The Indian Healthcare system is straining because of it being the world’s second most populous country and it accounts for 20 percent of the global disease burden with a high infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.
Further impediments to healthcare system’s growth include an aging and growing population, a lack of adequate infrastructure and a shortage of medical professionals.
There is also poor access to quality healthcare in remote and rural areas, increasing the incidence of chronic disease and rising cost of care.
IoT in healthcare could be promising
With the use of devices connected to the internet, The Internet of Things (IoT)- has the potential to catapult this ailing healthcare system into an integrated, efficient and patient-centric system.
With the integration of medical “things” -devices, smart sensors, mHealth apps, AI, etc. – via the internet, the possibilities are endless. As an example IoT is being used to track the progression and treatment of diseases, to monitor patients’ health conditions and accordingly alter their medication levels, to track medicines usage data to ensure adherence to treatment plans and to provide real-time information on symptoms.
Challenges of IoT in Healthcare
However, there are certain challenges in adopting IoT in healthcare.
These include storing, handling and safeguarding enormous amounts of health data.
Privacy issues, including data privacy, stem from integrating various devices that monitor, exchange and transmit data for processing.
Incompatibility and non-interoperability of various medical and health monitoring devices in terms of their hardware, software and firmware, non-unified cloud services, different operating systems, obsolete technologies, etc. is another challenge that needs to be addressed.
As stated above the challenges regarding security can be enormous and is a huge potential risk as explained below.
In this Ted talk, computer science professor, Avi Rubin takes us on a journey of hacking that will astound you.
Implanted medical devices
The pacemaker was invented in 1926 but the real interest from a computer security perspective started in 2006 when they were given networking capabilities.
Now what a research team did was they got their hands on what’s called an ICD. This is a defibrillator, and this is a device that goes into a person to control their heart rhythm, and these have saved many lives.
This device was made to be able to communicate wirelessly, and what this research team did is they reverse engineered the wireless protocol, and they built the device with a little antenna, that could talk the protocol to the device, and thus control it.
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