Review of Internet of Things in Healthcare

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a key area where embedded devices and sensors can connect and exchange information over the internet. IoT can revolutionize how human beings live their lives, making them more comfortable and smart. IoT has the ability to add intelligence to real-world objects and facilitate their communication with each other. Given the importance of IoT devices and data can be critical, security measures are required to keep this data safe from intrusion. Authentication is a basic yet crucial element for ensuring data privacy and security.

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This system consists of many parts, all the sensors being powered using a solar power system. IoT plays a significant role in healthcare applications through sensors and actuators in patients and their medication for monitoring and tracking purposes.

Not only for patients, but it is also useful for the average person to check their health status with wearable devices equipped with sensors.


The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technological revolution that will completely change human lifestyle in the upcoming years. It connects living and nonliving things through the internet. The Internet of Things has spread widely and is used in different environments such as homes, healthcare institutes, aerospace, transportation, agriculture, and the medical field[1]. As a priority multidisciplinary research topic, it is rapidly gaining attention in many academic and industrial disciplines, especially in healthcare[3].

Health is the most important part of any human life; without health, any treasure of life is useless. Healthcare remains the fastest to adopt technological changes, revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of the body[2]. IoT offers multiple benefits, such as improving the effectiveness and quality of services by deploying it in medical devices[4].

The Internet of Things is entirely dependent on the innovative development in areas like wireless sensors and the internet[7]. This system is fully automated, requiring little or no human help. Any doctor can monitor a patient from anywhere through the internet. Essentially, in the IoT paradigm, everything in the world is considered a smart object that can communicate with each other through internet technologies, either physically or virtually. IoT allows the object to be sensed and controlled, creating an opportunity for the direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems.

Another giant in the midst is AI, or Artificial Intelligence, which has unimaginable potential and has already taken over everyday life in healthcare. Combined with IoT, AI has become an essential part of several processes, right from data manufacturing to processing and analytics. Paired with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, this data can drive intelligent decision-making and reasoning, speeding up analysis of data and providing healthcare organizations with more insightful decisions regarding where to build hospitals and what equipment to invest in.

In the field of IoT, security plays a vital role, as a malicious attack or interference with IoT devices can pose a threat to human life, especially with critical IoT applications. The main solution for IoT data security is authentication. To trust a command from the control system, identity confirmation is required. The application of IoT-driven search engines specifically for medical databases will help in scientific and healthcare research, reducing search time with optimized navigation cost. Therefore, IoT-driven healthcare devices and applications have the potential to fulfill the requirements of a wide range of users. This includes medical scientists, practitioners, service providers, nurses, and above all, patients worldwide.

IOT – Healthcare:

Internet-connected devices have been introduced to patients in different forms. Using smartphone applications related to the healthcare system, patients may receive guidance to make decisions suggested by the application. Whether the data comes from fetal monitors, electrocardiograms, temperature monitors, or blood glucose levels, tracking health information is vital for some patients. Many of these measures require follow-up interaction with a healthcare professional. However, the use of IoT devices has been instrumental in delivering more valuable, real-time data to doctors and reducing the need for direct patient-physician interaction. IoT in healthcare also includes smart beds, which detect when the patients are in bed and when a patient is attempting to get up. Without the manual interaction of nurses, a smart bed can adjust itself to ensure the appropriate pressure and support are applied to patients. Network hospitals help patients and doctors with remote health monitoring services. Most remote health monitoring services propose a three-tier architecture: the first tier is the body sensor network, which includes wearable sensors that acquire data such as blood pressure, heart status, and body temperature; the second tier includes communication and networking services, which collect data from sensors and forward it; the third tier encompasses the processing and analyzing nodes.

Architecture of healthcare in IOT:

There are four layers in the architecture of healthcare in IoT.

Medical equipment layer:

The first layer in the architecture of IoT is the medical equipment layer. This layer introduces intelligent connected devices that monitor the health of the patients, take readings, observe patterns, and alert when there are abnormalities in the patterns. This device system has a touchscreen interface for users to input data for analysis and processing. As a user inputs data related to diseases, the system searches for symptoms pre-loaded into the file and tries to match them with the provided input. If a match is found with the pre-loaded symptoms, the system responds with the disease name and generates a prescription for general medicine. The patient can wear the device; he or she will be connected to this device through which it can monitor the status and patient vitals. It can remotely monitor at-risk patients and even make informed decisions, potentially preventing trips to the emergency room.

Gateway for iot application:

The aids in onboard processing, data aggregation, and data transfer are perfect for M2M (machine to machine) solutions. Web applications and mobile applications are both developed to meet the necessities of the hospital, including laboratories, doctors, patients, and other services. The existing network technology will likely need to be perfected and upgraded to accommodate secure payment solutions. Additionally, this technology plays a crucial role in patient data monitoring, where the routers gather patient data and transfer it to a central repository dedicated to data collection.

The gateway application receiving a measurement from a pulse oximeter

Machine to machine integration platform:

The quick way of developing the connected device technologies currently in the market is Machine to Machine. In M2M, we can use any type of sensors for communication, which means the system can automatically monitor itself to adapt to the environment. Human involvement in this process is minimal. This becomes particularly useful when communication with patients is necessary. Through the Machine2Machine integration platform, many companies can introduce a new generation of consumer-facing services in wearables and patient monitoring. It collects specific data from the patient, transports and analyzes it right there in the field and reacts faster than a medical professional.

Alert generating reports:

The data is collected through the Machine2Machine integration platform. This data, once stored in the cloud, is analyzed and checked for patterns. A wearable device, worn by the patient, sends notifications and reminders about doctor’s appointments. This system also applies to medication, meaning patients no longer need to remember when to take their medicines. The wearable device sends reminders and alerts for medication. Benefits of using M2M integration platforms include fitness tracking, social network connectivity, and health and wellness monitoring.


The Internet of Things has the potential to change human living standards, especially in healthcare. Human beings are unable to predict how our lives will take a turn in the next 20 years. We couldn’t have predicted the Internet, the Web, social networking, Facebook, Twitter, or millions of apps for smartphones, all of which have qualitatively changed society’s lifestyle. Healthcare-driven IoT systems have the potential to allow providers to deliver optimum quality service and to predict health problems at early stages, thereby reducing mortality rates. Therefore, the scope of future research lies in developing energy-efficient, affordable products catering to all spheres of human life. Issues such as security and privacy in healthcare applications also need to be addressed efficiently for successful adoption of IoT technology.


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Review of Internet of Things in Healthcare. (2019, Sep 11). Retrieved from