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The Internet of Medical Things: A Revolutionary Tool for the MedTech Industry

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is the collection of medical devices and applications that are interconnected through information and communication technologies. It has been a growing segment of the Internet of Things (IoT) for a couple of years now, understandably so. The COVID-19 pandemic and our aging society have accelerated this growth and the need for the IoMT.

The Internet of Medical Things A Revolutionary Tools for the MedTech Industry

A large percentage of patient care has been moved over to telemedicine, shifting the focus to medical devices and applications in healthcare. Consumer behaviors have drastically changed since the pandemic: now there is a bigger focus on prevention and telehealth. This influences both the type of products customers demand and the development processes of those products. If organizations want to stay relevant in the eyes of the customers, they need to adapt their digital capabilities to deliver products that satisfy evolving end-user needs.

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Products using the Internet of Medical Things

Several categories of MedTech products are affected by the rampant trend of digitalization and connectivity, mainly:

Prosthetics: The first prosthetic body part can be traced back to Ancient Egypt however, today’s digital products are a little more advanced. Nowadays, prosthetic limbs are smart and can be adapted to multiple types of activities. Modern prosthetic limbs are highly functional with elevated sensory and motor control, providing the end-user with a more realistic limb. Data transferred on the Internet of Medical Things helps fine-tune the skills of these highly specialized devices.

Wearable devices: These devices are small, smart, and connected. They are mostly products that we see every day, such as smartwatches. These devices provide health tracking services including heart rate monitoring, calorie output, step counting, sleep quality tracking, etc. They provide these measurements just by being in contact with the users' skin. These products keep on improving – today, we have devices that can monitor your glucose levels, and some even have pulse oximeters. Connectivity allows these to offer a wide range of services related to the health data they measure.

Telehealth: We’ve seen a rise in the use of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, and all signs suggest that it is here to stay. Through telemedicine appointments, doctors can provide care to their patients without the need for an in-person visit. Doctors and caregivers can be alerted when patients with dementia leave their homes, or surgeons can perform surgeries from far-away locations. Naturally, all of this is enabled by connectivity – as are next-generation telehealth services delivered by medical robots.

All of these products and innovations take healthcare to the next level, with new developments being released daily. These devices make life easier for patients living with chronic diseases, such as diabetes: patients can monitor their glucose levels and even administer insulin using connected devices. Life for people with computer-controlled orthosis can be more diverse than before the existence of the Internet of Medical Things. 

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How does IoMT affect the MedTech industry?

So now we know how the IoMT improves the lives of the end-user, but how exactly does it affect the MedTech industry? The market is projected to grow from $30.79 billion in 2021 to $187.60 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 29.5% during the 2021-2028 period. Data integration and analytics will be the driving force in the industry, helping users make smarter decisions. For this to work, developers need to understand the needs of the user and develop products that respond to changing user needs.

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MedTech companies will need to evolve and accelerate the development of new IoMT-enabled technologies. They also need to develop new strategies to use the data collected from these connected devices. MedTech companies need to turn this data into valuable and actionable insights that enable them to offer new services and to optimize existing products. They need to be agile and embrace new capabilities – and along with it, a new culture in this ever-changing and developing digital environment.

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The key driving forces behind the Internet of Medical Things 

Consumers are taking charge of their health, and demanding products that are up to their standards. They expect improved access to their health data from all of their devices. In order to be successful in this brave new digital health tech world, MedTech companies have to remember the key driving forces behind IoMT: 

Who benefits from connected medical devices?

Connected medical devices benefit patients and providers alike. These devices provide the data that helps gauge the effectiveness of a provider’s operations. By analyzing the data coming in from all these smart devices, MedTech developers are able to provide solutions that give value to both patients and providers. Meanwhile, healthcare providers can allocate funds to solutions that actually work.

Collaboration between healthcare providers and MedTech developers

Partnerships with healthcare providers allow developers to understand the clinical context of how their devices are being used. Developing devices that can be a useful part of the patient care experience is a challenge by itself. In order to develop the perfect product, a collaboration between the MedTech industry and healthcare professionals is a must – and data helps to make sure these insights are put to good use. Such collaborations allow stakeholders to come to a better understanding of patients' and providers’ needs and come up with solutions that provide better care in a more cost-effective way for them.

Improving healthcare and driving down its cost

One of the fueling factors of the growing market of IoMT software is the growing cost of healthcare. According to a study done by Deloitte, staff is the highest driving cost in healthcare, accounting for anywhere between 60 to 70% of all costs. The MedTech industry can help lower this cost by developing products that are optimized to tackle the challenges faced by the healthcare industry. 

Connected medical devices can help medical staff work more effectively and can increase productivity. The ecosystem of IoMT products can help with smoother & faster data transmission (such as diagnostics, blood pressure, ECG, etc.) fueling next-generation electronic health record systems. These smart devices can lower readmissions, increase wellness management, and are able to constantly give feedback to empower patients to be in charge of their health. MarketsandMarkets expect a $63 billion decrease globally in healthcare costs with the implementation of the Internet of Medical Things in healthcare.

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