Have you ever noticed the apps or processes that use Bluetooth in your phone or wearable? Well, the majority of you doesn’t notice, but Bluetooth is being used in a variety of processes in our phones. Although in our smartphones it is performing some essential functions, Bluetooth in healthcare is revolutionizing the delivery of treatment. It has been suitable for both doctors and patients. Bluetooth technology in healthcare has enhanced hospital’s patient satisfaction and their efficiency.
It has been seen that the healthcare industry has always been the first to adopt any new technology, whether it’s the surgical tools or any prosthetic limbs or anybody scanning technology such as MRI or any wearable devices used to monitor the vitals of a patient. The healthcare sector has continued that trend to adopt any new technology. The majority of medical devices are now free of tangling wires due to the adaptation of Bluetooth technology in healthcare. The BLE beacons and other low energy features and extra layer of Bluetooth security make it a perfect technology for hospitals. There are several ways in which Bluetooth functionality can be put to practical use in the healthcare sector.
It doesn’t stop here; the upcoming version of Bluetooth and mesh technologies are set to take the trend ahead. Here are some points that describe the considerable change that Bluetooth in healthcare has brought.
Enhanced Patient/Attendant Experience
Long queues can never deliver an aesthetic experience to any patient or visitor. On the other hand, long queues can be fatal in some cases. Diagnosing a patient with an emergency or higher need of attention is always better, and that’s what Bluetooth provides in healthcare. With the use of BLE beacons, hospitals can set up a beacon infrastructure that allows the patients or the visitors to complete the registration formalities from their personal devices rather than standing in long queues.
The hospitals can also display a guide that informs everyone about the process. The registrations recorded through this process are incredibly feasible as they can easily be prioritized as per the risk to the patient’s health. Apart from the registration, these Bluetooth Beacons can also broadcast information related to the list of documents required for various purposes and the admission process.
Inform Doctors about Patient’s Health
The BLE beacon infrastructure, a Bluetooth technology, can be installed in any hospital regardless of its capacity and size. These beacons connect to the apps and wearable of the patients that measure their vital signs such as blood pressure, sugar level, pulse count, oxygen levels, etc. These vitals play an essential role in any patient’s treatment. If a doctor can gain access to any patient’s potential issues, medical histories, allergies and emergency contacts, then it can save a lot of time. A doctor can directly get to the treatment without searching for the information that he/she needs. In terms of power-saving, these beacons are extremely helpful as they operate only when broadcasting data and remain dormant when they are not in use.
Bluetooth in the healthcare sector is responsible for added security layers as Bluetooth follows the U.S. federal security regulations that state that every Bluetooth device operating in the country should meet or enhance the existing strict government security standards. These sets of regulations consist of 128-bit encryption and advanced privacy capabilities. Bluetooth also provides security that meets both the FIPS and NIST compliance. These regulations and standards have been implemented by Bluetooth-related technology being used in the healthcare sector.
Such security and privacy standards deliver flexibility to a manufacturer of these devices to provide the best user experience. With such added level of security, patients and visitors can rest assured that private and confidential health data is secure and cannot be shared with anyone without proper authorization. These Bluetooth devices ensure that data transfer from the patient to doctors and secure cloud storage remains uninterrupted during treatment.
Indoor Navigation Systems
Bluetooth technology in healthcare has simplified indoor navigation. Not everyone is familiar with the alleyways of any particular hospital. With the advancement in technologies and the variety of diseases, the infrastructure of hospitals has enlarged in size and patients, or visitors often find it difficult in finding their way to any specific department or pharmacy or labs.
With the help of BLE beacons, hospitals can deliver the facility of indoor navigation to enhance the experience of patients and the family members or the staff members. The functionalities of such a BLE indoor navigation system can be enhanced with a dedicated app. With the help of this app, patients and family members or staff members can navigate their way, track their appointments, and find directions to the selected doctor’s chamber.
In recent years, Bluetooth has evolved in terms of various functionalities. Earlier it was developed to transfer files between short ranges, but now, it is being used to broadcast or transfer pieces of information with added security features. In the last decade, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has enhanced the functionality of Bluetooth technology in terms of power usage. BLE devices have supported optimized energy consumption and can operate on small batteries. Such devices are used vastly to transfer small packets of data to local user interfaces that can be any device like smartphones or tablets.
The healthcare sector has employed many devices that are now wireless and helps to shorten the treatment period. These devices include blood glucose monitors, asthma inhalers, pulse monitors, heartbeat monitor, oxygen saturation monitors, etc. Such portable devices deliver essential data that is used in the treatment and record keeping. BLE technology enables these devices to perform their essential functions on a small-sized battery. These devices can operate for several years provided that their coin-sized is changed at regular intervals. Power optimization with the help of Bluetooth technology has enabled doctors to examine their patient’s vitals instantly rather than waiting for the test results. BLE technology also fulfils compliance requirements that are mandatory for environmental sensors and patient room monitoring.
Getting treated at the hospital is not always the case. Sometimes, a patient needs constant monitoring while in the ambulance and afterward. Often it is seen that the patient gets in critical condition before reaching the hospital, and any delay of few minutes can cause loss of life. Bluetooth in healthcare has solved this problem to an extent; as the doctors treat the patients in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, these BLE devices send real-time information about the patient’s status to an information gateway present in the ambulance.
This data is further transferred to the cloud storage of the manufacturer of the BLE device. The hospital can access these data sets to be better prepared for the incoming patient to the emergency room and avoid any delay in the treatment. In another case, these devices can be set up in various ambulances that can transmit real-time data to each other and sequence the arrival of patients as per necessity.
When it comes to inventory management, it is considered a tedious task. In the case of the health sector, the inventory consists of blood of various groups, vaccines, and other equipment or components. Hospital inventory management should be precise to maintain the flow of treatment. The problem with hospital inventory is that it consists of various items that are perishable and require extra care, such as blood, medicines, vaccines, etc. Real-time monitoring of these things is necessary. Hospitals are using the BLE modules to monitor the numbers and various factors associated with it, such as temperature, moisture, etc. These factors affect the usability of these things and can profoundly impact the treatment of a particular patient. In the case of blood banks, BLE devices can be configured with an app that displays the current temperature, use by date, etc.
Further, each blood bag can be tagged with trackers that record and transmits the temperature data to the app. These sensors operated devices consume less power and are only operational when broadcasting data or any physical movement; hence, they can be used for a more extended period of time. With a customized app, various hospitals are using BLE technology-based apps that ensure the diligent monitoring and management of their inventories.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Healthcare changes its course of operation according to the prevailing trends. As most of the world is restricted to their homes in this pandemic, hospitals have implemented the system of home care or remote patient monitoring with the help of Bluetooth technology in healthcare. As various health monitoring devices are now in the form of wearables, it is easy to record and monitor the vitals of any patient remotely. The Internet of things (IoT) ensures significant savings, enhanced efficiency, and a soothing customer experience.
Such devices ensure real-time data monitoring and store the data on the cloud for easy access. These devices are weight scales, heart-rate monitors, blood pressure monitors etc. If any vital is over the limit, the doctors can inform the patient to take appropriate measures or alert the family members to call the concerned physician. These BLE devices are connected to a dedicated app that also reminds patients of their medication timings and doses.
The power-saving BLE devices are used to link various devices to a smartphone or tablet, which is capable of long-term communications that can transfer the data to the concerned person. Various hospitals have implemented this technology to deliver treatment to their patients in the comfort of their homes.
Bluetooth technology in healthcare is to the fullest in the last few years. Such technologies deliver various benefits to patients and hospitals. However, it is exciting to note various innovations that are coming to light with the help of Bluetooth in the healthcare sector. The use of IoT with Bluetooth has enhanced the way of monitoring vital sign of any patients, on the other hand, it is being used to fulfil the purpose of asset tracking. Personalized healthcare can also be possible with the help of BLE modules and the app associated with this technology. BLE software development has been on the rise for the last few years and is delivering extreme results in revenue generation.
Proficient Bluetooth app developers of Matellio have developed and delivered various successful Bluetooth based apps in the healthcare sector. Our diligent engineers are highly trained and know every in and out of Bluetooth app development. If you have an idea related to Bluetooth software or app development, get in touch with us to turn it into reality. Fill the form now!
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