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How to simplify medical transportation during emergencies

Sunitha / 10 May 2021 / IOT Industry | IOT AI

IoT systems have now made a mark in most aspects of human life. Healthcare and healthcare logistics are no different. With IoT automation in tracking vehicles, medical supplies, and hospital beds, emergencies can be better managed. Precious lives can be saved. There are several IoT career opportunities in various areas of healthcare and emergency management. Beginners to IoT would do well to get acquainted with the power of harnessing sensors to make smart devices. This would be the starting point for any IoT application. 

 

IoT in emergencies

Emergency medical care and transportation of essential medical supplies are of critical importance during natural disasters, pandemics, and accidents. Accurate and up-to-date information is of paramount importance. This is where IoT systems play a vital role. They are effective in handling complex facilities spread over several regions. The data is seamlessly collected and analyzed for improving the emergency relief work and improving public safety. 


With IoT applications, emergency relief measures can be holistically managed and monitored. When hospital locations, facilities, medical supplies, medical support, doctors, etc. are linked through IoT systems, the healthcare system becomes more robust and reliable. 

The IoT automation facilitates interaction sans human intervention. Cloud-based systems collect data in real-time. Analysis of this data can throw up insights into ways in which the system can be improved.  Cloud services in IoT applications make a huge difference in sharing of data during emergencies. 


The relevant authorities in different regions can access the real-time data. These systems can greatly enhance rescue operations in disasters as well as timely provision of medical aid in emergencies. Access to such sensitive data must be provided only to those who have been cleared by government and security agencies.


Road accidents are a common medical emergency and often lots of lives are lost due to a lack of immediate medical attention and inadequate information about nearby hospitals. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) can be fortified with IoT systems that can equip them with real-time data. 


EMS has been transformed by introducing IoT applications. Ambulances are no longer just vehicles for emergency and accident victims. They are capable of two-way communication with the hospitals. Patient care is given in time. Firefighters who are the first responders in emergencies can be equipped with IoT wearables. This helps keep them safe as they evacuate helpless victims caught in fires, earthquakes, and such disasters. 

  • Patients and their families know which hospital to access healthcare and where it is located
  • Vacant beds can be located for patients with bed tracking systems. This can be derived from the healthcare monitoring IoT system. PIR (Passive Infrared sensors) help in detecting motion and can accurately track vacant beds. 
  • Smart cameras attached to ambulances help in monitoring critical patients during their transfer to the hospital. The vital parameters of these patients are constantly monitored with wearable IoT devices. Oxygen saturation levels, pulse, temperature, and heartbeats can be monitored remotely. Doctors are also prepared with necessary facilities so that the critical patients are immediately attended to on arrival. These facilities help in saving lives in emergencies.
  • There are IoT sensors that can detect the blood levels of the patients too. Patients can be stabilized en route to the hospital. Digital medical records of the patient can be accessed to attend to his emergency. Telemedicine can support critical patients until they are transported to hospital facilities. 
  • IoT systems in allotting doctors to critical patients during emergency medical situations. The system contains real-time data on how many doctors are readily available in each hospital. Even specialist doctors can be tracked so that they reach the patients that they must attend to at once. 
  • Moving critical medical equipment and diagnostic tools during emergencies can be better managed with real-time data. 

 

Tracking medical supplies

Various vital drugs, oxygen, and other biopharmaceutical products are needed in large quantities during medical and other emergencies. Often these have to be procured from other areas or countries. These drugs, vaccines, or cell therapies must be transported under tightly controlled environments. IoT applications can help in ensuring that the medical supplies have been transported following established protocols. The integrity of the medical aid and supplies is thus established.


IoT in medical logistics and healthcare supply chains has significantly improved the movement of emergency supplies to disaster-hit areas. Pharma products come with RFID tagging that helps in managing inventory levels as well as identifying counterfeits. Smart storage and smart transportation of medical supplies and essential medical equipment are possible with IoT in healthcare logistics. There are fewer instances of stockouts. Distribution centers can be better monitored. 


Seamless availability of medical essentials is possible with a smart network of warehouses, transportation, and distribution centers. All of these integrated IoT systems are sure to give rise to several IoT jobs.

 

Conclusion

IoT is invaluable during disaster and emergency management. Several human lives can be saved by deploying IoT applications. IoT tracking systems in ports and airports help in monitoring the flow of medical supplies and relief equipment during medical emergencies or natural disasters. Data gathered from these sensors can be analyzed to plan the emergency relief distribution. It helps in gaining an overall bird’s eye view of the efficacy of the entire emergency relief measures.