The Internet of Medical Things also called IoT-MD is related to the discipline of telemedicine, described as “remote delivery of healthcare services over the telecommunications infrastructure” (Rouse, 2016). Some terms as telehealth, eHealth or connected health are also used for same or strongly related purposes.
The Word Health Organisation (WHO) traced the first telemedicine experiences back to the late 19th century, “when electrocardiograph data were transmitted over telephone wires” (Telemedicine, 2010).
More recently, in 1968, Dr. Kenneth Bird implemented medical stations at the Boston Logan Airport which were connected to the Massachusetts General Hospital (Prentice, 2003).
Another example, that the majority of us can relate to, is about the NASA Apollo 11 mission, more commonly known as the “first humans on the moon.” Indeed, Neil Armstrong and his colleagues were health monitored from the Earth (Americantelemed.org, 2016).
In the early 90’s, some organisations started to structure themselves in order to explore the possibilities of the IoT-MD:
- In 1993, the American Telemedicine Association is established in order to promote access to medical care through ICTs (Americantelemed.org, 2016).
- In the same year, the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth is created as a knowledge sharing body and gather national eHealth associations, institutions and corporations (Isfteh.org, 2016).
- Some governmental US agencies specialised in this field:
- The Office for the Advancement of Telehealth
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
- The World Health Organisation through its Global Observatory for eHealth established in 2005 to monitor what’s going on in each country regarding the telemedicine (World Health Organization, 2016).
Some companies as well decided to embrace the IoT-MD in their business development. One example is Philips which is a major actor in the healthcare industry and collaborates with major tech companies, i.e. Qualcomm, etc. to move toward that direction (Markman, 2016).
For news about IoT by field of application, IoT World News is a good online media that publishes articles regularly (IoT World News, 2016).
Finally, closer to us in Ireland, eHealth Ireland and the HSE are hosting these days the Health Innovation Week where it will be all about IoT-MD.
The next post will be about what could go wrong with IoT-MD.
Americantelemed.org. (2016). About Telemedicine – ATA Main. [online] Available at: http://www.americantelemed.org/about/about-telemedicine [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].
IoT World News. (2016). IoT World News – About Us. [online] Available at: http://www.iotworldnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=726454 [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].
Isfteh.org. (2016). About | ISFTeH – International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth. [online] Available at: https://www.isfteh.org/about [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].
Markman, J. (2016). The IoT Is Coming To Healthcare. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmarkman/2016/09/15/the-iot-is-coming-to-healthcare/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].
Prentice, R. (2003). Highlights From the Eighth Annual Meeting of the ATA. [online] Medscape. Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/457684 [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].
Rouse, M. (2016). What is telemedicine? – Definition from WhatIs.com. [online] SearchHealthIT. Available at: http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/telemedicine [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].
Telemedicine. (2010). 1st ed. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
World Health Organization. (2016). Global Observatory for eHealth. [online] Available at: http://www.who.int/goe/en/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].
Image Courtesy of the Encircle Blog.