Are you familiar with the IoT or the Internet of Things? This is the term that is applied to objects that are connected via the internet to collect and transfer data without any human interaction or intervention. This includes items like your smart television or even a refrigerator that is connected to an app on your phone which would alert you when the door is left open.
In healthcare, the Internet of Medical Things, or IoMT, includes the applications and medical devices that connect to the medical system through online computer networks. The information that is gathered and analyzed through these devices which have Wi-Fi capability is then stored on cloud platforms and accessed via various healthcare applications or platforms for patient care.
What Are Some Real-Life Examples?
Examples of IoMT devices would be found in patients that are equipped with monitoring devices that can track their conditions and medication orders, MRI machines in a facility, smart beds, and IV pumps.
These devices allow providers to efficiently process the information that they receive and treat patients more effectively, making the best care decisions in a timelier manner. Additionally, the amount of information received provides an opportunity for a better and more complete analysis of the situation. And it also provided an opportunity for telehealth to pick up when in-person care had to drop off due to the pandemic.
In our research, we found that the wearable devices that many of us use for our own tracking were not clearly labeled as IoMT devices, but just IoT. That is likely because a manufacturer may be hesitant to identify itself as a medical device manufacturer due to liability issues. Regardless, these devices provide data that is relevant to one’s healthcare program and may sometimes be considered IoMT.
The future of medical treatment will undoubtedly include a growing number of IoMT options, and as newer facilities are built, we’ll see even more integration appear in several ways. With this increase in connected devices, the risk of a breach increases because there are more doors for cybercriminals to access.
This article was originally published on HIPAA Secure Now! and is republished here with permission.