What Is IoMT (Internet of Medical Things)?

Over the past years, IoT (Internet of Things) has evolved from a little-studied progressive technology into a reality that surrounds us everywhere. With its advent, the world has experienced a new level of digitization, ranging from smart homes and factories to sensors in transport and wearables.  

Today, IoT matters in the healthcare industry most since the devices involved, besides providing speed or convenience, are also responsible for saving human lives. The entirety of these systems and devices making care possible at every step of individuals is referred to as IoMT (Internet of Medical Things).  

What is IoMT (Internet of Medical Things)

IoMT is widely used and covers the complete set of sensors, special infrastructure, and data processing software. It is also helping care facilities to optimize their processes and financial indicators.  

Thus, this article will focus on discussing the global market growth of the Internet of Medical Things, its basics include, in-home IoMT, on-body IoMT, community IoMT, and In-hospital IoMT. Additionally, this guide will discuss the potential roadblocks associated with using Internet of Medical Things devices and their generated data. 

Overview of IoMT Global Marget Growth  

Based on Fortune Business Insights‘ Report, the global IoMT market size was $41.17 billion back in 2020. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the global market experienced positive traction for the Internet of Medical Things, increasing its demand across all regions.

Moreover, they found that, compared to 2017-2019, the growth of the IoMT global market was 71.3% in the year 2020. The market is projected to expand from $30.79 billion to $187.60 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.5%, during 2021-2028.

According to Deloitte, the region-specific growth of the Internet of Medical Things is as follows: 

Region  To  From 
North America  $13 billion  $45 billion 
South America  $2 billion  $9 billion 
Middle East & Africa  $2 billion  $9 billion 
Asia-Pacific  $11 billion  $51 billion 
Europe  $12 billion  $44 billion 

IoMT Global Market

Understanding IoMT & Its Impact on Healthcare Industry 

The impact of IoMT on the healthcare space is not omnidirectional. There are many ways in which it influences. You understand the changes. Let’s discuss the deployment of IoMT in-home, on-body, in the community, and in-hospital. According to a study by Spyglass Consulting, 88% of healthcare practitioners are already invested in IoMT devices, given their high efficiency. 

1. In-home IoMT 

In-home enables people to transmit medical data from their homes to other locations such as to their primary care provider or a hospital. For example, RPM (remote patient monitoring) comprises medical devices to transfer information related to oxygen saturation or blood pressure of recently discharged patients to their physicians for review. As a result, with it, the rate of readmissions can decrease by identifying health issues before their severity increases. 

According to Business Insider’s report, healthcare organizations are saving $300 billion annually with the help of remote patient monitoring. 

Moreover, the use of IoMT devices with telehealth can also prove to be beneficial for ongoing care outside of the patient setting. For instance, PERS (personal emergency response system) focuses on tracking critical events, including heart attacks or a fall to call for help automatically. It can help at-risk populations such as seniors to live normal life without risking their safety. 

2. On-body IoMT 

On the flip side, on-body IoMT refers to the use of wearable medical devices connected to remote monitoring or tracking systems. These wearables can be used outside of the home and do not affect people’s routine life.  

You can buy consumer on-body IoMT wearables to track your health metrics both for sharing with your physician and for personal use. It can track standard metrics to prevent serious health conditions. While clinical on-body IoMT devices have an array of sensors.  

For example, diabetic patients can wear glucose sensors to track fluctuations in their glucose levels. Most of these wearables share metrics directly with the patient’s provider to ensure quick and accurate treatment. 

3. Community IoMT 

As its name suggests, it is the use of IoMT devices throughout a community or geographical area. For instance, mobility sensors are used to track patients while in transit in a vehicle. Likewise, paramedics use emergency response intelligence systems to track patient metrics outside of the hospital. 

Besides these two instances, community IoMT involves technologies enabling remote services. For example, a kiosk can be used to dispense medicines to people in remote areas with no access to traditional infrastructure. 

Furthermore, suppliers can also use these devices to transport medical equipment and other healthcare goods. For example, the temperature and pressure of shipping containers can be monitored with sensors to maintain quality throughout the shipping process. 

4. In-Hospital IoMT 

Hospitals are required to manage the quality and supply of medical assets over time. Moreover, they also need to monitor patients and clinical staff moving throughout the premises. Thus, for a holistic view of all these interactions hospitals use sensors and other tracking systems. 

According to Oracle, there are 10 billion IoT sensors, and by 2025, the count will reach 22 billion. 

Challenges Associated with IoMT 

IoMT has many challenges related to privacy, security, legal, technical, and regulatory because it has many stakeholders involved. Some of its key stakeholders are: 

  • OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) 
  • Network Providers 
  • End-users 
  • Medical Device Providers 
  • Healthcare Providers
  • System Integrators 

IoMT Challenges

Following are the key roadblocks you can face while dealing with the Internet of Medical Things: 

Legal Challenges – When IoMT devices generate data, it is not always clear who owns that data, the patient, software provider, hospital, etc. As a result, it can be shared and reshared online. The original creator may try to destroy the data. However, it is impossible to remove it completely in a distributed network where data is replicated multiple times. 

Regulatory Challenges – while the ownership of data is uncertain, the regulatory concern is another roadblock medical professionals face. Since the IoMT-generated data contains sensitive patient details. Thus, it should be proactively managed, e.g., how to use it and where to share it.  

For this reason, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has released a guide regarding the management of cybersecurity devices. However, with all the guidance available and strict regulations surrounding it, according to the Deloitte study, 66% of respondents believe the regulatory framework will not catch up for another five years to today’s possibilities of breach of patient data. 

Technical Challenges – IoMT follows a distributed infrastructure, and based on it, the software and devices must be able to interact with each other securely. But, according to Ordr, the security standards and protocols used in these types of integrations are ever-evolving. It can result in compatibility issues if older systems fail to keep up with the newer technologies and standards.  

Security and Privacy Challenges – Typically, the data generated via IoMT devices travel through the public internet. Thus, they are exposed to increased security threats compared to a private network protected with a firewall. Moreover, the data becomes prone to multiple types of cyber-attacks since the threat is compounded as it is shared among several systems. 

Bottom Line 

In this guide, we explored the current market size, accepted growth, and compound annual growth rate of the IoMT market. Moving forward, we discussed the impact of the Internet of Medical Things in the healthcare industry, including different types of IoMTs – in-home, on-body, community, and hospital. Finally, the possible challenges clinicians can face while dealing with IoMT were covered. 

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