By employing its wireless connectivity, AT&T says it is enabling the use of connected health devices to make quicker diagnoses, provide expert care in remote areas, and better manage medications.
A recent survey by AT&T and Added Value revealed that consumers rank health as the most important area of their lives when it comes to the improvements promised by technology.
Connected healthcare stands at the forefront of this, allowing large amounts of data to be collected across the whole healthcare spectrum – from wound care to Apple Watch-enabled diabetes prediction – and for this information to be communicated and analysed more quickly.
AT&T is putting its Global SIM card and AT&T Control Center to work by partnering with specialist providers to enable a range of solutions, including connected health devices, disease monitoring capabilities, doctor videoconferencing, and smart medication.
IoT for disease monitoring
One example comes from Massachusetts-based WaveGuide. It claims its handheld nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology can detect pathogens and infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and various cancers, in around 20 minutes. The battery-powered device is ideal for remote healthcare workers and requires only a small sample from the patient.
The results are sent back to WaveGuide for analysis, using secure AT&T connectivity. While clinical trials have yet to be carried out, Waveguide hopes to secure regulatory approval in the US and China by the end of the year.
Is there a doctor present?
The DOT Telemedicine Backpack by swyMed is touted as, “the world’s first truly mobile telemedicine solution for Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) – reliably connecting and delivering care even where bandwidth is low.”
The backpack contains a powerful enterprise-grade antenna, redundant modem, camera, audio capabilities, and an eight-hour battery to connect with doctors on-demand. This allows doctors to assess patients in real time, in the critical early stages of care.
The backpack is already in use in the US, Europe, the Middle East, and India.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Softbox Systems, provider of specialist temperature control packaging to the pharmaceutical industry, has teamed up with the AT&T IoT Foundary in Plano, Texas. The result is a proof-of-concept smart flask that protects sensitive medication by collecting location, temperature, and usage data.
Like more invasive adherence methods, the flask can also help patients to follow the prescribed usage and dosage, both at home and abroad (as well as alert clinicians to the need for refills).
The AT&T M2X and Flow platforms have enabled the rapid development of the supporting mobile application and data reporting dashboard, with the aim of beginning market testing.
“With IoT technology, our customers are changing the way healthcare is administered,” said Joe Mosele, vice president of IoT Solutions at AT&T. “They’re bringing healthcare to places where it’s desperately needed. Connected technology is changing lives and, in many cases, saving lives.”
Internet of Business says
It often takes a telecom giant to unlock the capabilities of the IoT on the move. IoT in healthcare is a prime candidate for a reliable and far-reaching communication network. By moving more healthcare outside of hospitals, with the help of IoT healthcare devices, beds can be freed up for those who need them most.
And when hospitals are beyond easy reach, such as during disaster operations, there is even more scope for connected healthcare devices to come into their own.
Their potential in remote settings also makes them suitable for another area, animal health, by empowering farm vets, who are often forced to rely on decades-old methods, with more modern equipment and instant health data.
Despite their far-reaching benefits, AT&T’s IoT applications offer just a small window into the world of connected health. 2018 will see an abundance of new examples, and we’ll keep you updated with the most significant healthcare IoT developments.