and platforms already support the drug industry. But some researchers are trying to create brand-new AI systems that can make it easier for the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.
BenevolentAI, the AI drug industry giant in the UK that has experience in using AI to create drugs for the deadliest diseases has raised $292 million to develop COVID-19 drugs with the aid of AI.
Future of Smart Healthcare
There are huge expectations from the Smart healthcare systems. There is tremendous space for growth with the advent of new healthcare technology. However, there are definite obstacles, such as the infrastructure and skills needed to integrate smart healthcare services into daily operations.
Smart healthcare services are relevant in terms of scope, impact, and time. While physicians and patients can communicate via mobile phone, the physical check-up is still important today. But in the future, the patient equipped with a “smart” device can easily monitor heartbeat, body temperature, and much more with the growth of smart healthcare technologies.
The development of technology in the healthcare sector would allow hospitals to become “smart hospitals” as they rely on ecosystems focused on information and communication technology. In these smart hospitals, the IoT technology, which connects digital devices and hospital premise, creating with a human’s authorization, can also be used to permit patient entry and monitoring. Also, an RFID tag can be to each patient to circulate prescribed medicine. The information via the RFID tag can easily be stored in the database to monitor it in the future easily. Smart hospitals’ advantages, such as physical examination systems, online appointments, and lesser waiting times for patients, will help both hospital and the patient.
Even though we are not too far from the above-mentioned scenario. Smart healthcare is centered on moving data, not individuals. All that remains is the expectation that this future solution will arrive soon and that the opportunity offered by the technology-medicine relationship will be fully understood.
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