Internet of Things

Top 5 things to know about IoT in medicine

The Internet of Things has uses in many different industries; Tom Merritt explains five ways it's being used in the medical field.

IoT means a lot of different things, but one of its more interesting applications is in medicine; given its reputation for insecurity, that can be troubling. Let's look at five things you should know about IoT in medicine.

SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)

  1. It enables real-time monitoring. Your doctor can not only see your heart rate, but also your glucose level, breathing rate, and much more. This can help them spot trends and get alerts to give care faster when needed.
  2. It enables real-time monitoring. This means your actual personal status can be monitored at any moment. However, if not properly secured with good access controls and strong privacy policies, you may be revealing a lot of information about yourself to people you don't want to.
  3. Your medical history is more detailed than ever. If you have wearables tracking your vitals—along with maybe a pacemaker, CPAP, or glucose monitor—all that can create a clear picture of you in order to help a doctor better diagnose and treat you.
  4. Your medical history is more detailed than ever. HIPAA protects you from a lot of misuse. You have to opt to donate your data for it to be used—but you might be doing that. Do you read the terms of services for all your wearables?
  5. Free device use comes with a price. It's one thing to be the product on Facebook where you can be advertised to in a way that has never been possible before. It's a whole other thing to be the product because you accepted a free pacemaker in exchange for all your heart data being shared with an insurance company.

Ahh, information. The ultimate double-edged sword... or is it double-edged scalpel?

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Image: iStockphoto/kopitinphoto

About Tom Merritt

Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, coverin...

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