In many industries, sensors have played a vital role in detecting chemical, biological, physical signals etc. In healthcare, to deliver care directly to patients sensors provide the mechanical vision for reading, counting, sorting & robotic guidance. In this article, we are going to explain the role of Role of sensors in healthcare, its technology, and applications etc in detail.
Sensors can collect the patient data dynamically to stimulate preventive care, diagnostics etc & measure treatment results. In our previous article, we explain how virtual reality changes healthcare, cloud computing impact on healthcare, EMR vs EHR, Digital imaging technology, BLE- Iot platform for Iot device etc in detail.
Future of Healthcare: Sensors Technology
Nowadays, Iot being a game changer in the healthcare field as it combines sensors, microcontrollers, gateways and microprocessor to analyze and send sensor data to the cloud and then onto caregivers.
Smart sensors transforms healthcare:
Everyone today is so busy in their lives, even they forget to take care of their health. By keeping all these things in minds, technology really proves to be an asset for an individual. With the advancement in technology, lots of smart or medical sensors came into existence that continuously analyzes individual patient activity and automatically predicts a heart attack before the patient feels sick. Following features of smart or medical sensors are:
- Warn early for medical problems: As per requirement, various types of sensors are available in the market that generates analytics to alert doctors. Before the adverse event occurs, these sensors could indicate signs of heart failure, kidney failure, stroke etc. For eg, to detect cancer at an early stage, injectable biosensors are used.
- Enable Neural Technologies: Smart neural devices or sensors prove to be an asset for patients to manage conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or Parkinson or neural bypass technologies especially for paralyzed patients.
- Automate smart medical devices: With the increasing demand following sensors are used to automate smart medical devices. To fulfill the real-time patient need various smart devices are created that combine data analytics and sensor data and adjust medication delivery.
- Manage chronic conditions of patients: Various tiny, high-resolution sensors allow patients and doctors to manage a real-time patient chronic condition such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis etc. To provide real-time recommendations for patients various advanced analytical engines could monitor signals from multiple sensor types.
Types of sensors in medical field:
In the medical field, nowadays patient take actively part in collecting and reviewing their reports. In this digitized world, various wireless communication standards have allowed the sensor to develop from traditional forms i.e. require active patient participation to passive form i.e. require no need for patient participation.
Today’s large number of passive sensors are used that constantly monitor individual patient vital signs and store that data or share it wirelessly with healthcare professionals. By combining analytics and sensor data, reports are made that describe the early health condition of the patient. Depending on the requirement various types of sensors are being deployed. Following are:
- Wearables like digital watches, Fitbit etc embedded or wear on clothes & accessories.
- Ingestible embedded in pills that got dissolved.
- Blood sampling sensors such as glucose meters.
- External sensors such as pulse oximeter & blood pressure cuffs etc.
- Epidermal sensors such as digital tattoos and patches.
- Tissue embedded sensors such as pacemakers & defibrillators.
Advantages and disadvantages of Smart Sensors:
In healthcare, different types of sensing devices are used depending upon the characteristics, usability and efficiency. Following advantages and disadvantages of smart sensors are explained below.
Following smart sensors benefits are:
- Easy to design
- High Reliability
- Scalable Flexible system
- Minimum interconnecting cables
- High performance
- Small rugged packing
Following smart sensors disadvantages are:
- In wired smart sensors, complexity is much higher as a consequence the cost is also high.
- Required use of predefined embedded function during the design of the smart sensor.
- It requires both actuators and sensors.
- Sensor calibration has to be managed by an external processor.