Healthcare Information Technology Trends: Internet of Things

Healthcare technology has been rapidly evolving, changing the way patient care is delivered and managed. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of interconnected devices and sensors that collect and exchange data through the Internet. One of the key trends in healthcare technology related to IoT is the use of wearable devices, such as fitness trackers, smartwatches, and biosensors, which helps monitor vital signs, activity levels, sleep patterns, and other health-related data of the patient (Kadhim et al., 2020). The resulting data is transmitted into EHR, allowing for remote patient monitoring and more personalized care.

Healthcare Information Technology Trends: Internet of Things

In hospitals, IoT enables medical devices and equipment to be connected to a network, allowing for real-time data monitoring, maintenance, and inventory management (Kadhim et al., 2020). For example, smart infusion pumps can track medication administration, alert nurses of any errors, and automatically update patient records. IoT also plays a crucial role in improving medication adherence and patient safety. Smart pill dispensers can remind patients to take their medications and provide alerts to caregivers or healthcare providers if doses are missed (Adhikary et al., 2020).

Additionally, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology can be used to track and manage medication inventory, reducing errors and ensuring accurate medication administration. In terms of data management and analytics, IoT generates health data that can be utilized for insights and decision-making. For example, wearable devices combined with AI algorithms can detect early warning signs of certain medical conditions, enabling timely interventions and preventive measures, according to Wang and Hsu (2023).

Potential Challenges And Risks of IoT

  1. Data security and privacy: IoT devices generate and transmit sensitive patient data. Ensuring security measures to protect this data from cyber threats and unauthorized access is critical. Breaches in data security can lead to privacy violations, identity theft, and compromise patient safety (Abu Bakar et al., 2019).
  2. Reliability and accuracy: The reliability and accuracy of IoT devices can be a concern. Malfunctions, sensor errors, or inaccurate readings may lead to incorrect diagnoses, ineffective treatments, or delayed interventions (Abu Bakar et al., 2019). Regular maintenance, calibration, and quality control measures are necessary to address these issues.
  3. Ethical considerations: The use of healthcare technologies raises ethical considerations, such as consent, data ownership, and potential biases in algorithms. Ensuring patient autonomy, informed consent, and transparency in data collection and usage is crucial to maintain ethical standards. The use of IoT must also comply with HIPAA data and privacy protection laws, which can be challenging.
  4. Technical limitations and user proficiency: IoT technologies may have technical limitations or require specific expertise to operate effectively. Healthcare professionals and patients need proper training and support to utilize these technologies optimally and accurately interpret the data they provide (Abu Bakar et al., 2019).
  5. Overreliance on technology: While IoT devices and technologies can enhance patient care, there is a risk of overreliance on technology, potentially leading to a decrease in critical thinking and clinical judgment. Nurses should use these technologies as tools to support decision-making rather than solely relying on their outputs.

Benefit And One Potential Risk Associated With Data Safety, Legislation, And Patient Care For IoT

IoT provides improved patient outcomes through remote monitoring and proactive interventions. IoT devices enable real-time collection and transmission of patient health data, allowing healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely. This continuous monitoring can lead to early detection of health issues or changes in conditions, enabling timely interventions and improved patient outcomes (Adhikary et al., 2020). For example, wearable devices can track vital signs, detect abnormalities, and alert healthcare professionals to potential emergencies, reducing hospital readmissions and improving overall patient care.

On the other hand, a potential risk associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care in IoT technologies is the potential for data breaches and privacy violations (Chernyshev et al., 2018). The vast amount of personal health information collected and transmitted by IoT devices increases the risk of unauthorized access or cyberattacks. If healthcare data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to identity theft, fraud, or misuse of sensitive information.

Additionally, the sharing and integration of patient data from multiple IoT devices may raise concerns about patient privacy and consent. Ensuring robust data security measures, adherence to privacy regulations, and transparent data governance practices are crucial to mitigate these risks and maintain patient trust in the use of IoT technologies in healthcare.

Healthcare Technology Trends You Believe Are Most Promising For Impacting Healthcare Technology In Nursing Practice

Telehealth allows nurses to deliver care remotely through video consultations, remote monitoring, and digital communication tools. This trend has the potential to greatly impact nursing practice by enabling nurses to provide virtual care, monitor patients remotely, and engage in telehealth consultations. This contributes to improved patient care outcomes by increasing access to healthcare, reducing hospital readmissions, and enhancing patient satisfaction (Steingass & Maloney-Newton, 2020).

For example, nurses can remotely monitor patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, by reviewing their vital signs, symptoms, and medication adherence. By identifying any concerning trends or issues early on, nurses can intervene promptly and prevent complications.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) adoption has transformed nursing practice by streamlining documentation, facilitating care coordination, and enhancing decision-making. EHRs provide a centralized platform for storing and accessing patient data, allowing nurses to access comprehensive patient information in real time.

CDSS utilizes data within the EHR to provide evidence-based recommendations, alerts, and reminders to healthcare providers at the point of care (Gaughan et al., 2022). This improves patient care outcomes by reducing errors, promoting adherence to best practices, and enabling standardized care across healthcare settings. For instance, CDSS can alert nurses to potential medication interactions or allergies, helping to prevent adverse drug events.

References

  • Abu Bakar, N. A., Wan Ramli, W. M., & Hassan, N. H. (2019). The Internet of Things in healthcare: An overview, challenges and model plan for security risks management process. Indonesian Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science15(1), 414. https://doi.org/10.11591/ijeecs.v15.i1.pp414-420
  • Adhikary, T., Jana, A. D., Chakrabarty, A., & Jana, S. K. (2020). The internet of things (IoT) augmentation in healthcare: An application analytics. In ICICCT 2019 – System Reliability, Quality Control, Safety, Maintenance and Management (pp. 576–583). Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-8461-5_66
  • Chernyshev, M., Zeadally, S., & Baig, Z. (2019). Healthcare data breaches: Implications for digital forensic readiness. Journal of Medical Systems43(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10916-018-1123-2
  • Gaughan, M. R., Kwon, M., Park, E., & Jungquist, C. (2022). Nurses’ experience and perception of technology use in practice: A qualitative study using an extended technology acceptance model: A qualitative study using an extended technology acceptance model. Computers, Informatics, Nursing: CIN40(7), 478–486. https://doi.org/10.1097/CIN.0000000000000850
  • Kadhim, K. T., Alsahlany, A. M., Wadi, S. M., & Kadhum, H. T. (2020). An overview of patient’s health status monitoring system based on internet of things (IoT). Wireless Personal Communications114(3), 2235–2262. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11277-020-07474-0
  • Steingass, S. K., & Maloney-Newton, S. (2020). Telehealth triage and oncology nursing practice. Seminars in Oncology Nursing36(3), 151019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soncn.2020.151019
  • Wang, W.-H., & Hsu, W.-S. (2023). Integrating artificial intelligence and wearable IoT system in long-term care environments. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)23(13), 5913. https://doi.org/10.3390/s23135913

Healthcare Information Technology Trends: Internet of Things Instructions

Prepare:

  • Reflect on the Resources related to digital information tools and technologies.
  • Consider your healthcare organization’s use of healthcare technologies to manage and distribute information.
  • Reflect on current and potential future trends, such as use of social media and mobile applications/telehealth, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled asset tracking, or expert systems/artificial intelligence, and how they may impact nursing practice and healthcare delivery.

***Provide*** a brief description of general healthcare technology trends, particularly related to data/information you have observed in use in your healthcare organization or nursing practice. Describe any potential challenges or risks that may be inherent in the technologies associated with these trends you described. Then, describe at least one potential benefit and one potential risk associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care for the technologies you described. Next, explain which healthcare technology trends you believe are most promising for impacting healthcare technology in nursing practice and explain why. Describe whether this promise will contribute to improvements in patient care outcomes, efficiencies, or data management. Be specific and provide examples.

Resources that can be used: