What’s the Use of Connected Objects in healthcare ?
What is a connected object or connected device?A connected object is an object, often electronic, capable of communicating information to another object, to a computer server or to a computer, a tablet or a smartphone, thanks to a dedicated network (most often the Internet). The object becomes intelligent and integrates a network of other objects called “Internet of Things” (Internet of Things – IOT), capable of interacting with each other.
A connected object therefore fulfills 2 roles:
Role of sensor: it monitors the appearance of an event or performs a specific measurement (presence sensor, thermal sensor, measurement of the number of steps, etc.)
Role of an effector: he performs an action following a specific measured or detected event (triggering of an alarm in the event of an intrusion, remote opening of a door, etc.)
The different types of connected objects
There are different types of connected objects that can be used by businesses or individuals. 4 main categories can be identified:
.Objects optimizing transport management: electronic toll collection, communication between vehicles, real-time delivery monitoring, management of a public transport network, traffic flow, etc.
.Alarms and connected sensors used in industry (water and hydrocarbon routing, intelligent energy distribution networks, etc.)
.Connected screens and interfaces such as reception machines and automated points of sale
Personal connected objects allowing you to follow your health, your activity or interact remotely with your home.
The Guide to Connected Health dwells on the category of “connected personal objects”, and focuses on 2 types of use:
Connected medical devices to monitor a vital parameter, particularly in the context of chronic diseases or prevention of proven risk
Well-being objects offering monitoring of physical activity, weight and sleep. They are considered more as motivational or behavioral monitoring tools than as health monitoring devices.
In most cases, personal connected objects are connected to a smartphone or tablet (sometimes to a computer) via a cable or a radio link system (usually using the Bluetooth communication standard – click here to know more).
The link between the connected object and the smartphone or tablet is materialized by a specific application provided by the manufacturer, and made accessible on the application download platforms (App Store, Google Play, Windows Store for the most used).
Vigilance however, because to function correctly, the applications must be compatible:
with the operating system of the smartphone or tablet (for example: Android, IOS for Apple, etc.),
with the operating system version of the smartphone or tablet (equipment that does not integrate recent updates may not be compatible).
Once the application is installed on the smartphone or tablet, you must associate the object connected to the application (the latter guides you during this step). It is this association that makes your object “intelligent”, by transmitting the data collected by the object to the application to restore them to you.
What is impact on health?
Health or well-being connected objects make it possible to take an important step in its relation to health: by focusing on the measurement of physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar level, etc.) or activity (sports, sleep, etc.). ), connected objects provide personal information enabling awareness of a risk or a condition.
Enriched with automatic personalized advice, coaching, or coaching by a healthcare professional, this “health” information allows you to adjust your behavior appropriately and prevent probable risks. With the data generated continuously, we are entering the era of a more preventive, highly personalized medicine, complementary to the curative approach of our Health System.
The use of connected objects to improve health is only in its infancy, examples are already conclusive, in particular for monitoring specific pathologies (heart failure for example). This seems to herald a real revolution in our relationship to health, for the benefit of patients.